Digital Product Passports Transform Plastic Recycling in Japan’s Recycling Trials

The final face-to-face session of PoC participants announces the trials completed.
The final face-to-face session of PoC participants announces the trials completed. Courtesy of J-CEP

Revolutionizing the Fight Against Plastic Pollution

Digital Product Passports - Participating Companies

Circularise, a blockchain platform championing supply chain transparency, has joined forces with the Japan Circular Economy Partnership (J-CEP), AMITA Corporation, and Marubeni Corporation in a groundbreaking trial. This collaboration is raising the bar in the battle against plastic pollution by introducing digital product passports (DPPs) to meticulously track plastic bottle caps’ lifecycle, from collection to their rebirth as high-quality recycled products.

Urgency of the Plastic Cap Challenge

Over three decades, more than 20 million bottle caps have accumulated on global beaches, demanding urgent attention. J-CEP’s innovative “PET Bottle Cap Collection and Recycling Project,” initiated in October 2022, utilizes Circularise’s state-of-the-art traceability solutions. The goal is to convert waste into valuable consumer products and, in turn, elevate sustainability efforts.

The trials successfully generated two DPPs, meticulously tracing plastic bottle caps collected in Kobe City, Japan. The caps, sorted into polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) types, underwent successful recycling into high-quality consumer goods, marking a significant stride in sustainability.

Advancing Supply Chain Traceability

Circularise‘s triumph extends beyond environmental gains. The project serves as a testament to Circularise’s supply chain traceability software, employing the patented ‘Smart Questioning’ technology. This innovation enabled secure sharing of material compositions without compromising sensitive data, offering a glimpse into the future of privacy-conscious, sustainable supply chains.

Jordi de Vos, Circularise co-founder, emphasized the transformative potential of digital product passports, envisioning a paradigm shift in the recycling industry. The aim is to empower more companies with this technology, steering the industry toward a tangible circular economy.

From Proof of Concept to Societal Benefits

Following the triumphant Proof of Concept (PoC), J-CEP plans to amplify the conversation about the societal benefits of digital product passports in Japan. The initiative seeks to establish DPPs not merely as a regulatory requirement but as a strategic advantage for businesses and a consumer benefit.

This collaboration signals the prospect of widespread adoption of DPPs in the recycling industry, showcasing how this technology enhances resource efficiency and reduces waste. Circularise’s DPP, proven effective in plastic recycling, offers detailed tracking information, representing a pivotal stride in sustainable supply chain management. This innovation has the potential to revolutionize recycling globally, supporting the fight against climate change and serving as a model for eco-friendly practices across diverse industries.

By Plastics Engineering | January 10, 2024

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