Applicability of SMART camera technologies for the quality control of reusable packaging

Smart Camera


Reusable packaging is an important pillar in the strategy towards more circular packaging at both European and Flemish level. Within Europe, it is stated that by 2030 all packaging must be recyclable or reusable. Fevia has sharpened this target with a deadline of 2025. To stimulate the use of reusable packaging, many research and implementation questions still need to be answered, such as accurate and automated detection methods for defects and/or contamination. This is of course very important to guarantee consumer safety as well as the economic viability of the business model.


The VISION2REUSE project demonstrates the applicability of various smart cameras for automatic quality control (e.g. detection of scratches, tears, contamination) of reusable packaging in the food and packaging industry. Various camera technologies (e.g. color, depth and hyperspectral cameras) and state-of-the-art machine learning are used to accurately and quickly evaluate whether the packaging material is still suitable for a new reuse cycle or whether it needs to be processed in a specific end-of-life stream (e.g. recycling). On the other hand, it must also provide information about the degree of contamination, which is direct input for the treatment of the packaging material before it can be used again (e.g. type of washing process). In addition, the influence of the washing process on the integrity and contamination of the packaging is examined.

Logos V2 R
Figuur Vision2 Reuse
Logo Green Deal Anders Verpakt 1

Target audience

The target group of VISION2REUSE consists of producers and suppliers of reusable packaging materials, users of this packaging and technology companies (sensors, data processing). In this project, four sectors are considered to have great potential for the implementation of reusable packaging, so the impact of this project has a broad dimension with potential for spillover of this technology to non-food sectors.

  • B2B drink & food packaging (e.g. plastic barrels, crates,…)
  • Retail (e.g. reusable consumer packaging)
  • Food services (e.g. catering)
  • E-commerce

Concrete objectives within the project

  • Raising awareness of the target group about the possibilities of various camera technologies for the automatic analysis of packaging in function of damage, contamination, ...
  • Organizing matchmaking and supporting the start-up of co-creation processes between stakeholders of the target group in order to result in an innovative ecosystem.
  • Demonstration trials within the four sectors of the VISION2REUSE target group
  • Drawing up a Best Practice Guide on quality control of reusable packaging, including Design4Reuse guidelines.
  • The project consortium will focus on awareness raising, demonstration and in the medium term aspires to co-create innovation trajectories between producers of reusable packaging, technology companies and food companies. In the longer term, the project results will provide companies with an automated control system that is economically feasible to assess reusability of packaging.

Project consortium

The project consortium combines a broad network of target group companies (Flanders' FOOD & Pack4Food) with expertise in smart camera technologies (imec). Bringing together the contacts of imec within technology companies with the contacts within the target group companies creates every opportunity to establish an innovative ecosystem for the automatic quality monitoring of reusable packaging. The project was realized with the support of the European Regional Development Fund.

Financial contribution for participation in advisory committee Vision2Reuse - Sponsoring by companies

Company size (number of employees)Annual contribution (excl. VAT)
0 - 50
50 - 250
> 250

Contact details

PartnerContact personEmail address
Hedwige Verherbrugghen
Flanders' FOOD
Michèle Kint
Kris van de Voorde