The 22nd DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation was characterized as exhibiting collaborative innovation across a wide array of geographies and market segments.
“This year we focused the DuPont Awards program on the essential elements needed to drive breakthroughs in packaging. Innovative new developments, along with cost/waste reduction and improved sustainability, are what packaged goods companies and retailers are seeking to respond to consumer needs,” said Carolann Haznedar, global business and market director -- DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. “These winners demonstrate the kind of collaborative innovation that is needed to solve such multi-dimensional problems.”
The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation is the industry’s longest-running, independently judged global awards program honoring packaging materials, technology and service innovations.
Excellence in Innovation, Cost/Waste Reduction and Sustainability
New Technology for Aluminum Bottles Makes Them a New Mainstream Packaging Option - Exal Corp and Alcoa Rigid Packaging - USA
Bottled beverage marketers are being continually challenged to improve their environmental footprint. Exal Corporation’s new “Coil to Can” (C2C) aluminum bottle manufacturing technology features recyclable aluminum alloy and allows marketers to consider aluminum bottles for large- scale beverage applications for the first time. This hybrid process marries the speed and light weighting of standard beverage can manufacturing with proprietary shaping technology, to create highly stylized bottle design options. C2C aluminum bottles use less material and are manufactured at faster speeds to enable a 40 percent weight reduction at a cost comparable to PET and/or glass.
Innovative Packaging System Enables Safer Transport of Medical Supplies - Entropy Solutions, Inc. - USA
The greatest challenge in shipping temperature-sensitive materials such as pharmaceuticals or blood supplies is maintaining proper temperature for the duration of transport – a cause of product loss that cost the pharmaceutical industry $3 billion in 2009. The new GREENBOX™ reusable thermal management system employs a total system approach to assuring that products will arrive at their destination uncompromised.
GREENBOX™ is powered by PureTemp™, Entropy’s renewable based, non-toxic phase change technology, which keep contents at the right temperature for more than 120 hours. The Thermal-Lok™ panels have insulating values ten times that of expanded polystryrene (EPS). The system components are reusable, and the end of life, the outer shell and Thermal-Lok™ panels are ground for reuse in new systems.
Innovation and Sustainability or Innovation and Cost/Waste Reduction
The World’s First Fully Compostable Snack Bag - Frito-Lay North America, a division of PepsiCo - USA
Packaging is one of the most visible interactions consumers have with our brands. Frito-Lay overcame significant technical hurdles to develop packaging that reduces the environmental impact of its Sunchips® brand. To achieve compostability of the three-part packaging structure while providing maximum product protection, Frito-Lay switched to poly lactic acid (PLA) for the outer bag, along with a compostable adhesive and inner barrier coating. The result is a bag that uses renewable materials and allows for new disposal options such as composting, which diverts packaging from the landfill.
PET Plastic Beverage Bottles Made Partially From Plants; Monoethylene Glycol from Sugar Cane Replaces Petroleum-Based PET Feedstock - The Coca Cola Company – USA, Canada, Denmark, Japan, and Brazil; Imperial College, London; Michigan State University - USA
In support of its zero waste strategy for packaging materials, Coca-Cola is using a PET resin sourced from up to 30 percent plant-based renewable material. The new PlantBottle packaging, which has been launched in Denmark, the United States, Canada, Japan, and Brazil, can be recycled with other PET bottles in the existing PET recycling infrastructure. It is the first plastic beverage bottle from renewable sources that can be recycled along with other PET bottles in the existing recycling infrastructure.
The new bottle technology leverages the key environmental advantages of traditional PET, which include maintaining carbonation, resource efficiency and high recycling value, while reducing dependence on non-renewable resources.
New Design Cuts Packaging by Nearly 80 Percent and Achieve Cost/Waste Reduction Across the Supply Chain - Fresh Step Cat Litter from Clorox and Nordenia – USA
Replacing a polypropylene pail for cat litter with a flexible bag for its heaviest products enabled Clorox to cut packaging materials by nearly 80 percent while offering sustainability and cost reduction across its supply chain, from inbound freight, packaging materials and finished goods storage and warehousing. The innovative design maintains consumer ease of use features for handling, pouring, resealing and storage equal to the pail it replaced.
Anti-Counterfeiting Solution for Ethical Pharmaceuticals Users - Degill International Corp., Metal Industries R&D Center – Taiwan; Grand Medical Group - USA
Counterfeiting of ethical pharmaceuticals is a tremendous problem, particularly in some parts of the world. The innovative tamper-evident design of new EZ Fusion two-in-one vial enables consumers to easily determine authenticity of the product. It also takes the guesswork out of mixing drugs, so there is less waste. There is less chance of contamination and it provides a cost-effective solution versus traditional glass vials.
Packaging and Machinery Redesign Cuts Pack Material Warehousing by 80 Percent, Reduces Materials by 25 Percent and Maintains Brand Appeal - Always Feminine Products – Procter & Gamble (P&G) – USA and Germany
In a new approach for this product category, P&G redesigned machinery as well as packaging to enable a switch from wicketed polyethylene bags for its Always feminine products to continuous flow wrapping technology that reduced the use of polyethylene by 25 percent and created an 80 percent reduction in pack material warehouse space needed. The new approach enables better pallet fit due to the tighter package and reduced energy usage in transportation and pack material manufacture. The resulting new package design is more attractive to consumers.
