Technology for High-value Plastics Waste Stream

About Polymark

The Polymark consortium represents the SME communities of Polymer Recyclers. The EU polymer recycling sector forms a vital part of the polymer sector and has an estimated annual turnover of €2,500 million generated by over 1,000 SMEs. However, our members have a major problem. Within the EU, a legislation (EC/282/2008) exists which states that plastic containers which have been used in a non-food application cannot, subsequently, be recycled and used in an application where it will come into contact with food. This is not the case for other major world markets (including the US), putting Europe at a significant disadvantage and therefore requiring an urgent solution.


Additionally, the food packaging industry is under pressure to use more recycled content but has difficulties accessing sufficient volumes of food contact approved recyclate. In our industry, recycling employs a combination of techniques that have been used for particular applications with varying degrees of success. However, they are all inefficient and expensive because there are no easy, reliable, rapid and low cost methods for distinguishing one plastic from another.


With the Polymark project, we captured this, to date, untapped market. Within the project we developed a food container marking and identification system that allows for a reliable separation of food contact approved from non-food contact approved post consumer plastic waste. The novelty is that the plastic itself is coded for an easy identification. The technology is also applicable to other plastic identification challenges. Next to benefiting the recycling community and the food packaging industry, it has also a positive environmental impact.


The Polymark achievements include:


  • Development of the Chemical Marker
  • Development of the Spectral Identification Technology
  • Development of the Polymark Industrial Scale Sorting System


For more detailed information, have a look at our brochure or our result section.



This project (FP7-SME-2012_POLYMARK-311777) has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research for the benefit of specific groups under grant agreement n° 311777.