Blockchain plastics tracking gathers steam

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – CSSA, Layfield, London Drugs, Merlin Plastics, NOVA Chemicals, Recycle BC, Return-It, Save on Foods and V.I.P. Soap have joined BASF in a project that uses blockchain to track plastic through its lifecyle.

Called reciChain, the project uses a blockchain solution provided by SMX with a physical marker that enables the secured sharing of transaction data. It is intended to improve the sorting, tracing and monitoring of plastics throughout the value chain.

For the pilot project in Vancouver, British Columbia, BASF is also partnering with Deloitte as a strategic advisor.

Participants are offering in-kind contributions to enable the feasibility of the pilot such as plastic material, testing, and technical expertise.

“We are grateful to count on broad stakeholder representation throughout the whole lifecycle of plastics including polymerization and recycling,” said Marcelo Lu, president of BASF Canada.

“With their support, along with the disruptive technology from Security Matters, our pilot will allow us to move from concepts and policy dialogue to tangible solutions in making advances in plastic circularity possible in Canada,”

The marker technology that allows the tracking of plastics materials across the value chain uses digital twin technology. This track and trace technology used in reciChain marks plastic products with a unique “chemical barcode” and connects them to a digital twin.

Both rigid and flexible plastic products will be used during the pilot to test the feasibility of the marker technology in the reverse logistics process. The pilot will allow users to access and verify information associated with the production of the material, supporting producers’ recycled content targets and retailers’ plastic waste diversion targets.

The pilot will also include a parallel testing of BASF’s trinamiX Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Solution, a hand-held scanner that detects and documents the composition of plastic material.

The project is being validated in British Columbia’s local supply chain. BASF’s vision is to expand reciChain across Canada.