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4/20/2020 | 1 MINUTE READ

BASF and Security Matters Partner to Develop Plastics Traceability Technology

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The proprietary technology from Security Matters seeks to improve the traceability and sorting of plastics in the value chain.

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BASF and Security Matters have signed a binding joint development agreement to develop technology for plastics traceability and circularity. Security Matters is an Australian-based company focused on digitizing physical objects on the blockchain to enable a circular and closed loop economy.

While there is great progress towards chemical recycling, the more common method is to mechanically recycle plastic. Currently, recycled plastic loses its mechanical performance properties and quality compared to virgin plastic due to polymer degradation and residual impurities. The recycling infrastructure is also expensive and complicated, and simply does not exist in many parts of the world.

Security Matters and BASF aim to offer a solution for this. Security Matters will contribute its technology to enable physical and digital tracking of closed loop recycling, authenticate sustainability claims and improve sorting of plastic waste. The partnership leverages BASF’s extensive experience in plastic additives, regulatory know- how, and understanding of the plastics value chain. Both companies will also combine their research & development capabilities and required resources as part of the agreement.

Security Matters will provide its track and trace solution that marks physical objects with a unique and unalterable chemical-based barcode and connects them to a digital twin. The barcode withstands manufacturing and recycling processes, without altering the appearance or performance of the object. Using proprietary technology, the barcode captures a wide variety of information embedded in the plastic and can be used for closing the plastic loop.

“To tackle the global challenge, we have to rethink plastic applications with their end-of-life in mind. It is essential to progress towards a circular economy approach that closes the loop on end-of-life resources and allows us to recover and recycle plastics as efficiently as possible,” said Achim Sties, senior vice president, performance chemicals Europe, BASF SE. “We are jointly developing this game-changing technology that could capture information of the polymer and how the plastic moves through the entire production and distribution process. We will be able to devise an appropriate additive package for our customers and other players in the value chain using recycled material to capture more material value and increase resource productivity.”

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