Innovation

Reath technology introduces ‘next generation’ reuse tracking software

A female-founded tech solution company based in Edinburgh has presented its objective of building upon reuse and RFID technology to create ‘next generation’ reuse tracking software, as well as generating a customisable footprint calculator for reuse platforms.

Reusable packagingReath told Resource that it works alongside a variety of industries – from food and drink packaging (e.g. Marks and Spencer’s ‘Fill Your Own’ scheme), to cosmetics and cleaning/chemical products (e.g. Unilever and Fill Refill) – to track a variety of reusable packaging (e.g. B2B and B2C, primary and secondary packaging).

Through focusing on data, the company offers brands a toolkit to manage and grow reuse systems. For instance, offering a ‘digital twin’ for various products in order to eliminate packaging waste.

In terms of the ‘digital twin’, and who it is designed to be viewed by, Reath explained to Resource that its clients are in ‘full control of who can add or see data across their supply chain and third parties’. They are also in control of what data can be added or viewed.

This is as a result of the system’s design to ‘solve the challenge of data sharing across the supply chain in circular/reusable packaging systems’.

Using the example of its work with Bower Collective, where customers can use the QR code on the packaging to see what product is in the packaging and how many times the packaging has been reused, Reath highlights that data can further be shared with the end consumer.

Additionally, its ‘footprint calculator’ for the reusable packaging scheme collects data and is set to be shareable/retrievable via an Application Programming Interface (API) to a company's overall carbon/ESG reporting dashboards.

Reath gives each item of reusable packaging a Digital Passport, which collects ‘stamps’ in as it is reused. The company told Resource that each of its clients will design their own system and choose what events they want to ‘stamp’ in the Digital Passport (e.g. cleaned, filled, out with customer).

Stamps will be added when the packaging is scanned – done through an automated scanner at-scale (e.g. on a filling line) or by handheld scanning devices (e.g. items being individually QA checked).

If the company has reusable packaging but has not given each piece a unique ID, Reath says it can work with any type of tag (e.g. QR, RFID etc). As well as this, if the company already has packaging with a unique identifier on it (e.g. a GS1 General Reusable Asset ID), Reath can map the ID to our database and work with the existing ID contained on the tag.

Reath is one of six projects to win the ‘Bring It Back’ fund from Hubbub and Starbucks – an initiative to find new solutions and systems for sustainable packaging in the food and beverage industry.