TOKYO, JAPAN — July 8, 2022 — DIC Corporation announced today that it has partnered with SAP SE to undertake a pilot project using blockchain technology1 in the construction of a waste plastics traceability system that will advance the recycling of plastic resources.
DIC produces and sells polystyrene, which is used widely in containers for food products, among others. As part of its sustainability program, the Company promotes efforts to achieve greater circularity in the market for food packaging, a major focus.
In November 2020, DIC announced plans to collaborate with another company in the practical implementation of a closed-loop recycling system for polystyrene that maximizes the technologies, as well as the collection and recycling configurations, of both companies. This system employs chemical recycling technologies to enable the conversion of collected post-consumer foamed polystyrene containers not suitable for material recycling back into styrene monomer, polystyrene’s precursor, thereby facilitating the closed-loop recycling of these items.
Recent years have brought a worldwide increase in demand for the recycling of plastics, reflecting a rising awareness of the importance of sustainability. Companies using recycled plastics require accurate information on the origins of such raw materials and on comingled materials.
The new pilot project will use the GreenToken by SAP system to track raw materials across the entire supply chain, from the point of generation, to enhance the visibility of production and inspection processes, and of data pertaining to physical properties and quality. This will help customers understand how much recycled material is actually contained in the recycled plastics they are using.
GreenToken by SAP uses private blockchain technology to make the supply chain transparent, following materials throughout the resource life cycle, from origin through manufacture, sale, use, collection, pulverization, recycling and reuse. Digital twin technology2 makes it possible to record information, including unique raw material attributes related to origin, carbon footprint and source of collected polystyrene containers, as well as sustainability certification data, using tokens.3 The issue of tokens provides the means to track recycled materials even when they are mixed with other raw materials and processed into new products.
“Consumer awareness of the circular economy is high. This has increased demand for sustainable packaging,” says Yuji Morinaga, Executive Officer and General Manager of DIC’s Packaging Material Products Division. “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.”
GreenToken by SAP is a solution developed through SAP’s intrapreneurship program. “Chemical recycling is key to accelerating the shift to a circular economy,” explains its co-founder James Veale. “Plastic from chemically recycled plastic waste is indistinguishable from plastic from conventional sources. 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.”
In its DIC Vision 2030 long-term management plan, DIC identifies responding to a circular economy as a central sustainability strategy and as a challenge critical to the realization of a sustainable society. Looking ahead, the DIC Group will continue collaborating with customers and suppliers across its supply chain with the aim of achieving greater circularity in the important market for food packaging.
1. Blockchain technology is a database technology involving a continuously growing list of linked transaction records called blocks. Because stored transaction data is accessible to all parties and cannot be modified retroactively, blockchain is an effective choice for traceability that facilitates tracking of the production and distribution history of raw materials and products.
2. A digital twin is a virtual representation of a physical asset. Digital twin technology enables the accurate reproduction of production facilities and lines in cyber space, making it possible to grasp status, make future predictions, and enhance the efficiency of production and management.
3. A token is a crypt asset issued using blockchain technology. With GreenToken by SAP, tokens correspond to a specific volume of raw materials or products.
About Sun Chemical
Sun Chemical, a member of the DIC Group, is a leading producer of packaging and graphic solutions, color and display technologies, functional products, electronic materials, and products for the automotive and healthcare industries. Together with DIC, Sun Chemical is continuously working to promote and develop sustainable solutions to exceed customer expectations and better the world around us. With combined annual sales of more than $8.5 billion and 22,000+ employees worldwide, the DIC Group companies support a diverse collection of global customers.
Sun Chemical Corporation is a subsidiary of Sun Chemical Group Coöperatief U.A., the Netherlands, and is headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, U.S.A. For more information, please visit our website at www.sunchemical.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter.