The winning entries of the 23rd DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation represented breakthrough developments from brand giants such as Coca Cola, Intel, GlaxoSmithKlein and Heinz.
“The nominees and winners this year show how sustainability considerations are driving innovation,” said Shanna Moore, global director, sustainability – DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. “We see how sustainability takes many shapes – ranging from use of organic or renewably sourced materials to the relentless drive to reduce waste and weight.”
These trends bear out in the results of a DuPont global survey of packaging professionals which found sustainability as the top challenge facing the industry, closely followed by cost concerns.
John Bernardo, principal, Sustainable Innovations LLC, head of the jury panel, said, “Nearly all of the winning innovations related to reducing waste in the system. The jury could see a much deeper consideration of sustainability concerns, starting with responsible sourcing, thoughtful package design, all the way to end of life factors.”
DuPont sponsors the Packaging Awards program as a means to recognize how collaboration throughout the value chain can bring cost-effective innovation to the market to help solve important problems. The educational component of the program provides learnings and insights to packaging professionals.
Winners were announced through a global webcast where members of the independent jury panel provided their perspectives on the winning achievements and where the winners discussed the challenges they overcame in bringing their new developments to market. Featured speakers were:
- Bob Lilienfeld, whose “Use Less Stuff” segments are featured on FOX News. He spoke on the sustainable packaging paradox – closing the gap between quantum science and consumer psychology.
- Peter Clarke, founder and CEO of Product Ventures, spoke on the future of package design and challenges to incorporate innovation, sustainability and cost/waste reduction.
Now in its 23rd year, the DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation is the industry's longest-running, global, independently judged celebration of innovation and collaboration throughout the value chain. Each year an esteemed panel awards diamond, gold or silver honors based on "excellence" in one or all of three categories: Innovation; Sustainability; and Cost/Waste Reduction.
The expert jury panel evaluated more than 200 entries from around the world and awarded two diamond winners, six gold winners and eight silver winners.
Excellence in Innovation, Cost/Waste Reduction and Sustainability
Making a Great Brand Better – New Design Enhances Consumer Convenience and Improves Sustainability - The Procter & Gamble Company and Be Green Packaging — USA
In its new design, packaging for Gillette Fusion ProGlide moved away from a clamshell approach and opted instead for a formable pulp tray made of renewable bamboo and bulrush fiber-based material. This new package pushed the boundaries of pulp trays, reducing both cost and material weight. Additionally it is much easier to open, making it popular with consumers. The graphics strongly reinforce the product’s brand identity and support great shelf appeal.
Natural Solutions and Bio-Adaptation Thinking Yield Triple Bottom-Line Solutions - Ecovative Design — USA
Thinking completely outside the box, Ecovative looked to nature and found an innovative, cost-effective, all-natural solution for protective secondary packaging used for items such as electronics. EcoCradle™ is grown from mycelium (mushroom "roots") and regionally sourced agricultural byproducts, like cotton burrs and oat hulls. EcoCradle™ is completely composed of ultra-rapid renewable resources and is also home compostable. It is a cost-effective and sustainable replacement for Styrofoam or other materials used in protective packaging.
Innovation and Sustainability or Innovation and Cost/Waste Reduction
Agribusiness Virtuous Cycle: Full Cycle Recycling System Transforms Plastic Bottles Waste for High-Value Plastic Products - Greif / Cimplast Embalagens and Cimflex — Brazil
The Virtuous Cycle is a complete cycle approach that enables used multilayer agrochemical bottles to be diverted from landfills and remade into high-value products. Typically, most post-consumer multilayer recycled materials are used to make low-value products. The help of a polymer compatibilizer, DuPont™ Fusabond®, makes it possible to reuse this mixed material waste stream for products such as rigid or flexible corrugated pipes and automotive lubricant bottles. Through this process, more than 150,000 tons of agrochemical empty plastic bottles have been collected from the field since 2002, saving an estimated 374,000 barrels of crude oil and more than 160,000 tons of CO2 equivalents that were not belched into the atmosphere.
Microlayer Technology in Stretch Film Reduces Packaging Weight While Improving Product Protection During Transport - Apeldoorn Flexible Packaging — The Netherlands; Cloeren Inc. — USA
Stretch film for pallets unitization is an important type of secondary/tertiary packaging and a crucial part of the distribution chain that is often unnoticed by consumers. In developing the Katan-Ex microlayer stretch film, Apeldoorn Flexible Packaging used microlayer technology to design a stretch film with optimal properties for the beverage industry. The Katan-Ex microlayer film excels in increased pallet stability at elevated temperatures, uses 30 percent less material per pallet and reduces damage products during transportation by 80 percent.
