The Best of 2005's Plastic Packaging

The annual DuPont Awards recognize global packaging innovations, including a polymer-coated steel bowl with peelable lid.

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For the 18th year, DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers (www.dupont.com/packaging), Wilmington, Del., has honored innovation in plastic packaging with the DuPont Awards. While the awards span the packaged goods sector, food processing usually is the most heavily represented category.

Diamond Award winner "Crown Bowl Can with Peel Seam Peelable End."

The awards honor not just the packaging but also the technology and processes, equipment and converters that create the end-use packages. Nominations are accepted from both packaged goods marketers and from companies directly involved in the creation of the packages.

Twenty-two international food and non-food packaging innovations received awards from among 111 entries. All of them use plastic to some degree. Only the food and beverage winners are included here.

The highest award given each year is the Diamond Award. This year's winner was Crown Food Europe, a French affiliate of Crown Holdings Inc., and William Saurin, a leading French producer of ready-made meals. Together they came up with the "Crown Bowl Can with Peel Seam Peelable End," a single-serving package consisting of a polymer-coated steel bowl and easy-to-open peelable lid, offering practicality and preservation properties.

William Saurin selected Crown's bowl can due to its ability to be transported with consumers, meeting demands for modern "on-the-go" lifestyles and healthy meals, plus its enhanced shelf appeal. Food safety is achieved through retortable processing. Plus, the can is 100 percent recyclable.

Gold winners
  • Nestle Baby Foods (France)

    The challenge was to design a package that was attractive to both babies and their parents with the added benefits of being microwavable, lightweight and non-breakable. The five-layer thermoformed cups employ a PP/EVOH/PP sheet that is designed and coextruded using DuPont Bynel adhesive as a tie layer to withstand the high temperatures of sterilization for shelf life up to 12 months. The transparent containers are 100 percent recyclable.


    (Hangzhou Zhengda Printing & Packaging Co., China)
  • Stand-up pouch with built-in straw

    Made with a film structure of DuPont Teijin PET film and Dow PE resins, the real novelty of this pouch package lies in its built-in straw. Being inside the package, the straw is protected from contamination and is easy to use. Building in the straw during pouch-forming reduces the processing passes, increases automation and reduces production costs. While the first application was used for soy breakfast milk in China, extension into other beverage packaging is under way.

    (Nestle France S.A.S.; EDV Packaging Solutions, Spain)
Silver winners
  • Bone-in shrink bags

    Used for both wholesale and retail packaging, the ClearShield high-barrier, bone-in-shrink bag technology is a unique coextrusion of polyethylene, polyamide and EVOH that is oriented using a proprietary process. The combination yields a film with outstanding puncture resistance, clarity, barrier properties and ease of use for packaging bone-in meat products.


    (Curwood Inc., U.S.; Jennie-O Turkey Store Inc.)
  • Cook-in bag system

    Jennie-O Turkey Store's "Oven Ready" frozen turkeys go from the freezer to oven with no thawing or preparation required. The new two-part packaging system combines an inner cook-in bag (not manufactured by Curwood) with an outer carrier bag. The outer bag consists of a reverse printed polyester layer extrusion laminated to a rigid, white sealant. Curwood applies its proprietary IntegraScore opening feature vertically along one side of the package, which enables consumers to open the bag without scissors or knife, thus preserving the integrity of the inner cook-in bag. Additional bag features include a comfortable two-hole carrying handle, high-impact graphics and functional side gussets which allow the package to stand up and stand out in the freezer case.


    (FFP Packaging Solutions, U.K.)
  • Esterpeel Qbag

    Innovative in both design and technology, Esterpeel Qbag offers a new packaging format that brings together the strength of aluminum foil with an innovative use of polyester heat-seal technology. By using a heat-sealed polyester window, the cook can see the process and peel back the window to stir, add ingredients or serve after cooking. The pack also works well in the oven, retaining moisture and texture for meats and vegetables.


    (Gardner Technologies Inc., U.S.)
  • 3-in-1 integrated corkscrew

    By combining plastic technology with tradition, IC3 (3-in-1 integrated corkscrew) offers restaurant servers and consumers alike the romance of tradition coupled with ease of use. The wine bottle is glass, but the capsule and reseal cap are injection-molded ABS. The liner in the reseal cap and at the capsule-glass interface is a three-ply co-extruded foamed low-density polyethylene core between two solid layers of low-density polyethylene. Synthetic or natural corks are protected and easily removed without tools.


