A Chat With Alice Rackley, CEO at Circular Economy Company: Polytag

Tell us a little about Polytag


Polytag is enabling circular economies. We are a collection of staunch believers in the importance of leveraging digital technologies to reverse stagnating recycle rates, improve visibility of packaging lifecycles, and make sustainability a commercial imperative.

We’re the ones delivering connected packaging solutions with our GS1 compliant QR codes across the globe; we offer a low-cost and easy to operate solutions, which complement existing supply chain and manufacturing processes, so that brands can unlock new marketing channels with a measurable ROI and achieve their sustainability strategy through practical and useful tools.  


Our technology | Polytag blog


How did you come up with the idea of the company? 


Polytag is built on the expertise of three co-founders who bring a unique combination of knowledge in recycling, plastic packaging, digital retail, and 2D barcoding – this foundation on which Polytag was founded has enabled us to build and deliver a solution which works, and which compliments the way the FMCG manufacturing and packaging sector operates, and improve the way we approach recycling plastic and consumer behaviour for the good of the planet and people.

Polytag’s unique offering has gained significant market traction, onboarding Ocado, the Co-op, Aldi, amongst other national brands and retailers hitting their ESG milestones with flying colours. 



What do you think makes Polytag unique?


Our end-to-end connected packaging solutions start from the manufacturing process and provide traceability throughout the supply chain particularly at points of disposal and recycling. All this insight is collected on an easy-to-use dashboard, personalised to each brand and company, and extractable to be used for any other business operation. From ESG targets to carbon foot printing, from EPR to plastic packaging tax.

In addition, our solution unlocks new marketing opportunities so that brands can talk directly to their consumers from the QR code on-pack and deliver hyper-relevant content at barcode level. Serialised QR codes also unlock loyalty and reward opportunities managed through own-brand apps or third-party apps delivering generous discounts and vouchers to deliver a measurable ROI. 


How has the company evolved over the last couple of years?


As our ambition and success grow, our team grows. We have embarked on several industry-first projects such as our project with Ocado with the help of recycling app, Bower. We have also partnered with Co-op, Aldi, and several small to medium (SME) drinks brands.

As such, we have onboarded significant expertise, with new Polytaggers joining us from platform tech solutions including Amazon and Tesco, soft drinks brands such as Britvic and Suntory, recycling operator Bryson recycling, and more. As our offering and capability in providing end-to-end connected packaging solutions strengthens, we will continue this upward trajectory building our proposition with our clients in mind.


What can we hope to see from Polytag in the future?


As an approved GS1 partner, we believe in the power of open standards to enable collaboration. Collaboration is what the circular economy needs to function successfully. The team behind Polytag will not stop until all the parts of the packaging supply chain are using GS1 standards to tag and trace packaging from the cupboard to the bin and beyond, and, sharing that information to bring transparency and efficiency to our global recycling agenda.

We understand we cannot fix the whole climate crisis. But in a small way, the Polytaggers are doing our bit for packaging recycling, and helping others to, too. We are on a great journey with like-minded brands who ‘get it’ and want to be part of a practical solution.