Total plastics traceability via blockchain comes to CES

Buzz is building ahead of the annual consumer electronics show that begins in Las Vegas tomorrow (although press events and previews have been going on all weekend). Skimming through media announcements related to CES, it seems that sex toys (which are back on the show floor after causing a bit of a stir at the 2019 event), a robocat that improves on the real thing by obeying verbal commands and 8K TVs (yeah, that’s a thing) are grabbing a lot of initial attention. Although plastics are ubiquitous at this massive event, the focus here tends to be on what the gadgets do, not on how or with what they are made. Nevertheless, the Circularise PLASTICS initiative is hoping to gain some traction with its presence at CES this year.

Circularise Plastics
Circularise PLASTICS enables manufacturers to create a digital version of their materials and prove sustainability across the entire supply chain. Image courtesy Domo.

Described as a plastics traceability solution enabled by blockchain technology, the project is spearheaded by polyamide supplier Domo (Leuna, Germany), materials company Covestro (Leverkusen, Germany) and supply chain transparency startup Circularise (The Hague, Netherlands). Presented to the plastics industry at K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany, in October, the initiative is aiming for broader appeal at CES while it pilots the system this year.

Circularise PLASTICS enables “manufacturers to create a digital version of their materials” based on audited documents to “prove the sustainability of their supply chain and to create reliability and trust,” said a press release distributed by the three companies. The use of blockchain reportedly ensures that there is transparency regarding a material’s origin and its environmental impact through a trusted data exchange in fragmented supply chains without public disclosure of datasets or supply-chain partners.

The technology serves all parts of the supply chain, according to Dr. Burkhard Zimmermann, Head of Strategy, Sustainability and Digital, at Covestro ́s Polycarbonates segment. “For material suppliers and processors, as well as molders, Circularise PLASTICS participation means increased material value and trust in your production, by adding material passports to plastic resins, additives, colorants and any other materials produced. For OEMs and brand owners, it helps on the road to achieving sustainability targets and a strengthened brand position by revealing a product’s origin and transparency on its environmental impact.”

Creating an open standard developed by the industry gives equal rights to all participants, added Thomas Nuyts, Director of Global Product Management at Domo. Circularise PLASTICS is available to any organization that manufactures, processes, recycles or uses plastics, he stressed.

The initiative has already achieved one milestone: It is the only software company out of nearly 100 competitors to be named a finalist in the Circularity Challenge organized by BASF and Stanley Black & Decker.

The Blockchain Traceability Solution will be demonstrated at the Covestro and Circularise booths—313 and 51726, respectively—at CES, which runs through Jan. 10.

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