Special Report: ASX-listed Security Matters has signed global chemicals giant BASF up to use its plastics traceability technology.

Security Matters (ASX: SMX) has signed a binding collaboration agreement with world leading chemical producer BASF SE to develop solutions for plastics traceability and circularity.

The ASX company, which is focused on digitising physical objects on the blockchain to enable a circular and closed loop economy, will provide its technology to enable physical and digital tracking of closed loop recycling, authenticate sustainability claims and improve sorting of plastic waste.

The partnership leverages BASF’s extensive experience in plastic additives, regulatory capabilities, and understanding of the plastics value chain.

Security Matters will provide its track and trace solution that marks physical objects with a unique and unalterable chemical-based barcode.

“We are honoured to be working with BASF as the global leader in plastic additives. This collaboration is the first step in demonstrating how our technology can be used in a circular application,” said Security Matters founder and CEO Haggai Alon.

“By providing transparency of product lifecycles, we can create an entire technology driven ecosystem that promotes circularity and sustainability for plastics. Together we can accelerate the progress of the plastic industry towards a more innovative, resilient and productive economy.”


Plastics tracing with a barcode

Security Matters’ barcode has been specifically engineered to withstand manufacturing and recycling processes, without altering the appearance or performance of the object.

Using proprietary technology, the barcode makes a record on a blockchain enabled digital ledger and captures a wide variety of information, including polymer type or recycled content.

This information enables recyclers to improve the quality of recycled materials through improved sorting of plastics, thereby using the recycled plastics in more valuable applications.

It also enables brand owners to authenticate the recycled content in a given plastic article.


Towards a resource efficient future

With their unique characteristics and when used properly, plastics contribute to a more sustainable and resource efficient future.

However, to move towards a circular economy, more plastic waste needs to be recovered and reused before disposal.

Though there is great progress towards chemical recycling, the most common method is to mechanically recycle plastic.

Currently, recycled plastic loses its mechanical performance properties and quality compared to virgin plastic due to polymer degradation and residual impurities.

The recycling infrastructure is also expensive and complicated, and simply does not exist in many parts of the world.

“To tackle the global challenge, we have to rethink plastic applications with its end of life in mind. It is essential to progress toward a circular economy approach that closes the loop on end-of-life resources and allows us to recover and recycle plastics as efficiently as possible,” said Achim Sties, BASF SE senior vice president of Performance Chemicals Europe.

“This game-changing technology from Security Matters could capture information of the polymer and how the plastic moves through the entire production and distribution process.

“We will be able to devise an appropriate additive package for our customers and other players in the value chain using recycled material to capture more material value and increase resource productivity.”

This story was developed in collaboration with Security Matters, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing. This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.