BASF’s reciChain project to track plastics throughout their life cycles
BASF's circular economy supply chain for plastics
BASF

BASF’s reciChain project to track plastics throughout their life cycles

The pilot project seeks to improve the circular economy and the traceability of recycled plastics in Canada.

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A number of companies have joined together in reciChain, a pilot project organized by BASF designed to strengthen the circular supply chain, extend the life cycle of plastics, incentivize recycling, reduce waste and enhance resource efficiency in Vancouver, British Columbia. The British Columbia pilot expands on a pilot BASF is running in Brazil.  

BASF Canada, CSSA, Layfield, London Drugs, Merlin Plastics, Nova Chemicals, Recycle BC, Return-It, Save on Foods and V.I.P. Soap are offering in-kind contributions to enable the feasibility of the pilot, such as plastic material, testing and technical expertise.

ReciChain combines Australian company Security Matters’ blockchain solution with a physical marker that is designed to enable the secure sharing of transactional data while improving the sorting, tracing and monitoring of plastics throughout the value chain. Implementing these technologies, value chain actors conceivably could generate tokens or “plastics credits” that would increase in value as plastics go through additional loops. These credits could then be used to incentivize producers to design for recyclability, thus enhancing the circular economy, according to a news release about the pilot from BASF Canada.

BASF Canada, headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, also is partnering with Deloitte as a strategic advisor on the British Columbia project.

“We are grateful to count on broad stakeholder representation throughout the whole life cycle of plastics, including polymerization and recycling,” says Marcelo Lu, president, BASF Canada. “With their support, along with the disruptive technology from Security Matters, our pilot will allow us to move from concepts and policy dialogue to tangible solutions in making advances in plastic circularity possible in Canada.”

ReciChain’s track and trace technology marks plastic products with a unique “chemical barcode” and connects them to a digital twin. Both rigid and flexible plastic products will be used during the pilot to test the feasibility of the marker technology in the reverse logistics process. The pilot will allow users to access and verify information associated with the production of the material, supporting producers' recycled content targets and retailers' plastic waste diversion targets and further closing the plastic loop, the news release states.

The pilot also will include parallel testing of BASF’s trinamiX near-infrared spectroscopy solution, a hand-held scanner that detects and documents the composition of plastics.

BASF says it plans to expand reciChain nationwide to position Canada as a leading country in recycling and recovery of plastics.

More about reciChain and potential partnership opportunities is at www.basf.ca/reciChain.