For coronavirus updates, please visit:



Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

First plastic packaging using Digimarc’s advanced digital watermarking to provide full compatibility with the HolyGrail 2.0 Initiative.

PACCOR Packaging Solutions recently demonstrated the first implementation of a Digimarc Barcode into clear thermoform trays at the industry-led HolyGrail 2.0 initiative’s Open House, hosted by TOMRA Sorting Systems, during the triennial K-Show. The event was created as an opportunity for the more than 140 attendees, from brands, retailers, industry suppliers and trade organizations, to witness the latest HolyGrail 2.0 developments toward a harmonized and intelligent sorting solution based on digital watermarks, and to increase the quality and quantity of recyclates.

A Digimarc Barcode creates a unique identity in the physical structure of the plastic, in effect giving the plastic object a “digital recycling passport” to increase the effectiveness of sorting in recycling facilities. The Digimarc Barcode is engraved in the mold through a process Digimarc refers to as “micro-topological variations,” which results in a subtle embossing effect similar to current decorative treatments of plastic containers. Once identified by the sorting system, the Digimarc Barcode links this identity to a database that instructs the sorting system of the type of plastic, whether it is food-grade or non-food-grade, the composition of multiple layers, detection of carbon-black or opaque or difficult-to-recycle plastic, the brand/manufacturer, and much more.

During the demonstration, the PACCOR-produced trays were detected at 100% accuracy in controlled tests at 3 meters per second, with accuracy in the upper 90% range in mixed waste. Digimarc employed advanced Digimarc Barcode signal representations for these trays, and combined with PACCOR’s precise processes and rapid prototyping capabilities, the trays showed improved performance compared to prior samples. The trays can be detected regardless of whether the contact-side or non-contact-side faces the optical elements of the detector.

“We are excited to participate with Digimarc in what we believe will become the standard approach to giving plastics the capability to ‘inform’ sorting systems of their composition,” said Nicolas Lorenz, Chief Commercial Officer at PACCOR. He added, “We were pleasantly surprised at how quickly we were able to apply Digimarc Barcode signal representations to our PET thermoforms and achieve such high accuracy levels of detection.”

“PACCOR was an ideal choice for Digimarc to develop this first Digimarc Barcode clear PET thermoform prototype. Their technical capabilities were key to achieving this success in such short order,” said Larry Logan, Chief Evangelist at Digimarc and the company’s lead for its recycling initiatives. “We look forward to our relationship with PACCOR to continue to broaden the availability of the Digimarc Barcode in a wider array of plastic types and forms.”