Science & Technology

Tech developers are using NFC tags to encourage plastic recycling

Over 1 million plastic bottles are made per minute and less than 10% of those are collected and turned into new bottles

NFC recycling

Tech developers are using NFC tags to encourage plastic recycling. Source:

In the near future consumers will be able to receive rewards at smart recycling points and roadside collecting fees for recycling plastic bottles and other reusable packaging.

In an initiative code-named SPRITE (Sustainable Plastics Recycling Innovation by Tagging Electronically), PET bottles and refillable packaging will be given unique digital IDs to support automated identification and recycling.

The technology is being developed by UK-based flexible electronics supplier PragmatIC, backed by the UK government’s Sustainable Innovation Fund.

Under SPRITE, PragmatIC will deliver a system that works alongside existing return and recycling schemes and uses NFC to uniquely identify Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) packaging. It will allow consumers to collect rewards anywhere using a network of smart recycling points and their existing kerbside recycling collections.

The project will also demonstrate the use of NFC to enhance refillable packaging models, where it can be used to encourage re-use and also provide the merchant with actionable data. Studies have shown that access to re-use and recycling opportunities is one of the key drivers for changing public behavior.

We are thrilled to have won this contract which furthers our mission to enable electronic solutions that improve everyday life. This is one of a number of initiatives where customers are using our technology to have a positive and lasting impact on the sustainability of our planet’s resources
Scott White, CEO of PragmatIC Semiconductor

We’ve reported that Santander is accelerating the rollout of eco-friendly cards.


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