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  • 29 Mar 2021

PragmatIC to implement recycling scheme in UK

PragmatIC has been awarded a GBP 1.3 million contract from the UK Government Sustainable Innovation Fund for a recycling scheme based on its ultra-low-cost NFC technology

PragmatIC has been awarded a GBP 1.3 million contract from the UK Government Sustainable Innovation Fund for a recycling scheme based on its ultra-low-cost NFC technology.

Worldwide, more than one million plastic bottles are made per minute. Less than 10 percent of those are collected and turned into new bottles; the rest are landfilled, incinerated, or littered, polluting the environment. 

Deposit return schemes are already well proven to increase recycling rates, with leading systems recovering over 90 percent of the containers which have a deposit on them. But these are built around returning bottles to grocery stores and require well-developed, and often rigid, state or nationwide processes to be in place.

In an initiative code-named SPRITE (Sustainable Plastics Recycling Innovation by Tagging Electronically), PET bottles and refillable packaging will be given unique digital IDs to support automated identification and recycling.

Under SPRITE, PragmatIC will deliver a system that works alongside existing return and recycling schemes and uses ultra-low-cost NFC to uniquely identify Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) packaging so that consumers can collect rewards anywhere utilizing a network of smart recycling points and their existing kerbside recycling collections. 

The project will also demonstrate the use of NFC to enhance refillable packaging models, where it can be used to encourage re-use and also provide the merchant with actionable data. Studies have shown that access to re-use and recycling opportunities is one of the key drivers for changing public behavior.

‘We are thrilled to have won this contract which furthers our mission to enable electronic solutions that improve everyday life,’ said Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC Semiconductor. ‘This is one of several initiatives where customers are using our technology to have a positive and lasting impact on the sustainability of our planet’s resources.’

As part of the project, PragmatIC will be working with leading global FMCG companies, which see NFC labels as a route to frictionless consumer engagement in recycling and enabling refillable packaging models. 

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