Successful plastic recycling trial in Japan with Circularise’s digital product passports

    By Ashmeeta Subra  February 1st, 2024

    A successful trial in Japan has shown the potential of digital product passports to track and measure plastic bottle caps, recycling them into premium consumer goods.

    Digital traceability software company Circularise successfully trialled the digital product passports (DPPs) in collaboration with the Japan Circular Economy Partnership (J-CEP), AMITA Corporation, and Marubeni Corporation in efforts to combat plastic pollution.

    The DPPs in the trial were designed to track and verify the lifecycle of plastic bottle caps, from collection after their initial use through to the production of high-quality recycled products.

    According to Circularise, with the alarming collection of over 20 million plastic bottle caps from beaches worldwide over the past three decades, the urgency to address waste (and especially single-use plastic waste) is more pressing than ever. Launched in October 2022, J-CEP's "PET Bottle Cap Collection and Recycling Project" leverages Circularise's cutting-edge traceability solutions to transform waste into valuable consumer products.

    The trials produced two digital product passports (DPPs) for tracking plastic bottle caps gathered in Kobe City, Japan. After sorting them into polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) types, they were effectively recycled into premium consumer goods, marking a significant sustainability breakthrough.

    The project’s success extends beyond environmental impact to demonstrate Circularise’s supply chain traceability software with six Japanese companies. Employing Circularise’s patented ‘Smart Questioning’ technology, the secure sharing of material compositions was tested without exposing sensitive data, offering a glimpse into the future of privacy-conscious and sustainable supply chains.

    “Our work with J-CEP shows the potential of digital product passports to transform the recycling industry. Our vision is to arm more companies with this technology, driving a tangible shift towards a circular economy,” Circularise co-founder Jordi de Vos commented on the project’s outcome.

    Next, J-CEP plans to broaden the discussion on the societal benefits of DPPs in Japan with the goal to position them not only as a regulatory necessity, but also as a strategic asset for businesses and consumer advantage.

    Effective in plastic recycling, the DPP provides detailed tracking information and signifies a substantial progression in sustainable supply chain management. This could revolutionise global recycling efforts, supporting the action to address unnecessary waste and setting an example for eco-friendly practices in various industries.

    Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.

    Ashmeeta Subra

    With background in international relations and marketing communications, Ashmeeta is excited to use her skills to encourage positive environmental actions through Planet Ark. She believes that by taking small actions, we can help make a big difference and be good stewards of our planet. Outside of work, she loves spending time in nature and enjoying downtime at the beach.

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