Co-op and Polytag introduce UV codes in own brand plastic bottles to track recycling

Food retail business Co-op has partnered with technology business Polytag to launch a new recycling initiative, which aims to collect recycling data and uncover the number of recycled Co-op plastic bottles. This development could improve the retailer’s understanding of its own recycling figures and potentially help benchmark future rates for the industry.

Polytag works to provide information about packaging lifecycles in the circular economy, providing support for Co-op’s addition of a UV invisible code to the label of one of its own-brand spring water lines. Co-op says that it will consider further expansion to this trial as it develops.

According to the businesses, when the bottle reaches a specific recycling centre in North Wales the UV code will be identified by specialist equipment fitted to the sorting machines. Data collected through this process will then be uploaded in ‘real-time’ to a cloud.