New, Simplified Design For Airless Cosmetic Dispenser is Recyclable - APTAR — France and USA
An innovative new design makes this the first airless dispenser to be completely made of plastics while also offering a high level of product protection. There is no gasket and no metal spring, enabling recycling of the entire package where such facilities exist. The dispenser is composed of only one family of plastic, polyolefin, and its pump is composed of just four all-plastic components. The redesign of the pump ensures that all of the high-end personal care product can be dispensed completely, eliminating costly wasted product.
Bag in Box for Automotive Fluids Reduces Packaging and Improves Cube Efficiency - Scholle Packaging and Shell Global Lubricants — USA
Scholle Packaging’s bag-in-box system for automotive chemicals and fluids allows industry suppliers to satisfy their customers’ needs with an efficient, environmentally conscious package. Each bag-in-box packaging system removes 24 one-liter bottles from the waste stream and features superior product evacuation, saving suppliers money and damage to our environment upon disposal into landfills. Overall, petroleum-based resin usage in the packaging is reduced by nearly 90 percent compared to rigid one-liter bottles, reducing impacts to our environment through the manufacture of the packaging system. During shipping, greenhouse gas emissions are overall lower than the incumbent packaging due to more-efficient cube utilization on trucks, in warehouses and at the end-user. The outer carton of the packaging system is also fully recyclable.
Package and Product Become One for Enhanced Product Differentiation - Household Essentials, LLC — USA
Replacing a traditional plastic outer wrap, Household Essentials packages its ironing board cover in a dual-functional, sewn-in cloth pouch that can be used later as a spray bottle holder. By eliminating the outer package completely via this pouch approach, Household Essentials reduces package weight by 14 percent and eliminated approximately 375,000 lbs of PVC from going into landfills. Additionally the smaller package size, being 35 percent smaller, reduces shipping costs and reduces retail display space by 30 percent. This approach yields a more upscale image and enhances shelf appeal to consumers who can touch and feel the product inside.
Printing and Laminating Extremely Thin Film Supports Premium Brand Image - Moneta S — Slovakia
In a significant printing and laminating technical innovation, Yango AL technology enables Moneta S to replace a 14 micron foil structure with 3 microns BOPP (bi-axially oriented polypropylene) films and 7 microns foil while attaining high-quality print impact even when printing on this extremely thin plastic film. Following a decision to significantly reduce the weight of the packaging structure, use of the BOPP provides extra strength, unscratchability, protection and ink inside feature to the foil structure. The perfect dead fold is achieved due to the very low thickness of the BOPP layer which is taken by aluminum foil as a lacquer. This product makes it possible to have a more beautiful look than the previously used aluminum foil, supporting the product’s premium brand image. Yango AL also provides the foil used in the lamination.
Fresh Design Responds to Consumer Convenience Needs Through Dual Functionality and Reduced Packaging - H.J. Heinz Company and Multivac Company – USA
The new Heinz® Dip & Squeeze® Ketchup package was developed in response to consumer demand for a package that can be used for either dipping or squeezing and made eating-on-the-go easier. The new, revolutionary dual-function package is another portable ketchup option for restaurant operators. It offers better functionality and convenience that delight the consumer by offering two different ways of use – tearing off the top or “cap” for squeezing or peeling off the lid for dipping. The Heinz® Dip & Squeeze® Ketchup package provides 3 times more ketchup than standard 9-gram sachets and uses less packaging. Shaped like the iconic glass Heinz® Ketchup bottle, Dip & Squeeze® strongly reinforces the Heinz® Ketchup brand.
Pioneering Use of Compounded PLA Made with 93 Percent Plant-Based Material for Yogurt - Stonyfield Farm, Clear Lam Packaging Inc., and Arcil — USA
Stonyfield and Clear Lam broke significant barriers for a breakthrough use of PLA (polylactic acid) in a high-volume dairy application. The new form/fill/seal multipack yogurt cups are made of 93 percent PLA, a switch from polystyrene (HIPS), believed to be the first for this market. The PLA is made by Natureworks and results in 48 percent lower GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions vs. HIPS. Compression strength increased by 15-20 percent, resulting in fewer damaged products during transit. Stonyfield also overcame the difficult challenge of applying a good lidding seal to a PLA cup, as the lidding film needs to withstand heat during application. In addition, using 93 percent plant-based material further drives their reputation as a leader in sustainability.
