MILAN – The Dynamic Label, a recyclable label with a self-sustaining solar powered display, was designed in Milan. The project was conducted by a research team led by Mario Caironi and the patent is held by the IIT (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia) and the Politecnico di Milano. The product is a dynamic packaging label, which is able to provide different information on a display, according to the requirement. It is printed onto and/or integrated into paper or plastic packaging and is both entirely recyclable and economically sustainable.
It is recyclable because it is made entirely out of recoverable materials: all of the electronic components are plastic or can be easily separated from the plastic, and all the materials of the components have a low melting temperature, enabling the recovery of metals or metal oxides through filtering. It has a photovoltaic energy source that self-powers a control module (organic thin-film transistor with a low-voltage power supply) and a visual display (made from a layer of electro-chromic material). The control module can send the required messages to the display.
The label is compatible with current packaging production processes, adding only a negligible cost. Not only is the product eco-sustainable, but it also responds to the criticism often given to technological innovations, which in many cases are expensive. In fact, in view of its small added cost the Dynamic Label is also economically sustainable.