Smartrac Develops Fully Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly RFID Tags

RFID solutions leader, Smartrac Technology, has announced a technical partnership with 4E Antenna AB, a leading producer of paper-based antennas and circuits, to further strengthen true sustainability in RFID products and applications. In compliance with Smartrac’s Green Tag Program, both companies will jointly develop RFID inlays and tags which are fully sustainable and environmentally friendly. These new products aim to address businesses that recognize the value and importance of a truly reduced carbon footprint and greatly reduced environmental impact, in a wide number of markets such as smart packaging, supply chain management, retail and many more.

Smartrac announced its comprehensive Green Tag Program earlier this year, taking on an obligation to manufacture RFID products that verifiably meet strict criteria regarding the use of recyclable substrates, avoidance of heavy metals, and non-use of chemical etching in the production of aluminum antennas. By joining forces with 4E Antenna AB, Smartrac can now produce “Green Tags” in volume, using paper substrates and aluminum antennas which are made without any chemicals being involved, while maintaining the same performance characteristics as standard RFID tags. This results in the complete recycling of aluminum residues, the absence of PET substrate as well as a reduction in adhesive usage, hence a significant carbon footprint reduction.

As a first outcome of the partnership and based on 4E Antenna AB’s technology, Smartrac presented one of its first new Green Tags, the new WEB Green inlay, at the RFID Journal Live! 2019 event in Phoenix. Smartrac’s WEB Green inlay is essentially compliant with all other comparable, high-quality WEB inlays regarding performance and applications.

These inlays are designed for the unique identification of items such as apparel and electronics and are particularly suitable for item-level retail applications, offering high performance and best-in-class orientation sensitivity. Volume production of the new WEB Green inlay will be available by June 2019. Smartrac’s Green Tag Program is expected to grow fast, and further new, green product introductions will be added in the coming weeks.

Specifically, the production process for 4E Antenna’s paper-based RFID antennas, according to Lars Granbom, the company CEO, begins with a special laminate of aluminum and paper substrate. A laser is then used to precision-cut an antenna design from the aluminum layer. By leveraging Smartrac’s proven global expertise in designing and producing premium RFID inlays and tags, the benefits of this innovative manufacturing approach will have a significantly positive environmental and economic impact worldwide.

4E Antenna AB is a Walki Group associated company and a global market leader in green antenna technology. The patented technology enables a very cost effective and flexible production of paper based, plastic free antennas and circuits. The production process is environmentally friendly with no usage of toxic chemical and recycling of all aluminum and paper residues. The company has its registered headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, with production in Jakobstad, Finland.

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