Environmental impacts and implications of RFID tags
Deliverable 11.1: Environmental impacts of NECOMADA, including: product impacts; indirect impacts and wider sustainability issues. December 2019
The European Union (EU) funded project Nano-Enabled Conducting Materials Accelerating Device Applicability (NECOMADA), Grant Agreement Number: 720897, has the ambition incorporate advanced functional materials to deliver customised conductive inks and flexible adhesives compatible with high volume manufacturing platforms. Specifically the development of these enabling materials will support high speed roll-to-roll (R2R) integration of hybrid and large area electronics to address internet of things opportunities. The overall NECOMADA objective is the delivery of conductive inks and adhesives compatible with R2R application on flexible substrates via a high speed printing and/ or pick and place conversion. The project targets substantial reduction in device costs compared with the current state of the art. This is achieved through the combination of formulated structured nanomaterials (conductive inks/ adhesives) with R2R printing, coating, and component pick and place at pilot scale to demonstrate the potential for low cost, robust, high volume device manufacturing. The objective of this study is to raise awareness about relevant sustainability issues for materials developed within NECOMADA, machinery and processes used, as well as appliers of the new technology. This is done by describing the environmental impacts of the RFID tags developed in the scope of NECOMADA, as well as the findings during the investigation. In this study, four packaging applications are examined (food boxes, aluminium can, plastic detergent bottle, and medical blister) and their implications to the product is analysed. Figure 1 shows the investigated systems over their life cycle stages. Figure 1: Investigated systems of the study over their life cycle stages In the system ""RFID tag"" the environmental impacts of its life cycle stages are assessed. This includes the manufacturing of conductive particles, inks and adhesives, as well as components like ICs and substrates. Finally, the NECOMADA pilot line brings materials and components together via printing, attaching and converting.