How we keep track of packaging as we work to tackle waste

How we keep track of packaging as we work to tackle waste

Tony Kington, CEO, writes, “The United Nations Environment Assembly has proposed a global treaty to compel countries to reduce the amount of plastic they produce and discard. The treaty could include international rules to reduce unnecessary plastic packaging and replace it with more sustainable alternatives.

Reducing Packaging

Recycling helps to conserve natural resources and reduces CO2 emissions by 700 million tonnes a year. When we consider that 40% of waste plastic results from discarded packaging, it’s imperative that we explore how we can extend the useful life of product containers.

Omni-ID has committed to reducing the amount of plastic that we use by 80% by the end of 2022. We are currently researching alternative packaging materials. Although these could cost more than our current materials, we believe it’s an investment worth making.

Reuse not Refuse

Recycling is an important practice to adopt within industry and our own personal behaviour. However, recycling still requires energy, water, and other resources to reclaim cardboard, plastics and to safely dispose of inks and glues. So, improving reusability within the supply chain is even better for the environment.

As a supplier of asset tracking and identification products that vastly improve efficiency in warehousing and logistics, we have been approached by several companies to support their reusable packaging solutions in the industrial and consumer space.

Supporting the Circular Economy

Our partner, Lyngsoe Systems, recently commissioned us to develop embedded RFID tags for Packoorang®, a Norwegian company that was founded to tackle ecommerce packaging waste. Packoorang uses fully recycled and reusable packages which are designed to withstand between one hundred and five hundred return trips. A standard-sized Packoorang mailbag is made from recycled clothing and 15 recycled plastic bottles. Our technology combines RFID with NFC so that consumers can scan a QR code on the bag using their mobile phone to earn loyalty points and participate in competitions.

Reusability at Scale

One of Asia’s largest dairy food producers has set a target to reduce its single-use cardboard packaging by 25%. It is investing in our embedded RFID tags to more efficiently track the return of its reusable packaging, which can be flat-packed to reduce the space taken up in trucks returning to dairies.

The role of RTIs

In an earlier post we shared some of the ways that our industrial tags are used to track returnable transport items (RTIs) including auction trolleys used by FloraHolland, flower trolleys used by Container Centralen and Gitterboxes used by automobile manufacturers throughout Europe.

In addition to operating its own uptrade and recycling initiatives, our parent company, HID IDT provides a number of RTI asset management solutions. These include its RAIN® Keg Tags, which combine RFID and NFC to enable beer kegs to be more efficiently tracked in transit and returned to breweries in the US and Asia, saving them the cost of replacing lost kegs, and saving the environment from being polluted with discarded kegs. The robust 860-960 MHz UHF tags, with up to 2560 bits EEPROM, have a read range of up to 10 meters to enable a reader to identify an entire pallet, or truckload of barrels within seconds. The NFC component allows keg recipients to confirm deliveries and arrange collection of empty kegs from their mobile phones. The tags are also used for the efficient tracking and return of chemical drums, and metal gas cylinders.

RFID in waste management

For the past decade, waste management and recycling software company, AMCS Group, has been using HID’s durable RFID Bin Tag transponder and OEM readers to help refuse management businesses and municipalities to gain real-time visibility of collections, record the weight of individual bins, and to reduce call center costs resulting from residents and businesses reporting missed collections.

HID IDT produces a range of robust LF, HF and UHF passive, contactless transponders which are easily attached to standard-sized nests and waste containers, allowing waste management teams to track frequency and weight of collections, monitor sorting quality, and support incentive-based invoicing to encourage recycling.

An eye on the future

Plastics have become ubiquitous because of their ability to withstand the elements and provide durable casings, bags, coverings and containers. However, this is the same feature that blights the environment once they are finally discarded, demanding that we move away from single-use plastics. The Omni-ID team is currently running a research and development program to investigate the use of biodegradable RFID labels for short-term tracking applications.

These are just a few of the examples of how RFID, BLE and NFC tags are supporting the world’s largest organisations in reducing waste at scale. If you’d like to discuss how our range of tracking and condition monitoring products can help your organisation to recycle, return and reuse its resources more efficiently, please get in touch at sales@omni-id.com.

##

References:

The Conversation – ‘Plastic waste treaty – Q&A on the promise of a global agreement to reduce pollution,’ March 4th2022 https://theconversation.com/plastic-waste-treaty-expert-qanda-on-the-promise-of-a-global-agreement-to-reduce-pollution-178446

Lyngsoe Systems https://www.lyngsoesystems.com

Packoorang https://www.packoorang.com

The Explorer Eco-friendly reusable packaging for e-commerce https://www.theexplorer.no/solutions/eco-friendly-reusable-packaging-for-e-commerce/

Omni-ID blog ‘Seven ways RFID supports international supply chains’ https://omni-id.com/seven-ways-rfid-supports-international-supply-chains/

HID IDT Keg Tag https://www.hidglobal.com/products/rfid-tags/identification-technologies/keg-tag

HID IDT Bin Tag https://www.hidglobal.com/solutions/rfid-waste-management

HID IDT Waste Management Solutions https://www.hidglobal.com/sites/default/files/resource_files/hid-waste-management-rfid-solutions-br-en.pdf

HID IDT AMCS case study https://www.hidglobal.com/sites/default/files/resource_files/amcs-cs-en.pdf

AMCS Waste Management Software, Recycling Software https://www.amcsgroup.com

https://www.hidglobal.com/

Recent Blog Posts

Why RFID is Such a Cool Technology

The theme of this year’s World Refrigeration Day which happened a few days ago on 26th June was ‘Cooling Matters’, focusing on the importance of refrigeration for food safety, medicines, data centers and air conditioning. And cooling really does matter for our health, welfare, productivity and economy, as we’ll explore below: Food safety – Our […] Read More

World Fish Migration Day – How UHF RFID Helps Scale up Fish Counts to Tackle Seafood Sustainability

Charles Vilner, UK Engineering Director, Omni-ID, writes, May 21st marks World Fish Migration Day, when conservationists highlight the need to keep the world’s rivers healthy to help migratory fish populations to recover. In addition to dams blocking access to breeding grounds and pollution of rivers and oceans, fish face a number of challenges which threaten […] Read More

Why RFID is Such a Vital Link in Global Supply Chains

April 21st is World Creativity and Innovation Day (#WCID). It’s also Supply Chain Day. #WCID was founded by the United Nations to highlight the importance of creative thinking for the development of innovative practical solutions that tackle the world’s most urgent problems. Considering the multiple challenges currently affecting global supply chains, today is a fitting […] Read More