On May 16, DuPont celebrated the silver anniversary of its Global Packaging Awards Program in its headquarters in Wilmington, DE, USA. As part of the quarter-century celebration, DuPont highlighted past winners whose breakthrough projects ushered in significant societal change and looked ahead at how packaging can shape society’s future. The event also honoured past winners who have won five or more times with a DuPont Continuing Innovation Award (PDF).
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 honours based on "excellence" in one or all of three categories: Innovation, Sustainability and Cost/Waste Reduction. This year the independent judges granted one diamond, four gold and ten silver awards for packaging in a diverse set of markets. All winners are listed as follows.
Diamond & Special Award for ‘Food Security’
Winner Excellence in Innovation, Cost/Waste Reduction and Sustainability
AidPod for ColaLife delivers life-saving medicine to children in remote villages through Coca-Cola distribution channel
pi global, UK; ColaLife, UK; Amcor Flexibles Europe-USA; Charpack, UK
Medicine remains difficult to obtain in remote villages in sub-Saharan Africa. Consequently, 15% of the mortality in this area for children under five years old is attributed to diarrhoea, an easily treatable illness. Coca-Cola, however, is available almost everywhere in sub-Saharan Africa.
ColaLife, an independent non-profit UK-based agency with the idea of leveraging the vast Coca-Cola network, collaborated with pi global, specifically pi 3, who developed a structural, self-contained package for an anti-diarrhoeal kit to nestle into unused space surrounding crated Coca-Cola bottles.
Called AidPod, the package is securely sealed with a strong film that can withstand severe impact, maintain pack integrity and prevent contamination. The AidPod also contains a soap packet separate from the rest of the contents to support hand washing. The medicine is packaged in single-dose sachets to be mixed with water in the AidPod container, which doubles as a clean mixing and drinking vessel.
Innovation and Sustainability or Innovation and Cost/Waste Reduction
Ink Producer, recovery company collaborate on zero waste to landfill programme
BCM Inks, USA; Close the Loop, USA
BCM Inks,USA partnered with Close the Loop materials recovery company to create a closed-loop system for used inkjet cartridges that result in zero waste to landfills. Close the Loop recovers the plastic and remainder ink from used cartridges. BCM Inks uses the recovered ink to develop a new water-based flexographic ink called ‘PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) Black’ to print on corrugated shipping containers. One drum of PCR Black stops approximately 200,000 ink cartridges from going into a landfill. This recycling process recovers about 30 million ink cartridges a year.
Easy-Open Venus and Olay Razor Packaging delivers convenience
Gillette/Placon, USA; EcoStar, USA; Control Group, USA
With a view to re-thinking their packaging, P&G Gillette collaborated with Placon on a frustration-free blister package for Venus & Olay razors. Beyond the easy-open feature which combines a perforation/finger tab opening, the thermoformed inner tray, with over 50% post-consumer recycled PET material, holds all razor components on multiple planes in multiple-sized cavities. Heat-sealed on a curve, the lid utilises a proprietary film and ink chemistry that withstands the direct heat required to seal the lid to the blister. Shedding 29% of its plastic content from previous packaging, the new package eliminates polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in favour of highly recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
Convenience salad bowl gets more sustainable
The original convenience salad bowl was popular with consumers but came with a high amount of packaging and waste. It was bulky and not very convenient. Coop, therefore, decided to adapt a holistic approach to redesign its bowl by focusing on sustainability, convenience and economic aspects. Working with packaging designers and technologists, Coop reduced the packaging material by 30% by changing its original package from round to square and using recyclable polyester (RPET). The consumer-valued design enhancement features include a removable, multi-compartment tray that securely snaps onto the container as a lid and a “shake” function that allows consumers to conveniently mix the salad with the salad dressing.
Clorox ‘Smart Tube’ technology enables consumers to spray every drop
In answer to consumers’ pleas, The Clorox Company redesigned its cleaning-product bottles to include ‘Smart Tube’ technology with a bayonet-style trigger that allows consumers to empty a spray bottle without tilting, shaking or otherwise struggling to use the last drops. Bottles made with Smart Tube technology feature a dip tube blown into the front of the bottle and a new all-plastic trigger. The fact that consumers can use every drop reduces about 81,000 gallons of wasted formula annually.
New sausage casings speed cooking, smoking times and offer better protection
Atlantis-Pak Company, Russian Federation
The iCel polyamide- (PA-) based sausage casing challenges cellulose, collagen and natural sausage casings in that it retains the benefits of both permeable and barrier films. iCel combines the high smoke and water vapour permeability of cellulose casings with optimal mechanical properties while maintaining a thin structure. Smoking and cooking times are reduced. The high mechanical strength and elasticity of the PA-based casings allow the meat-processing industry to use high processing speeds during the sausage manufacturing process. Since production of the casing does not require wet processes, such as solution-cast and reagent-induced precipitation, typically used to make casings of collagen or cellulose, it is much cleaner and fewer harsh chemicals are needed to produce the sausage. The oxygen barrier and relatively high moisture barrier prolong shelf life, preserve flavour and increase product yield by keeping the moisture inside the product during thermal treatment.
