Japanese chemical company DIC Corporation (DIC) has partnered with application software firm SAP to develop a waste plastic traceability system to increase the recycling of plastic resources.

The pilot project will use GreenToken by SAP, a private blockchain solution, to track raw materials along the supply chain from the initial stage of material generation.

The process aims to improve the visibility of manufacturing and inspection processes, as well as that of data related to quality and physical properties.

GreenToken by SAP records information such as unique attributes related to the origin of raw materials, carbon footprint, the origin of collected polystyrene containers and sustainability certification data using tokens.

The digital twin technology allows materials to be tracked even if they are combined with other raw materials and processed into new products.

DIC packaging material products division executive officer and general manager Yuji Morinaga said: “Consumer awareness of the circular economy is high. This has increased demand for sustainable packaging.

“Our work with the GreenToken helps substantiate environmental claims and supports our mission to advance the recycling of plastics and build a closed-loop recycling system that employs chemical recycling.”

SAP developed GreenToken by SAP through its intrapreneurship programme.

The technology makes the supply chain transparent at all points, from origin to manufacture, sale, use, collection, pulverisation, recycling and reuse.

GreenToken by SAP co-founder James Veale said: “Our solution proves that it really is circular plastic and provides complete, auditable supply chain transparency.

“That means more trust in recycling from customers and ultimately less waste in the environment.”

DIC manufactures polystyrene, a polymer widely used in containers for food products and other applications.

The company aims to achieve greater circularity in the food packaging market as part of its sustainability programme.