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Sustainability Wins in 2011 DuPont Packaging Awards

Sept. 21, 2011
The 23rd annual awards recognize six food and beverage packages.

Food & beverage companies again did well in the 23rd DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation, announced in June. The annual packaging competition honors breakthrough developments in plastic packaging, not necessarily using DuPont products.

"The nominees and winners this year show how sustainability considerations are driving innovation," says Shanna Moore, global director of sustainability at 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."

That bears out the results of a recent 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."

This year's jury panel evaluated more than 200 entries from around the world and awarded two diamond winners, six gold winners and eight silver winners.

The diamond winners, while not from the food world, are worth mentioning. Procter & Gamble Co. was named for its Be Green Packaging for the Gillette Fusion ProGlide, which moved away from a clamshell approach and opted instead for a formable pulp tray made of renewable bamboo and bulrush fiber-based materials.

The other diamond winner, Ecovative Design, looked to nature for protective secondary packaging used for items such as electronics. EcoCradle is grown from mycelium (mushroom roots) and regionally sourced agricultural byproducts, such as cotton burrs and oat hulls, and also is home compostable. It is a cost-effective and sustainable replacement for Styrofoam and other protective materials.

Moneta S, Sissy chocolates
Extremely thin film
This was the only food package among the gold winners. Moneta S of Slovakia used a significant printing and laminating technical innovation, Yango AL technology, to replace a 14-micron foil structure with 3-micron BOPP (bi-axially oriented polypropylene) film and 7 microns of foil. At the same time, it maintained a high-quality print impact. This extremely thin plastic film also significantly reduces the weight of the package.

The following food and beverage packages were among the silver winners.

H.J. Heinz & Multivac
Dip & Squeeze ketchup packet
H.J. Heinz Co. and Multivac Co. were cited for the Heinz Dip & Squeeze ketchup packet. The dual-function package is another portable ketchup option for restaurant operators, offering consumers the option of tearing off the top for squeezing or peeling off the lid for dipping. It also provides three times more ketchup than standard 9g sachets yet uses less packaging. Plus it's shaped like Heinz's iconic glass bottle.

Stonyfield Farm,
Clear Lam Packaging and Arcil
PLA Yo Baby yogurt cups
Stonyfield and Clear Lam broke major barriers for a breakthrough use of polylactic acid in a high-volume dairy application. The form/fill/seal multipack yogurt cups are made of 93 percent PLA. The PLA results in 48 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions versus polystyrene. 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.
Plastipak Packaging (U.S.)
and Tescor HR (France)
Lightweight PET for hot fill
ThermoShape represents a significant technology innovation achievement in the manufacturing and design of lightweight 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.

Coca-Cola Co. (Japan)
Lightweight and crushable PET bottle
Coca-Cola created a 40 percent lighter PET bottle for its I Lohas brand of mineral water in Japan. Some of the bottles are Japan's lightest in the 1,000-ml class. Once consumed, the bottle is easily twisted, which crushes it to a very small size, improving post-consumer transport efficiency. It has the additional benefit of using up to 30 percent plant-based material, reducing the petroleum-based materials.
Positive Packaging Industries, Ltd. (India)
Nestle Maggi Arome bottle
Positive Packaging replaced the large glass bottles of Nestle Maggi Arome seasoning liquid with thermoformed, single-use mini bottles made of flexible laminate, offering consumers 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. 

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