Making a Great Brand Better - Revitalizing an Iconic Brand Through Innovative New Packaging - Scope “Outlast” Mouthwash from Procter & Gamble, Alpla, Tech Group, and Webb deVlam Industrial Designers - USA
Proliferation of private labels in the oral care rinse category has made it very difficult to differentiate among brands on store shelves. Procter & Gamble (P&G) recognized that the novel Scope Outlast formula needed equally compelling packaging to standout on the shelf. P&G worked with its collaborators to create a new bottle shape and closure when launching new Scope Outlast Mouthwash. Dubbed the “Genie” bottle, the new design has outstanding stopping power and clearly separates Scope from private label and other offerings in the category. The new design of the Scope bottle has an additional benefit of significantly reducing packaging materials (PET usage was reduced by 20 percent) and allowing for higher efficiency when shipping. The company took a significant risk by radically changing an iconic brand and it has paid off with significant consumer impact plus operational efficiency.
New Single Serve Plastic Wine Glass/Bottle Opens Entirely New Markets - Copa di Vino, Quart Vin, Resilux America LLC - USA and France
An entirely new packaging approach for wines that originated in glass in France is now possible in plastic. The concept is now finding favor with sophisticated wine makers who see new market opportunities for wine served in recreational and outdoor venues. Wine is bottled right into a single serve barrier plastic wine “glass” with a one year-shelf life. Because there is no bottle, 50 percent of packaging waste is avoided. The carbon footprint is reduced due to the 30 percent lighter weight of the plastic vs. glass. A significant technical challenge was overcome in the sealing of the lidding to the wine glass rim without impairing the wine. This innovation enables wine to participate in the ready to drink beverage category.
Foam for Transport Packing Incorporates 65 Percent Recycle Content While Meeting Performance Requirements - Ethafoam® HRC plank manufactured by Sealed Air and fabricated by Austin Foam Plastics (AFP) – USA
Closed cell polyethylene foam made from 65 percent recycled content is lighter than the material previously considered providing reduced shipping costs while meeting significant performance requirements for protecting electronic components during transport. Since polyethylene recycled foam resin is not generally available to the market, a closed-loop recovery scheme had to be developed to enable collection, sorting, transporting and reprocessing to support commercial production. This is an excellent example of responsible sourcing.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging for Meats Keeps it Fresh-Looking Longer - Cryovac Mirabella® from Sealed Air - Italy
This anti-fog shrink film for modified atmosphere packaging enables film-to-meat contact with reduced pack volume, without discoloring the meat. This maintains eye-appeal longer for fresh meats. The thinner package saves space on the retail display. There is less food waste as the meat product remains appealing the consumer longer.
Easy to Open New Design for Fresh and Processed Meat as well as Cheeses Yields Improved Convenience, Safety and Less Wasted Food - Grip & Tear bag from Sealed Air’s Cryovac Food Packaging Unit – USA
The Cryovac Grip and Tear® bag combines the superior shrink, toughness and oxygen barrier properties of a traditional vacuum shrink bag with the addition of an easy-open feature. A user simply grips the package and tears it open. Easily opened by pulling a tab, the bag’s knifeless design improves employee safety, reduces the risk of cross-contamination, eliminates mess, and keeps the workspace clean.
Every Component Serves its Function in ConAgra Foods’ Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers Single-Serve Meal Packaging - Berry Plastics, ConAgra, Rexam and IDEO - USA
Today’s consumers demand healthful as well as convenient prepared foods. This very creative design for shelf-stable, single-serve meals ensures a good experience with preparation and a high-quality meal for the consumer. Separation of the meal components in this way provides positive consumer engagement with their meal and delivers an exceptional end product in terms of taste, texture and nutrition.
Notable Achievements in Problem-Solving
Inside Injection Foaming for Polypropylene Pallets Yield Improved Durability and Sustainability in Replacement of Wood - FEMSA – Mexico and Sosa Tech Advisors - USA
In Mexico there is a lack of sustainable wood production leading to deforestation issues. An innovative new inside injection foaming process enables high strength, highly durable plastic to replace wood for industrial pallets. The all-polypropylene pallets are entirely recyclable and deliver durability with less material than typically used. They have an expected six year lifetime, versus three years for typical injection polypropylene pallets or two years for wooden ones.
Odorless Barrier Laminate for Cereal Liners Addresses Moisture Issues - Kellogg’s Cereal Flakes - Positive Packaging, Kellogg’s – India
A common problem for cereal makers is off-gassing of cornflakes and the need for oxygen barrier. Kelloggs solved the problem in the Indian local market where high humidity is an issue through a metalized film laminate with oxygen barrier. Moisture in the pack is pulled into the polypropylene sealant. This solution enabled them to stop importing their previous structure, cutting cost and complex logistics.
The First Fully Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Dispensing System - Finish Quantumatic from Reckitt Benckiser – Poland
This thoughtful design represents technical achievement across its entire system. The concept is a detergent dispensing system that automatically releases product for 12 washes without refilling. Keeping all 12 units of refills dry until needed requires that the device and the packaging interact precisely together and that tolerances in packaging production be stretched to the tightest limit. The system also has sustainability benefits in the PET blister packs are made with 70 percent post-consumer recycle PET.