    (Graphic Packaging Intl., U.S.)
  • Quilt Wave microwave susceptor

    Quilt Wave has laminated cells or "quilts," which expand when exposed to microwave energy, bringing them into contact with the food product. This hot surface, immediately next to the food, drives away moisture and creates browning and crisping. It's especially suited for sandwiches, hand-held entrees, pizza and finger foods. It also dissipates heat quickly so it's not hot to the touch and is very safe to handle.


    (Kapak, an Ampac Co.; Jel Sert Co.; Seaquist Closures, all U.S.)
  • Energice sport beverage

    The introduction of Energice sport beverage -- by Ascendia Inc., a division of Jel Sert Co. -- in Kapak's patented QuadPak standup-pouch offers a unique alternative to traditional plastic bottles or drink boxes. The polyester/foil/nylon/polyethylene structure acts and looks like a box, except it is flexible. The pouch consists of a patented dispensing assembly with a polyethylene fitment and a spout topped off by a tamper-evident, easy-to-turn, swallow-resistant polypropylene closure. High-quality rotogravure graphics on all four panels create eye-popping shelf appeal.


    (Kunshan Jiapu Packaging Co., China)
  • Multilayer coex blown film

    The high-impact graphics and exceptional strength of the package replace earlier technology with a unique five-layer nylon coex and three layers of PE coex blown film. To guarantee seal integrity, Kunshan Jiapu Packaging used A/A and A/B adhesives for the heavy 5 kgs. bag of Pedigree dog food.

    (Alcan Packaging, U.S.)
Special citations

During the final review of the entries, the panel of judges found five packages warranting a Special Citation for a specific achievement in packaging. They are:
  • Chinese tea

    By shifting to a stand-up gusseted pouch of a BOPP/VMPET/PE package structure, a Chinese tea manufacturer increased market share and impressed consumers with improved functionality. The environmentally friendly, easy-open barrier pouch protects the product from air and moisture while the attractive printed package brings traditional natural beauty and design on the shelf.


    (Curwood Inc., U.S.)
  • Shrink bags for bone-in meats

    The Curwood Large ABP (Absolute Bone-In Protection) shrink bags help bone-in meats retain their weights and freshness longer. The shrink bags are extruded monolayer biaxially oriented polyethylene copolymer blend film that is laminated to a seven-layer biaxially oriented film. The bag is wide enough (up to 42 inches wide) for wholesale bone-in meats being transferred from the processor to the supermarket and has exceptional puncture resistance, clarity and shrink.


    (Flex Industries Ltd., India)
  • Alcoholic spirits (photo below)

    Replacing the carton with a flexible package structure made of polyester / metallized / polyester / laminated film checks counterfeiting as the package can be used only once versus the traditional cartons. Additionally, the speed for printing, laminating, slitting and pouching flexible packaging is significantly enhanced versus traditional cartons.


    (Kellogg Co.; Metaphase Design Group, both U.S.)
  • Kellogg's Drink ‘n Crunch cereal cup

    An ergonomically designed, double-walled vessel made of injected molded polypropylene makes Drink ‘n Crunch the ultimate portable breakfast for people on the go. Fresh milk is added to the outer cup and cereal is in the inner cup. When you drink, you get just the right amount of milk with your cereal, which stays crunchy.

    (ChaoAn Wenhua Color Print Co., China)
DuPont sponsors the competition in cooperation with Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Assn., Gloucestershire, England, and the Food Products Assn., Washington, D.C.

Flex Industries' counterfeit-resistant spirits package.

Entries are evaluated on degree of innovation, breadth of application, significance/impact on industry or consumers, marketing innovation of the packaged product and impact of the packaging on consumer or industry buying decisions. Entries need not include a DuPont product to be eligible.

Entries are judged by an international panel of qualified experts representing food processing and packaging industries, graphics experts, equipment suppliers, academia, the trade press and governmental, environmental and trade organizations.

Since its inception in 1986, the competition has received more than 700 entries from over 35 countries. During that time, over 160 innovations have been honored.

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