Newly-listed supply chain integrity and blockchain company Security Matters (ASX: SMX) has filed a new patent application in the United States for a technology designed to detect and extract plastic particles in the farming industry.
The unique technology will be used to identify fragments and shreds found in packages, stacks or bales of crop or within a moving bulk of crop during activities such as post-harvest processing.
It employs a marking technology which can be applied to plastic products such as films, nets and packaging and easily identified within crops for extraction.
Plastic pollution of agricultural land is a global problem with studies showing up to 700,000 metric tonnes of microplastic is added annually to farms in North America and Europe, affecting water supplies, crops, produce and the environment.
According to the European Commission, the EU market for plastic mulch is estimated to be 100,000 tonnes per annum however only 32% of plastic is collected at the end of use, with the rest either landfilled, left in soils or burned.
In addition, only 3000tpa of plastic mulch currently on the EU market is biodegradable.
Security Matters co-founder and chief executive officer Haggai Alon said the company’s technology may assist in identifying plastic mulch and removing it.
“Plastic contamination in farming and agriculture is a global issue and we are working hard to reduce and even prevent this happening entirely,” he said.
Israel-based Security Matters was admitted to the Australian Stock Exchange last week following an oversubscribed initial public offering which raised $6 million before costs, issuing 30,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares at $0.20 per share to 370 new institutional and high net worth investors.
It is one of 18 Israeli companies to be currently trading on the ASX.
The company was founded on its “Intelligence on Things” marking technology, which claims to offer a safe and effective way of tracking items and providing a tamperproof record of movements through the supply chain from raw materials to manufacturing and sale.
Initially developed and proven by the Israeli government, the concept encompasses resilient physical marking and tagging, translating to the creation of a ‘digital twin’ connected to innovative blockchain technology for brand protection and supply chain integrity.
The technology is reported to provide a viable solution across multiple sectors including the global anti-counterfeit market, which was estimated in 2015 to be worth US$1.77 trillion.
At mid-afternoon trade, shares in Security Matters were up 42.86% to $0.40.