- June 01, 2010, Edited by Nsenga Thompson, Associate Editor
DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers recently announced winners of its 22nd DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation. The awards program is said to be the industry’s longest-running, independently judged global awards program honoring packaging materials, technology, and service innovations.
“This year we focused the DuPont Awards program on the essential elements needed to drive breakthroughs in packaging. 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,” says Carolann Haznedar, global business director. “These winners demonstrate the kind of collaborative innovation that is needed to solve such multi-dimensional problems.”
Led by John Bernardo, president of Sustainable Innovations (http://www.sustaininnovations.com/), Boise, ID, judges evaluated 160 entries from around the globe and selected winners representing excellence in three areas. Diamond winners (2) were determined to demonstrate excellence in innovation, sustainability, and cost/waste reduction. Gold winners (5) demonstrated excellence in two of the areas, and Silver winners (6) were selected on the merits of their breakthrough innovation. Notable honorees (3) were selected for innovative problem solving.
The jury panel includes:
John Bernardo, Sustainable Innovations
- Peter Clarke, Product Ventures
- Sara Hartwell, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery
- Ray Germonprez, Bemis Co.
- Frederick J. Renk, MeadWestvaco
- Gail Tavill, ConAgra Foods
Here’s a look at a few of the winners.
Entropy Solutions, Minneapolis, MN receives the prestigious Diamond award for its innovative packaging system, designed to ensure the safe transport of medical supplies. The greatest challenge in shipping temperature-sensitive materials, such as pharmaceuticals or blood supplies, is maintaining proper temperature for the duration of transport—a cause of product loss that cost the pharmaceutical industry $3 billion in 2009. The company’s Greenbox reusable thermal management system employs a total system approach to assure products arrive at their destination uncompromised, the company reports. Greenbox is powered by PureTemp, Entropy’s renewable based, non-toxic phase change technology, which keep contents at the right temperature for more than 120 hr. The Thermal-Lok panels have insulating values ten times that of expanded polystryrene (EPS). The system components are reusable, and at the end of life, the outer shell and Thermal-Lok panels are ground for reuse in new systems.
A Lesson in Sustainability
A Gold award was given to Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH, for its Always feminine products package. In a new approach for this product category, P&G redesigned machinery as well as packaging to enable a switch from wicketed PE bags for its Always feminine products to continuous flow wrapping technology that reduced the use of PE by 25% and created an 80% reduction in pack material warehouse space needed. The new approach enables better pallet fit due to the tighter package and reduced energy usage in transportation and pack material manufacture. The resulting new package design is more attractive to consumers, the company reports.
Next Page: World’s First Fully Compostable Snack Bag
World’s First Fully Compostable Snack Bag
Frito-Lay North America, Dallas, TX, earns a Gold award for overcoming 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.
Bag Replaces Pail
Packaging Fresh Step Cat Litter in a flexible bag rather than a polypropylene pail brings a Gold award to Clorox, Oakland, CA. The company cut packaging materials by nearly 80% while offering sustainability and cost reduction across its supply chain. The innovative design maintains consumer ease of use features for handling, pouring, resealing, and storage equal to the pail it replaced.
Keep Meats Looking Fresh
Sealed Air, Elmwood Park, NJ, receives a Silver Award for the Cryovac Mirabella anti-fog shrink film. This anti-fog shrink film for modified atmosphere packaging enables film-to-meat contact with reduced pack volume, without discoloring the meat and is said to maintain eye-appeal longer for fresh meats. There is less food waste as the meat product remains appealing to the consumer longer. The thinner package also saves space on the retail display.
Easy-Open Bag Promotes Safety
Cryovac also is honored for its Grip & Tear bag, which 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 grabs the package and tears it open by pulling the tabs. This knifeless design is said to improve employee safety as well as reduce the risk of cross-contamination and keep the workspace clean.
Every Component Serves its Function
Berry Plastics, Evansville, IN, Rexam, Excelsior Springs, MO, and IDEO, Palo Alto, CA, team up for ConAgra’s Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers single-serve meal packaging. This creative design for shelf-stable, single-serve meals ensures a good experience with preparation and a high quality meal for the consumer, the company reports. Separation of the meal components in this way is said to provide positive consumer engagement with their meal and delivers an exceptional end product in terms of taste, texture, and nutrition.