Polytag announces industry-led recycling scheme with M&S as founding partner

Polytag teamMay 15, 20247 min read

Polytag Partners With M&S For Industry-Led Recycling Scheme


Leading recycling technology firm, Polytag, has announced UK retailer, M&S, as a founding member of its Polytag Ecotrace Programme an initiative set to optimise the tracing and recycling of single-use plastic packaging in the UK.

Aimed at revolutionising the UK’s recycling system, the Polytag Ecotrace Programme will deploy a wide network of Polytag’s Invisible UV Tag detection equipment in strategically chosen recycling centres that handle high volumes of waste. FMCG brands, retailers, and waste management businesses are invited to get involved in the programme to unlock granular data on over 50% of the UK’s household waste recycling stream. As a founding member of the programme, M&S, will gain real-time insights into where, when, and how much of its single-use plastic packaging is collected and sorted at recycling centres across the UK. This never-before-seen data – at barcode level – will provide a verified benchmark for understanding recycling rates of its used plastic packaging. As recycled PET plastic materials sustain high demand from FMCG brand owners, Polytag’s Invisible UV Tags are easily printed onto labels at production. Once the packaging item enters the recycling stream at a recycling centre, a Polytag UV Tag Reader identifies the Invisible UV Tag. Detecting materials allows for accurate sorting and cleaner feedstock for UK-sourced recycled PET packaging materials. The industry is called to join the Polytag Ecotrace Programme, in which members will support the deployment of a nationwide Invisible UV Tag Reader network and get a subscription to the Polytag dashboard. The online hub displays live lifecycle data on a brand’s plastic packaging materials as they enter the recycling stream, from consumer to recovery. Commenting on the Polytag Ecotrace Programme, Alice Rackley, CEO of Polytag, said: “Currently, FMCG brands have no visibility of what happens to its single-use plastic once it has been put in the bin. As Extended Producer Responsibility Legislation comes into force, brands will need to take responsibility for packaging materials. “Not only does our Ecotrace Programme aim to solve this problem by bringing together leading players across the UK to capture barcode-level information on single-use plastic, but it stands as an example of what passion and collaboration paired with tangible action can do. We would like to thank M&S for being the first partner to join our new initiative. Other businesses that are interested in joining the programme should get in touch and become part of this story, which is set to shake up the industry.”

To learn more about the Polytag Ecotrace Programme, visit here

About Polytag Polytag has developed UV Invisible Tags, invisible to the human eye and read at enabled Material Recovery Facilities. These Invisible UV Tags allow businesses to access packaging recycling data in real-time, helping them to meet packaging regulations responsibilities. These tags are currently being successfully detected in two sites, Abergele’s Gofer Bulking Centre and Biffa Teesside. Further roll-out of units is scheduled for 2024/25. Polytag also applies GS1 approved Digital Link QR codes to packaging to improve traceability and to provide direct-to-consumer marketing opportunities at barcode-level.

Learn more about Polytag’s QR and Invisible UV Tags by visiting its website here: https://polytag.io/ecotrace