Radio frequency identification (RFID) tags could pose problems for the recycling industry if used on food and drink bottles, British Glass has warned.
Technical manager Peter Grayhurst said: "We are not against the technology, we just want to make sure that stakeholders in the debate are aware that it can have implications for recycling, as has proved the case with security tags in the past."
While the cost of RFID tags meant that tagging was by and large restricted to pallets, trays and cases, it was only a matter of time before high-value products, like spirits, were tagged, he said.
"The hope is that new technologies, such as conductive inks, will replace the existing generation of silicon, copper and nickel tags, because the ones on the market at the moment don't melt down properly," he said. "They form silicon balls that not only look awful, but can cause failure and rejection of the recycled glass."
The Packaging Federation recently set up a group to explore the implications of RFID. The chief executive Ian Dent said: "Packaging suppliers are worried about the lack of communication up and down the supply chain about this.
"We don't want RFID to interfere with the current choice of packaging materials. We also need to know where the costs will come in and whether labelling can be easily incorporated into current production and packing systems."