Insight into the global alliance for a Digital DRS

A Digital DRS Alliance was created in October this year to promote a packaging digital deposit and refund system (Digital DRS) through serialised and connected packaging, including members such as recycl3R, Hashting, Domino, Circularity Solutions and IOTA, amongst others.

At a recent session during the AIPIA Smart Packaging Virtual Congress, recycl3R CEO Ivan Gonzalez shed some insight into the scheme and the solution that the alliance is planning to test in 2022 in some regions of Europe.

A Digital DRS (Digital Deposit Return Scheme) is a new approach to Deposit Return Schemes, enabled through digital tracking of consumer products. It aims for improved DRS performance to help step-change circular economies at significantly lower cost and carbon footprint.

The Digital DRS Alliance, which is a non-profit collaboration of the world’s leading industry and technology organisations, aim to build and validate a Global Standard for a Digital DRS with an open and fully-scalable system suitable for any multi-stakeholder environment, Gonzalez said.

“This is something we’ve been working on for two years now, considering circularity solutions. We are a non-profit collaboration between industry leaders and technology leaders around building a validated global standard for a digital deposit and refund system,” he mentioned.

“We need a global standard because companies sell or distribute items globally. So, we need to think about also about a multinational global design that works for all. It needs to be open and neutral, and something that everyone can be a part of.

“We need a standard that is fully scalable, fully flexible no matter the country’s collection system, and one that works with all the solution that we already having in the market.”

Gonzalez mentioned that the alliance is in talks with other organisations to further build the program as it is keen to test a few ideas it has conceptualised.  

“We have many others that we are in conversation with but our main members are from the recycling or sustainability fields and involved in packaging, IoT, or other leading technologies,” he said.

“The first step on the solution is that we want to use the standards that already exist right now. Basically, we want to use this opportunity of digital links to create a powerful business case that is valuable for brand owners and retailers in the supply chain.

“The second element here is the point-of-sale integration. What is needed is a standard as to how to share this information on the cloud so it’s very easy to the consumer to understand the brand behind the solution and its other offerings.

“The last element is collection, and how the collection is done. It can even be curbside collection or over the counter collection, the information just needs to be fed into the cloud. Why? Because we have multi stakeholders with different solutions delivering different technologies.

“So, if you think your organisation has something to offer this alliance, please reach out. We are planning different trials and pilots for next year so there are opportunities to be part of global solutions.”

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