Sustainable packaging solutions provider DS Smith has entered a partnership with Bioenzymatic Fuel Cells (BeFC) to expedite smart packaging solutions.  

BeFC is a French startup established in 2020 and specialises in fully recyclable smart tags development. 

This collaboration is part of Smith’s £100m ($125.18m) investment in research and development (R&D) and innovation. 

The investment, announced in 2021, aims to expedite works in the circular economy and create packaging with a reduced environmental impact. 

Smith group R&D director Magnus Renman said: “Corrugated packaging together with smart tech has a huge potential to reduce waste across the supply chain but we’re not quite yet where we need to be. We need more smart solutions that tackle inefficiency, cost and, most importantly, carbon emissions.  

“We’re excited to be addressing this challenge head-on with BeFC through innovative, circular solutions designed to slash losses and improve sustainability. With BeFC’s transformative technology, we’re set on revolutionising how every industry tackles the scourge of supply chain waste.” 

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The partnership will explore smart packaging solutions created from recyclable paper to ensure product quality and enhance supply chain efficiency during distribution and transportation.  

They will assess the possibility of real-time tracking and monitoring of products by embedding custom sensing platforms and data protocols. 

Another aspect of the investigation will address the reduction of waste by providing accurate information about product freshness and expiration dates, potentially extending shelf life and tackling wastage issues.  

The study will also consider how better load optimisation could lead to reduced carbon footprints and operational costs in shipping. 

BeFC CEO and co-founder Jules Hammond said: “The DS Smith × BeFC collaboration is a great example of combining shared expertise and resources to tackle inefficiencies and reduce waste and carbon emissions in supply chains whilst also understanding and validating compatibility with relevant recycling streams.” 

Earlier this month, Smith announced a new partnership with Jonsac, a Swedish manufacturer of sustainable e-commerce bags.