Packaging and a sustainable world

Graphic showing Packaging Innovation Awards logo and photos of winning innovations

Explore all of the award-winning innovations

A key focus for the 2021 Packaging Innovation Awards was sustainability and the judges saw more attention than ever being paid to carbon reduction, and the conscious use of resources across the whole value chain, from production to manufacturing and transportation.

These solutions and innovations will affect not just the packaging industry – but have a beneficial impact on the world.

Here are three examples that showcase how the 2021 Packaging Innovation Awards entries tackled different global sustainability challenges.

1) Zero waste packaging

There is growing consumer demand for packaging that is more sustainable, designed with end of life in mind.

Zero Co. is an e-commerce zero waste to landfill business that was funded entirely through a public Kickstarter campaign. Their goal was to provide consumers with refillable pouches and plastic ‘forever bottles’ of household cleaning and personal care solutions.

The pouches are made from as much recycled content as possible and when the refillable pouches reach the end of their life, they get recovered by Zero Co. and recycled into new pouches again, and again.

2) Simplifying the packaging recycling process

In 2021 the judges saw several impressive innovations that moved beyond just making packaging recyclable. They saw a lot of designs that not only worked with their local waste systems but also helped simplify the recycling process, whilst taking a broader look at other environmental savings, such as in transport costs.

VALGROUP and DANONE made an almost frictionless journey for their new water bottles to be recycled, by removing the need for labels all together. The barcode is now engraved onto the bottle cap, and their unique laser decoration technology allows the details that would have previously been displayed on the label to be lasered right into the bottle, creating an easier route into the recycling bin. The laser engraving also saves nearly 30 grams of weight per bottle, a small amount on its own, but this adds up to a lot of environmental savings during the shipping process.

3) Tackling food waste with packaging

Finally, there has been a renewed focus on optimizing packaging materials to help tackle food waste.

The Mavuno Bora bag – is designed to extend the life cycle of products for Kenyan farmers. Keeping grain inside the Mavuno Bora bag eliminates oxygen permeation and preserves the integrity of the grain for up to two years with minimal loss in quality and quantity. This allows farmers to sell when prices are profitable and allows them to store grain and seed without affecting the germination rates. The bags are designed for multiple usage and at the end of their life can be recycled and included in polyethylene film production streams.

Explore all the award-winning packaging innovations

On March 31, 2022 the winners of the 2021 Packaging Innovation Awards were announced. Take a look through all the packaging innovation recognized for outstanding achievements in technological advancement, enhanced user experience and/ or responsible packaging.

Han Zhang, Global Sustainability Director