Putting the spotlight on sustainable
packaging innovation

Graphic showing Packaging Innovation Award Diamond winner

We hope shining a light on these incredible solutions, inspires the industry to keep improving and innovating to solve today’s—and future—challenges.

Another edition of the Packaging Innovation Awards is underway. This competition is an opportunity to recognize the creative minds working to bring sustainable packaging to market. I hope shining a light on these solutions, inspires the industry to keep improving and innovating to solve today’s—and future—challenges.

For over thirty years the Packaging Innovation Awards have brought together the best of the best in packaging innovation from across the globe. Sustainability has always been at the heart of the awards, and we continue to see greater representation each year. In 2021, the judges saw numerous packaging projects that took creative approaches to solving challenges to advance the circular economy.

An example of this creative packaging innovation was on full display with the 2021 Diamond Award winner—Brookfarm’s Curbside Recyclable, High Barrier Stand Up Pouch by O F Packaging. Let’s take a closer look.

From hard-to-recycle to curbside-ready

Sustainability has been a key driver for O F Packaging for many years and they strive to be an educator in sustainable packaging.

O F Packaging was given a challenge by their client Brookfarm to create a high barrier packaging structure to protect their muesli and granola that would also be easier to recycle and compatible with the mechanical recycling infrastructure in Australia.

The muesli and granola product is protected by flexible plastic packaging, which is notoriously tricky to recycle. Rather than wait for the industry to bring new products to market, O F Packaging chose to disrupt the market themselves and create a more sustainable flexible plastic package that is easier to recycle.

close up view of  roll 'n' recycle sticker

This ambition was not without its challenges. The new packaging needed to be just as effective as the existing packaging and maintain all its key attributes such as long shelf life and eye-catching shelf appeal. And making it easier to recycle meant ensuring the product could be recycled through existing curbside pick-up. The old packaging would often end up being incorrectly classified as paper recycling in the sorting process and would contaminate the waste stream.

O F Packaging came up with a creative solution. Firstly, the new packaging is made from a single material, 100% polyethylene, making it compatible with existing recycling streams. Secondly, when the new container is empty, the pouch can be rolled into a cylinder by the consumer. The product label is used as a sticker to keep the packaging in that cylinder shape. It’s now 3D shape means the packaging can be dropped into the recycling bin for curbside pick-up and remain in the correct plastic recycling stream.

O F Packaging has big plans for their sustainable flexible packaging including new overseas markets. The company has already introduced it to several of their current clients who are delighted to offer their customers at-home recycling for their products.

Find out more about the Packaging Innovation Awards

If you are curious to explore the other projects recognized with an award in 2021, visit the winners showcase gallery. And if you are considering entering your project, visit the Packaging Innovation Awards website to learn more. Submissions are being accepted through August 30, 2022.

Dow is also focused on diversity in innovation. For more information, please navigate to our Seek Together blog to learn more.

Daniella Souza Miranda, Global Marketing and Digital Director for Packaging & Specialty Plastics