Paper-based RFID tags: Stora Enso launches plastic-alternative authentication technology

Paper-based RFID tags: Stora Enso launches plastic-alternative authentication technology

07 Nov 2018 --- Stora Enso has introduced a paper-based RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag technology called ECO in a move intended to offer a more sustainable alternative to plastic-based RFID tags. ECO is designed for intelligent packaging functionalities in supply chain, retail and e-commerce applications. The technology is a recyclable solution for packaging authentication.

Intelligent Packaging by Stora Enso develops and delivers RFID technology, which allows the packaged product to be automatically tracked, traced and tamper-proofed throughout the entire supply chain. Stora Enso’s ECO technology enables the RFID tags to be produced on a 100 percent fiber-based paper label, unlike traditional plastic tags, resulting in a lower carbon footprint for sustainability conscious B2B and B2C companies.

Juha Maijala, Director Intelligent Packaging at Stora Enso explains to PackagingInsights that, “There have been other paper-based RFID tags in the market tags but unlike ECO they have not been able to match the durability and functionality of traditional plastic tags. Here we are the first in the industry.”

“The tags themselves are fully recyclable, just like regular paper or board. So, in theory, the recycled tags can be used to produce paper labels on which the antennas are integrated again.”

“One important thing to highlight is that ECO is not a niche product, but is ultimately designed to replace plastic RFID tags by matching or exceeding their qualities,” Maijala says.

By integrating the RFID tag with a paper label, the manufacturing process becomes more scalable and, as result, also more cost-effective – all without compromising on performance and reliability.

The ECO tag can be recycled in an environmentally friendly way together with paper and board materials. Moreover, it offers high conductivity at a lower cost compared with graphene or silver printed antennas.

“The launch of ECO creates a truly sustainable option for our customers and consumers, accelerating the use of smart technology in Stora Enso’s renewable solutions,” adds Martin Ros, Head of Stora Enso Intelligent Packaging.

“Our ECO technology is unique in the sense that it offers a recyclable and plastic layer free option for RFID end-users, thus enabling a digital and sustainable packaging infrastructure,” he says.

Indeed, Gilles van Nieuwenhuyzen, EVP Packaging Solutions Division at Stora Enso notes to PackagingInsights, “Many brand owners are already aggressively moving away from plastic packaging. But it doesn’t happen overnight, and our industry needs to supply solutions that can compete with plastics both when it comes to price and functionality.” 

“At Stora Enso we believe that everything that today comes from fossil-based materials can be made from a tree tomorrow.”

The ECO technology is available for use in multiple ongoing projects across multiple sectors.

By Joshua Poole

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