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Dainippon Printing, Mitsubishi use blockchain for sustainable packaging

plastic packaging food

Three large Japanese companies are planning a blockchain project with Dutch firm Circularise to demonstrate their use of biomass and recycled raw materials for food packaging. The three firms are Dainippon Printing (DNP), Mitsubishi Chemicals and Refinverse, which recycles plastics.

To enhance the sustainability of their products, Dainippon Printing and Mitsubishi Chemicals are reducing the volume of petroleum-based raw materials and replacing them with biomass and recycled plastics. But they want to demonstrate that they’re doing this, particularly for DNP’s Green Packaging brand, which is used for foods and other daily necessities.

Additionally, the companies want to be able to visualize the emissions of each supplier, including CO2, so that they can pass on data about the environmental impact to consumers.

Circularise will use a public blockchain for the solution, but it uses encryption so that only the appropriate information is shared. It has existing partnerships with PorscheMarubeniCovestro and DOMO.

The blockchain sustainability startup also has Smart Questioning technology, which means that a buyer can query data about supplier processes and others further down the supply chain without revealing all the suppliers. For example, it could query whether any suppliers use a certain percentage of biomass or recycled materials.

Dainippon printing plans to conduction a verification test of the system by the end of September.

Blockchain is increasingly being used to verify sustainability claims. Just yesterday, the BIS and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced plans to trial blockchain for green bonds, including verifying sustainability claims. 

However, plastic recycling is an area that is attracting even more attention, and especially in Japan. Circularise is working with Marubeni for plastics traceability and IBM is working with Mitsui Chemicals and Nomura Research on a recycling consortium. IBM also partnered with Asahi Kasei for the same purpose.