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Security Matters develops blockchain-powered recycling conveyor

plastic recycling

Today, the blockchain digital twin company Security Matters (SMX) announced that it had completed the construction of its blockchain-enabled conveyor belt detector. This was designed specifically for the plastics industry to identify objects for recycling using its invisible chemical marker.

The announcement comes two months after SMX raised $4.7 million, of which AUD 1 million was earmarked for conveyor readers for sorting and recycling facilities. This has swiftly translated into the completion of their new conveyor belt system.

Traceability has been a prominent issue for the plastics sector. Producers and buyers need to track and trace plastic packaging through all stages of the value chain in a transparent way, particularly in the sorting and mechanical recycling stages.

The system can determine the percentage of recycled content, the type of polymer used, and the number of times the polymer has been recycled.

“The SMX Plastic Circular Economy online unit is a revolutionary system that will unlock the ability to reclaim and reuse all types of plastic content,” said Haggai Alon, Founder and CEO of SMX. “By utilizing SMX’s breakthrough technology to ‘mark’ the plastic at virgin stage as well as at recycling and sorting facilities – this will enhance the sorting capability, resulting in higher rates of plastic recycling content.”

How it works

SMX’s technology allows users to permanently mark any object, whether solid, liquid or gas, to enable identification, proof of authenticity and traceability. The object is marked through a hidden chemical-based ‘barcode’ or fingerprint. It can then be read using the company’s unique reader, which accesses the corresponding stored data that is recorded and verified on a blockchain.

The conveyor belt system is now ready to be integrated as part of any sorting or recycling facilities. SMX is currently in commercial discussions with a number of its strategic partners.

While SMX’s didn’t mention any specific partners, German chemical company BASF partnered with SMX for the BASF blockchain plastic recycling pilot, reciChain, using its chemical marker. That solution also uses digital badges to identify polymer types stored on the blockchain to share data amongst market participants securely.

Others are also focused on recycling plastics, including German plastics companies DOMO and Covestro that piloted a solution from Circularise. The Dutch startup has also partnered with Porsche and Marubeni. IBM is targeting the Japanese sector for plastics recycling and traceability and is working with Mitsui Chemicals and Asahi Kasei.