"This year we focused the DuPont Awards program on the essential elements needed to drive breakthroughs in packaging," said Carolann Haznedar, global business and market director of DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers. "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. These winners demonstrate the kind of collaborative innovation that is needed to solve such multi-dimensional problems."
An independent expert jury panel evaluated 160 entries from around the world and selected winners representing excellence in three areas. Diamond winners (two) were determined to demonstrate excellence in innovation, sustainability and cost/waste reduction. Gold winners (five) demonstrated excellence in two of the areas. Silver winners (six) were selected on the merits of their breakthrough innovation. Notable honorees (three) were selected for innovative problem-solving.
While the competition covers a wide array of product packaging, about half the award-winning packages are for food & beverage products; we focus most of our attention on those.
Excellence in innovation, cost/waste reduction and sustainability
1. New Technology for Aluminum Bottles
Exal Corp. and Alcoa Rigid Packaging
Bottled beverage marketers are being continually challenged to improve their environmental footprint. Exal Corp.'s new "Coil to Can" (C2C) aluminum bottle manufacturing technology features a 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 glass.
2. Innovative Packaging System for Medical Supplies
Entropy Solutions Inc.
Innovation and Sustainability or Innovation and Cost/Waste Reduction
1. The World's First Fully Compostable Snack Bag
Frito-Lay North America div. of PepsiCo
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 polylactic 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.
2. PET Plastic Beverage Bottles Made Partially From Plants
Coca Cola Co. (USA, Canada, Denmark, Japan, and Brazil); Imperial College, London; Michigan State University
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 (monoethylene glycol from sugar cane). The new PlantBottle, which has been launched in Denmark, the U.S., Canada, Japan and Brazil, is the first plastic beverage bottle from renewable sources that can be recycled along with other PET bottles in the existing recycling infrastructure. The bottle leverages the key environmental advantages of traditional PET, which include maintaining carbonation, resource efficiency and high recycling value, while reducing dependence on nonrenewable resources.
3. New Design Cuts Packaging by Nearly 80 Percent
Fresh Step Cat Litter (Clorox) and Nordenia
4. Anti-Counterfeiting Solution for Ethical Pharmaceuticals Users
Degill International Corp., Metal Industries R&D Center (Taiwan), Grand Medical Group
5. Packaging and Machinery Redesign Cuts Pack Material Warehousing
Always Feminine Products (Procter & Gamble)
1. Revitalizing an Iconic Brand
Scope Outlast Mouthwash(Procter & Gamble); Alpla, Tech Group and Webb deVlam Industrial Designers
2. Single Serve Plastic Wine Glass/Bottle
Copa di Vino, Quart Vin, Resilux America LLC (U.S. and France)
A new packaging approach for wines that originated in glass in France is now possible in plastic. The concept is 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.
3. Foam for Transport Packing Incorporates Recycled Content
Ethafoam HRC plank manufactured by Sealed Air Corp. and fabricated by Austin Foam Plastics
4. Modified Atmosphere Packaging for Meats
Cryovac Mirabella--Sealed Air Corp. (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 to the consumer longer.
5. Easy-Open Design for Fresh and Processed Meats & Cheeses
Grip & Tear bag from Sealed Air's Cryovac Food Packaging Unit
The Cryovac Grip & 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.
6. Every Component Serves its Function
Berry Plastics, ConAgra, Rexam and IDEO
Today's consumers demand healthful as well as convenient prepared foods. This creative design for shelf-stable, single-serve meals ensures a good preparation experience 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
1. Inside Injection Foaming for Polypropylene Pallets Replace Wood
FEMSA (Mexico) and Sosa Tech Advisors (U.S.)
2. Odorless Barrier Laminate for Cereal Liner
Kellogg's Cereal Flakes -Positive Packaging, Kellogg's – India
A common problem for cereal makers is off-gassing of cornflakes and the need for an oxygen barrier. Kellogg 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.
3. Fully Automatic Dishwashing Detergent Dispensing System
Finish Quantumatic (Reckitt Benckiser–Poland)