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How digital watermarking for intelligent sorting can contribute to sustainability strategies

During the HolyGrail 2.0 Open House Event on 2 November 2021 in Copenhagen, a high-level panel discussion with sustainability experts explored different perspectives on how digital watermarking for intelligent packaging sorting can contribute to the companies' sustainability strategies.



Moderated by Tim Sykes from Packaging Europe, the following companies and organisations, all active members of HolyGrail 2.0, participated:

- Sophie Génier, Materials and Recycling Manager at CITEO

- Joachim Quoden, Managing Director at EXPRA

- Christopher McArdle, Vice President Strategy at Borealis

- Christian Kampmann, Managing Director at PreZero

- Steffen Zoëga Thorøe, Project Manager Waste Reduction at ARLA Foods

- Virginie Hellas, Chief Sustainability Officer at Procter & Gamble

- Jonas Engberg, Head of Climate at COOP Denmark


All participants highlighted that, within the HolyGrail 2.0 Initiative, the cooperation of more than 160 companies and organisations across the packaging value chain is absolutely unique and outlines the huge potential of this technology. One of the main strengths of the digital watermarks technology is that it opens up new sorting possibilities that are currently not feasible with existing technologies, such as to successfully sort food vs. non-food packaging.


Participants highlighted that - in order to make HolyGrail 2.0 a success - it is crucial that more commitments from brands and retailers to put digitally watermarked packaging in the test markets Denmark, Germany and France are needed to facilitate the upcoming industrial test phase in 2022. This could be achieved, for instance, by communicating on the great progress made by enhancement experts in devising enhancement techniques that have almost no impact on the artwork. Besides, it will be crucial to ensure that not only global players, but also local companies and organisations active in different countries engage in the Initiative and adopt the technology.