Food Waste, World Hunger, Sustainability, Conscious Consumerism &Technology Transfer Among Global Challenges Addressed by Innovations in Packaging
WILMINGTON, Del., June 14, 2016 – Elevating consciousness in consumer choice, reducing food waste, feeding the world, advancing sustainability and facilitating technology transfer are just a few of the global challenges that innovative packaging can address, said judges of the 28th DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation. Their coments are part of the third of a six-part series of video interviews on packaging trends released today.
Advocating the cross-pollination of knowledge and best practices, Lead Judge David Luttenberger, CPP – global packaging director, Mintel Group Ltd., said, “Packaging has the opportunity today to address many challenges and opportunities. The one that I really look to is technology transfer, whether that is taking a great technology from a developed or served economy and applying it to an underdeveloped or underserved economy … or taking that solutions functional approach to packaging innovation and cross fertilizing, the economies around the world, and the consumers around the world, and using packaging to serve their needs in whatever way that may be.”
Ramon Agustines, general manager of Flexible Packaging Division at Philippines-based Universal Robina Corporation, sees opportunities to elevate consumer consciousness. “The conception of the package is an opportunity for developers to say something about why the package is important and why it is created,” he said. “They can communicate that thoughtfulness to the public so people can be more conscious about selecting the product, focusing on not just what’s inside, but how the packaging was thought out and how it should be either used or discarded, and how it improves the functionality of the package.”
Judges from around the world noted that alleviating hunger and reducing food waste are among the challenges packaging can address. Eduardo Yugue, R&D packaging manager, PepsiCo, Brazil, said, “What I’m seeing is the use of packaging to reduce food waste. Packaging is one of the ways to distribute food and help feed the people in some parts of the world that don’t have productive local conditions. Packaging can help … to distribute nutrition around the world.”
Amazon Senior Manager of Supply Chain Packaging Suzanne Fisher, said, “Packaging does have a huge opportunity to and responsibility to solve some of the large problems in the world today. The most impactful problem that it can help with is food waste, [which] contributes to world hunger. We have to make sure that packaging, especially for example for produce, is sufficient to get it there safely; and if it’s not … it not only is contributing to the lack of food to some regions, but it’s also contributing to a huge amount of scrap or waste in our system.”
Likewise, Jeff Schuetz, staff vice president of Global Technology Consumer Packaging at Sonoco, said, “One of the biggest ways that packaging can address some of the challenges is dealing with food waste. There’s still a very, very high percentage of food that gets wasted even in developed markets, and packaging innovation can truly help in that way.” Brian Rivers, engineering fellow – Strategic Sourcing, Sealed Air Corporation, agreed. “Packaging has opportunities to solve many of the global needs of the world,” he said, “including food distribution and supplying areas of the world that need nourishment.”
Sustainability featured prominently throughout the awards process, from submissions to the judges’ discussions. “We can do more looking at sustainability; we can do more with plastics moving them to renewables; we can look at how we impact the environment; we can make consumer convenience; we can use innovation; we can be sustainable, and that’s the great beauty of packaging,” said Mars Global Petcare Packaging Sustainability Director Colin Yates.
Judges also cited consumer safety and health. “Two big challenges packaging can really help solve are to create compliance and improve product outcomes. Packaging can play a life-critical goal in these two areas … especially in the healthcare segment because it promotes adherence of particular medicine with a particular group of patients who are otherwise not taking it on time or will not be taking all of it,” said Sanjay Ghoshal – senior director and global head, packaging, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd.
The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation is the industry’s longest running, global, independently judged celebration of innovation and collaboration throughout the value chain and is recognized globally as the leading packaging awards program. The international competition honors innovations in packaging design, materials, technology and processes.
The independent panel of packaging experts from across the globe evaluated nearly 200 entries from more than 25 countries, selecting a total of 22 winners. In the first of a six-part series of video interviews, the judges discussed the latest trends in packaging design. In the second video, they were asked to cite the biggest challenges facing the industry.
The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation’s Diamond Award recognizes one entry which truly excels in all three categories: technological advancement, responsible packaging and enhanced user experience. The newly inaugurated Diamond Finalist award, given to six companies, acknowledges the growing number of packaging innovations that excel in all three categories. As a result of ground-breaking, cutting-edge excellence in the packaging marketplace, judges awarded a new Leadership in Innovation Award. The judges awarded five gold winners and nine silver winners based on “excellence” in one or two categories. Learn more about the awards by following DuPont Packaging on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
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