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Smart reusable packaging

Low-cost intelligence for reusable packaging

Packaging waste poses a serious threat to our environment, with much of our plastic, paper, tin and glass taken to landfill sites, where it takes hundreds of years to decompose.

As concern mounts around the environmental impact of packaging, the pressure is on for manufacturers to move to reusable models. But due to cost, smart reusable packaging has typically been reserved for high-value items.  

Pragmatic’s solution – based on RFID tags enabled with flexible integrated circuits (FlexICs) – provides granular, asset-level data at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions, and a compelling opportunity to make reusable packaging at scale a reality.


of plastic production in Europe is solely destined for plastic packaging1


of estimated packaging waste per inhabitant in the EU in 20202


of single use plastic packaging could be replaced with a reusable alternative3


tonnes of carbon emissions from plastic production, use and disposal in 20191

FlexIC technology

Low-cost chips make digital intelligence viable for low-value items

NFC and RFID enable automated traceability throughout the reuse cycle

Secure, reliable data provides actionable insights and protects automated collection points against fraud

A digitalised circular economy of the future

With a carbon impact of <0.5gCO2 equivalent, each FlexIC typically increases the environmental impact of returnable items, such as smart coffee cups, by less than one per cent. This short animation demonstrates how FlexICs enable valuable insights and full traceability throughout the return cycle

Enabling circular systems

Adding intelligence to packaging at scale has, until now, proved prohibitive for all but high-value items, due to high unit cost.

Download our Application Spotlight to discover how low-cost FlexIC technology can underpin net-positive circular systems, providing asset-level data and high levels of automation and system scalability.

Download application spotlight
Traceable Packaging

Ultra-low-cost NFC enables reusable packaging to be digitally identifiable across its entire lifecycle

Reusable Packaging

Sustainable manufacturing

This whitepaper looks at the emissions profile of semiconductor manufacturing, and how Pragmatic’s optimised fabrication can help drive down the carbon footprint of smart devices.

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Promoting reusability by design

Pragmatic works with RECOUP, a leading authority on the plastics recycling value chain. Learn how Pragmatic’s technology enables reuse systems in RECOUP’s latest report.

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Supporting Technology-enabled Reusable Assets for a Circular Economy (TRACE)

Pragmatic is leading TRACE, an Innovate UK project aiming to make reusable packaging at scale a reality. 

Read the case study

Reusable packaging at scale

How can smart reusable packaging be implemented at scale? Our circular economy lead, Josh Young, talks to Packaging Europe.

Read the article

Explore the Circular Economy

Find out more about how our unique Flexible IC technology enables a multitude of applications including creating a more circular economy, enabling more traceability and sustainable agriculture.

Circular Economy
Circular Economy

1 OECD Global Plastics Outlook Database

2 Eurostat

3 Ellen Macarthur Foundation/New Plastics Economy  

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