Aldi is latest supermarket to trial invisible tags to track recycling data

Aldi will partner with recycling technology company Polytag to trace materials processing in its supply chain more extensively.

Invisible UV tags created by the tech company will be trialled from July 2023 and will send data to Aldi’s Biffa Teeside recycling centre using scannable QR codes.

The data will allow the retailer to track an item’s journey through the process and accurately calculate the quantity of its packaging that is actually recycled.

Aldi UK plastics and packaging director Luke Emery said: “We are constantly working to be a more sustainable retailer, so we are excited to see how Polytag’s data will enable us to access and analyse more data around our packaging lifecycles and use these learnings to accelerate our progress towards our sustainability goals.”

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As part of its wider sustainability drive earlier this year the supermarket also joined the UK’s Refill Coalition and will launch refill stations for dried goods such as cereals and pasta.

Aldi is not the only grocer to increase its focus on packaging and recycling. Earlier this year Big 4 supermarket Tesco launched a new recycling scheme for its ready meals, and fellow grocer Co-op is using Polytag technology on its PET 2-litre bottles.

“Leading retailers in the UK are awake to the fact that the only way we will truly tackle the waste problem in this country is by using data,” said Polytag CEO Alice Rackley.

“Gaining access to real-time packaging lifecycle information will be a game-changer, enabling retailers to develop a greater understanding of their products’ journey and make meaningful progress towards their sustainability pledges.”



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