Recycling Technology: Polytag and Biffa partner to help Ocado Retail, Co-op and Aldi gain unprecedented packaging lifecycle data

Polytag teamJun 14, 20247 min read

As part of RECOUP’s ‘Bottle to Bottle’ project, Polytag, the recycling technology company, and Biffa, the sustainable waste management company, will enable three of the UK’s largest retailers, the UK’s largest dairy cooperative, Arla Foods, and Müller Milk & Ingredients to better understand when and where their packaging is being recycled. This will also arm Biffa with invaluable real-time data to revolutionise its recycling operations.

Recycling tech pioneer, Polytag, and sustainable waste management company Biffa, have announced their collaboration with UK retailers Ocado Retail, Co-op, and Aldi to provide them with never-before-seen packaging lifecycle data. The businesses have joined forces as part of plastics, resource, efficiency and recycling charity RECOUP’s 26-week long ‘Bottle to Bottle’ project, in conjunction with label printer Interket UK, the UK’s largest dairy co-operative Arla Foods and Müller Milk & Ingredients.

The project will see Co-op’s water bottles and Aldi and Ocado’s milk marked with UV 2D tags, printed by Interket UK, with a Polytag UV tag reader retrofitted onto the plastic conveyor at Biffa’s Teesside MRF in the northeast of England.

Through monitoring analytics via the Polytag dashboard, the retailers will be able to access real-time data insights, such as where, when and how much packaging has been recycled to help optimise sustainability strategies.

Moreover, Polytag will enable Biffa to start to capture real-time data on packaging composition directly through their processing operations, informing recycling strategy, investment in sorting, recovery equipment, and the onward tracking of materials.

Alice Rackley, CEO of Polytag, commented: “Polytag is a practical solution delivering actionable insights to solve recycling challenges. We’re pleased to be working with RECOUP to form part of its innovative project to address recycling rates in northeast England. Growing numbers of stakeholders are becoming aware of the necessity of data to incite meaningful change when it comes to recycling, and we know the power this never-before-seen data can have for brands and retailers committed to delivering their sustainability goals”.

Anne Hitch, Business and Project Development Lead, for RECOUP, added: “RECOUP have long called for transparent, robust, and granular data on packaging recycling to give a complete picture of behaviours and help inform policy and infrastructure developments.”

Carla Brian, Senior Commercial Development Manager for Biffa also added: “Biffa is a pioneer in closed-loop plastic recycling, and we’re committed to exploring new technologies to further optimise resource recovery. We are delighted to be working with RECOUP and Polytag to gather new insights and data about plastic packaging, which will inform strategic decision-making and shape response to recycling policy in the UK.”

David Acott, Operations Director (UK) for Interket UK, continued: “Following the success of the initial project with Polytag and Ocado Retail, in which our Ecoket range of materials was used to print over 5 million labels onto the retailers’ packaging, we are proud to be involved again on a project with similarly exciting implications for the circular economy. By working with Polytag’s retrofitted technology, our labels open up hugely promising opportunities for brands and retailers. We are looking forward to seeing their impact.”

To learn more about Polytag’s UV tag reading technology, read the latest report on their website here:

To learn more about Biffa’s plastic recycling visit,