EIT RawMaterials supported start-up works on full plastic traceability

EIT RawMaterials supported start-up works on full plastic traceability

The Start-ups Circularise, DOMO and Covestro have announced a new collaborative project for circularity in the plastics industry through the use of blockchain technology.

The newly formed Circularise PLASTICS project group aims to set up an open standard for sustainability and transparency within this field. EIT RawMaterials supported Circularise protocol enables trusted data exchange in fragmented supply chains without public disclosure of datasets or supply chain partners. Unlike other blockchain transparency solutions, Circularise’s technology called 'smart questioning' protects a company’s privacy and sensitive information. Don’t miss the opportunity to be one in a leading position and drive the change in the plastic industry.

Building up material cycles across value chains

The project will be discussed with customers at the fair K 2019, Duesseldorf, 16-23 October (DOMO at hall 5, booth A43 & Covestro at hall 6, booth A75). This will also give new partners an opportunity to join the project on the pathway towards full circularity. 

Transparency and the notion of a circular economy are strongly in the spotlight, but there are mixed messages when it comes to traceability in plastics. Achieving a single standard for traceability to origin would enable the industry to communicate regarding sustainable practices and attach proof of origin to the materials.

Thomas Nuyts, Director of Global Product Management Engineering Plastics, DOMO

The partners believe that achieving traceability and transparency in the plastics supply chain enabled by blockchain will make it more authentic and transparent.

There are three main objectives:

  • Choose Circular: Make it easier for suppliers, processors, manufacturers, moulders, and brand owners to choose traceable, sustainable and circular materials.
  • Produce Circular: Create incentives for suppliers and manufacturers to produce traceable, sustainable and cirrcular materials and products.
  • Make Circular: Provide critical information for reversed logistics and take-back of products, materials and components.

The compatibility of blockchains has been a hot topic, including in the plastic space, where the benefits of this new technology can serve all parts of the supply chain.

For material suppliers and processors, as well as moulders, Circularise PLASTICS participation means increased material value and trust in your production, by adding material passports to plastic resin, additives colourants 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.

Dr Burkhard Zimmermann, Head of Strategy, Sustainability and Digital, Covestro’s Polycarbonates segment

The value of blockchain is it avoids a central powerful authority and gives equal rights to all participants.

Netherlands-headquartered tech innovator Circularise, supported by EIT RawMaterials, is making transparency and communication in global value chains possible by utilising blockchain and zero-knowledge proofs. Their protocol enables the trusted data exchange in fragmented supply chains without public disclosure of datasets or supply chain partners. Unlike other blockchain transparency solutions Circularise’s technology called 'smart questioning' protects a company’s privacy and sensitive information. This means that confidentiality and competitive advantage are always maintained. It also eliminates the need to trust a centralised party.

Because all of the verification is done by the system itself, the idea is that users do not need to rely on a central point of control. Instead, trust is transferred from one centralised authority (such as a verifying party) to many decentralised, anonymous participants.

Mesbah Sabur, Founder at Circularise

The Circularise PLASTICS concept involves a seven-step process whereby the source material can be followed through a blockchain pathway, ensuring end-to-end product traceability and provenance. If ultimately accepted by the original information holder (plastic producer/moulder), the OEM can access important information and make statements accordingly. This solution has two basic main strengths over other initiatives. The open protocol will enable an industry standard (on any blockchain) and avoid monopoly. The Smart Questioning technology safeguards privacy, while still allowing for transparency.

The Circularise PLASTICS project is still at a very early stage and the objective at K 2019 is to raise interest among value chain partners, that are willing to join the consortium in the ideation and testing phase. New members will become sustainable innovators in the plastics industry, having access to the latest information and resources, and getting an opportunity to co-create an industry-wide communication standard for the circular economy.

EIT RawMaterials empowers start-ups and SMEs to drive and foster innovation

As partners, EIT RawMaterials has supported Circularise within the Start-up and SME Booster programme both financially and with its expertise in the industry, and Circularise, in turn, has been sharing its knowledge on technology and innovation in the circular economy. Furthermore, Circularise was nominated for the EIT Venture Award 2018, which recognises successful start-ups and scale-ups that have been supported by the EIT’s Innovation Communities through dedicated business creation and acceleration programmes.