Technological Achievement Enables 20 Percent Materials Reduction and Design Freedom for Hot Fill Applications - Plastipak Packaging – USA; Tescor HR –France
ThermoShape™ represents a significant technology innovation achievement in the manufacturing and design of light weight PET containers for hot fill beverages. Where hot fill normally requires thick walled containers, ThermoShape™ enables 20 percent less material to be used without the use of vacuum panels or impact on the performance of the bottle. The use of a ThermoShape™ machine to reshape the container just before labeling allows design freedom for the manufacturing of a wide array of container designs.
Use of Plant-Based Material for PET Bottles and a New Crushable Design Contribute to Reduced Weight and Volume at End of Life - The Coca-Cola Company – Japan
In a small, highly populated country like Japan, space is at a premium. I Lohas, the name of mineral water brand, PET bottle weight was reduced by 40 percent compared to the former design while guaranteeing consumer usability. In addition, 1,020 I Lohas PET bottles are also Japan’s lightest in the 1,000 ml class. Once consumed, the bottle is easily twisted, which crushes the bottle to a very small size. This smaller size reduces transport cost to the recycler and improves transportation efficiency. It also supports the needs of the local market by reducing the volume that comes out of Japanese households. This PET bottle is extremely light and has the environmental benefit of using up to 30 percent plant-based material, reducing the petroleum-based materials. `I Lohas` has been the No.1 brand within the small size mineral water category in Japan.
New Approach to Condiment Container Responds to Local Market Needs, Maintains Brand Equity - Positive Packaging Industries, Ltd. – India
Positive Packaging has demonstrated an innovative approach in responding to the needs of the consumers.
Replacing the large glass bottles of Nestle Maggi Arome seasoning liquid with thermoformed, single-use mini bottles made of flexible laminate, offers consumers in this market, convenience, ease of use and affordability. The bottle-shaped packet maintains brand recognition and enhances shelf appeal. Its small size also offers easier handling and shipment.
Reduction in Package Size Maintains Brand Image While Improving Environmental Impact - Intel Corporation — USA
Intel has reduced overall package size and enhanced cube efficiency for its line of processors by replacing all PVC inserts with thermoformed APET and corrugated fiberboard in a reduced package size for a substantial improvement in environmental impact for this high-volume product line. This responsible sourcing change achieved a reduction of 2.5 million pounds of material, reduced water consumption and reduced GHG emissions. This package reduction enabled a significant reduction in the number of vehicles required for transportation of raw materials and finished goods.
3D Graphics on Toothpaste Packaging Creates Stunning Shelf Appeal - GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, API Laminates, Chesapeake Packaging, and Blue Marlin — United Kingdom
Sensodyne’s new package design brings out the “WOW” in stopping power. Created by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare’s Global Packaging Team (PacXperience) and their collaborators, it is the first oral health care brand to use cutting-edge Fresnel lens technology to create dramatic results. The combination of deep embossed Fresnel lens and positional control through the lamination process allows the printer to register their inks to the lenses to create a unique 3D brand identity. Fresnel lenses have been used in packaging applications as random designs but never in discrete areas aligned with such tight print to register. This unique process enhances shelf appeal and helps Sensodyne stand out in the oral health care aisle.
New Design Offers Easy Assembly of Medical Suture Packaging - Perfecseal, a Bemis Company and Arthrex, Inc. — USA
The “Wire Coil Clamshell” innovatively overcomes the challenges the medical field faces in assembling suture passing wire. Using a three-paneled, thermoformed package design and eliminating the porous, heat-sealed lid, manufacturing times and costs were reduced while helping medical personnel to easily remove the suture for quick use.
The DuPont Oval Logo, DuPont™, The miracles of science™ and Fusabond® are registered trademarks or trademarks of DuPont or its affiliates.
EcoCradle™ is a trademark of Ecovative Design.
Heinz® Dip & Squeeze® Ketchup is a registered trademark of H.J. Heinz Company.
ThermoShape™ is a trademark of Plastipak Packaging.