JAPAN – Japanese chemical company DIC has collaborated with software company SAP to build a waste plastics traceability system using blockchain technology to boost sustainable outcomes and increase circularity in the chemicals industry.

DIC, one of Japan’s leading fine chemical manufacturers, produces and sells polystyrene, a synthetic resin used in a wide range of applications including plastic food containers.

As part of DIC’s sustainability strategy, the company launched a recycling initiative for food packaging in November 2020, bringing together new technologies and collection systems with its partner company to recycle more products like polystyrene that are normally not suitable for material recycling.

The pilot project with DIC will use GreenToken by SAP to track raw materials along the supply chain, from the initial stage of material generation.

The process aims to visualize the manufacturing process, the inspection process, physical properties, and quality information of the recycled materials.

This helps customers understand how much-recycled material is contained in their products when they use recycled plastic materials.

GreenToken by SAP is a system that uses private blockchain technology to make the supply chain transparent and track the process of plastic materials throughout the resource lifecycle.

Founded and developed in Asia Pacific and Japan as part of the SAP.io intrapreneurship start-up program, GreenToken by SAP can follow plastics from raw materials to the manufacture, sale, and use of products, through collection and pulverization to recycling and reuse.

This digital twin records information such as unique attributes related to the origin of raw materials, carbon footprint, the origins of recovered goods, and sustainability certification data.

The solution, which utilizes tokens, allows materials to be tracked even when they are mixed with other raw materials and processed into new products.

“Strong consumer awareness about circular economy has increased the demand for sustainable packaging,” said Yuji Morinaga, Executive Officer and General Manager of the Packaging Materials Product Division of DIC.

“The work with GreenToken helps substantiate environmental claims and supports our mission to advance the recycling of plastics and build a completely circular process with chemical recycling.”

Commenting on the partnership deal, James Veale, GreenToken by SAP’s co-founder, said: “Chemical recycling is key to accelerating the shift to a circular economy, however, plastic from chemically recycled plastic waste is indistinguishable from plastic from conventional sources.

“Our solution proves that it really is circular plastic and provides complete, auditable supply chain transparency. That means more trust in recycling from customers and ultimately less waste in the environment.”

Following the pilot, DIC and GreenToken will continue to partner to support DIC’s focus on increasingly urgent social imperatives and realizing a sustainable society.

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