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Polytag prepares for the DRS rush by appointing new CEO

Polytag, which provides unique describe, tag and trace technology to enable the plastic packaging circular economy, has announced Alice Rackley as its new CEO.

The former Head of UK Retail at GS1 UK – the global data-standards organisation – will lead the business through a period of accelerated growth and oversee the next phase of technology development as the UK prepares for the widespread deployment of deposit return schemes (DRS).

Polytag is part of the Econpro group of businesses, which have been providing solutions for tackling problematic waste streams for over 12 years. The Wales-based company has developed technology to enable the packaging circular economy and will deliver platform services to meet the evolving needs of government, retailers, brands and plastic packaging producers, as inevitable legislative and consumer pressures disrupt the sector over the coming years.

Rackley brings deep retail sector expertise, along with strong technical and operational skills. Over 18 years she has helped businesses develop and deliver disruptive consumer technologies, as well as pioneering Marks & Spencer’s first suite of apps (for mobile devices and in-store touch screens) and developing an e-commerce supply chain model to fulfil dotcom orders out of a network of stores.

Having spent 18-months working in India, where she oversaw the launch of the M&S brand on various marketplaces (Jabong and Myntra), Rackley returned to the UK to follow her interest in innovative technologies. She joined GS1 UK as Head of UK Retail and immersed herself in the revolutionary opportunities emerging from barcode technology.

Phil Sutton, Founder of Polytag, said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Alice to the Polytag team. Digital Deposit Return Schemes (DDRS) will become a reality over the coming years because it delivers so many benefits to brands, councils, retailers and, of course, the environment.

“Having run two successful pilot schemes over the last few years and with the result of Defra’s consultation on introducing a DRS and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging expected soon, we’re at point where we need to further develop our technology. This will ensure we’re ready to support brands, retailer, plastic producers, government and recyclers through a hugely important transition period, helping them capture more data, tell better sustainability stories and – most importantly – increase recycling rates. Alice’s experience within retail and at GS1 will evolve us as a business and ensure we’re in a position to deploy our technology successfully across the UK.”

Alice Rackley, CEO of Polytag, commented:

“I believe that sustainability is a commercial imperative, and that businesses have to collaborate in order to make progress on meeting pressing environmental challenges. Polytag is a passionate supporter of the Welsh Government’s environmental ambition and has an opportunity to play a pivotal role in delivering DDRS and EPR for packaging across the UK.

“I look forward to working with the Econpro founders, who are respected and well connected innovators within the recycling sector, and engaging with stakeholders across a variety of sectors to explain how our technology can enable the circular economy and ensure effective resource management across the UK and beyond.”

Alice Rackley, Polytag’s new CEO