Omtimised cavity design and blister dimensions using its 'Advanced Blister Design' tools in a Formpack pharmaceutical blister pack that protects contents from moisture
Amcor Flexibles, Germany
Amcor redesigned its pharmaceutical blister pack to improve moisture protection. While aluminium blister is made up of layer laminates that are complete barriers against moisture, humidity can enter through open edges and through the perforation lines between each cavity. In its new design, Amcor reduced the size of the single cavities and removed the perforation lines so that moisture can diffuse only though the open edge of the blister. This is said to improve the blister’s moisture protection by more than 40% and to reduce the quantity of material that is used to pack the same number of tablets by 33%.
Toyo Aluminum K.K. uses nature to create water-repellent packaging material for yogurt lids
Toyo Aluminum K.K., Japan; Morinaga Milk Industry, Japan
Inspired by lotus leaves, ‘Toyal Lotus’ is a functional packaging material used for yogurt container lids. The inside sealing surface of the lid made with Toyal Lotus offers high water repellency. This material prevents the adhesion of yogurt to the inside surface of the lid allowing it to stay clean and providing an added sanitation benefit, meeting the needs of their consumers.
Folmex reinvents laundry detergent packaging while improving sustainability, reducing cost
Folmex, Mexico; P&G, Panama, Venezuela
Folmex met a need in the Mexican market for easy to open and high-gloss flexible packages for powder laundry detergent. The company developed a polyethylene- (PE-) based, high-gloss package that delivers a gloss measurement typically achieved with oriented polypropylene (OPP). The structure was downgauged by 21%, eliminating 111t of material/year and saving 20t of CO2 that is directly attributable to the films’ extrusion process. The downgauging was also to help the brand owner increase its product-to-package ratio by 27% and decrease CO2 emissions from transportation by 22%.
Clearly Clean products partners with Weis Markets and launches the World’s only recyclable MAP Tray
The Clearly Clean tray is the only recyclable Modified Atmosphere Package (MAP) in the world. This MAP tray, made from recycled PET, for meat, chicken, entrees and seafood features a peel-away liner that, when removed, allows the tray to be recycled again. The ultra-thin, patented system provides barrier protection to maintain shelf life and can be printed to meet marketing objectives.
Innovative 3D in-mould technology provides multi-sensory experience for consumers
3D IML combines MuCell technology with IML label technology to offer a distinctive visual appearance and soft touch effect to packages, providing differentiation without changing the container shape. The 3D in-mould label is processed with an injection-moulded tub made of expanded polypropylene to incorporate selective masking, creating areas without adhesion. The MuCell process controls the introduction of nitrogen into the polymer. Where there is adhesion between the label and the polymer, the nitrogen migrates through both structures. Where there is no adhesion (by design), the nitrogen accumulates between the polymer substrate and the label. The process creates bubble patterns or Braille for a multi-sensory experience.
Pepperidge Farm debuts re-closure innovation to the delight of snackers everywhere
In its Baked Naturals Cracker Chips bag, Pepperidge Farm is the first to use an innovative re-close Seal Tab technology. The new technology, developed in collaboration with Sonoco Flexibles, improves consumers’ experience while supporting a strong brand identity. The packaging features a large and visible re-close tab with a pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) system incorporated into the film lamination. The result is greater surface area and better adhesion without obstructing brand messaging.
Campbell’s Go Soup speaks to young consumers with convenient standup pouch
Campbell’s Go Soups feature a variety of flavours in a bold pouch that speaks directly to the younger generation. Campbell’s Go Soup is packaged in a flexible, standup retort pouch and is claimed to offer great consumer convenience. Designed to appeal to young consumers who are constantly on the move, this pouch is microwaveable and enables a short cook time. The clear gusset on the pouch helps it to stand up on shelves and also allows consumers to have a peek at the ingredients that make up the product inside.
Heinz freshens iconic ketchup bottle
The new Heinz Ketchup bottle is said to improve production, cost efficiency, brand equity, merchandising and consumer usage. The new design, inspired by Heinz Tomato Ketchup’s long history, incorporates several key elements from the familiar octagon-shaped 14oz glass ketchup bottle. The label panel geometry replicates the facets of the ketchup bottle. In addition to the brand equity ad aesthetic elements of the new design, the bottle design provides stability under load and a squeezable area that quickly rebounds so the next person does not have to “anticipate” using the ketchup. The new bottle design reduces overall package material use by more than 20% by weight.
Streamlined CardioFocus Heartlight medical tray cost-effectively protects sensitive equipment
Made from a single sheet of 100% high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the Heartlight balloon catheter die cut tray is a three-dimensional functionally rigid tray that provides specialised protection to the highly complex and fragile HeartLight cardiac ablation system. This tray features five different die cut holds (finger tabs, carabineer closures, belt style tabs, U-shaped pop ups and semi-circle end flaps) that are designed to keep the different parts of the medical device secure during transportation while allowing for easy removal during use. The tray is shipped flat and is assembled when the product is loaded, allowing for greater transport efficiency; forty empty die-cut trays can fit in the space of one of the original thermoformed trays.