The main focus is on packaging designs for small items, prepared meals, lobsters and contemporary merchandise

Given the ever evolving world of packaging design, it was encouraging to see packaging technologists and designers receive awards for remarkable innovations at the Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design of the Year Awards 2020.

Nerida Kelton

By Nerida Kelton, MAIP, Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Packaging.

The focus was on unique small goods, ready meals, lobsters and fresh products that contain innovative circular design elements with a functional and intuitive design.

Packaging Innovation Design of the Year Award – Food Category

The Packaging Innovation Design of the Year Food Category Award was created to recognize organizations that have developed innovative packaging and / or materials for packaging and processing food, including fresh, frozen or other products. All contributions were also assessed based on sustainable packaging design considerations and packaging changes that they make to meet the national packaging targets for 2025.

Planet Protector Packaging received the Gold Award for the innovative Lobster Protector.

Planet Protector packaging was awarded the Gold Award for the innovative Lobster protection. The uniquely designed Lobster Protector packaging is a flat-packed, recyclable, biodegradable, renewable and compostable solution that is made from 100 percent food-safe materials. It is the first time that this has been achieved in the fish industry. The packaging design consists of three main components: a wool lining, a fiberboard insert and a corrugated cardboard with a unique coating to make the box waterproof. The Lobster Protector is 100 percent food safe, 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable. The critical wool lining is compostable (even compostable at home). This solution does not contain any plastic components.

Disruptive Packaging was awarded the Silver Award for Uniqcor for cold chain environments.

Disruptive packaging was awarded a silver award for Uniqcor for cold chain environments. The biggest challenge in transporting fruits, vegetables and seafood in the cold chain is to maintain structural integrity in the box so that the products are not damaged. Uniqcor was developed with advanced structural strength that allows the packs to be reused up to seven times and is 100 percent waterproof. Uniqcor is an environmentally friendly range of food packaging containers that are offered as an alternative to conventional cold chain packaging made from waxed cardboard or polystyrene. An outstanding feature is the print quality of the packaging at magazine level, which enables customers to use the same packaging up to the end user.

Platypus Print Packaging also received the Silver Award for the Youfoodz Meal Kit.

Platypus print packaging was also awarded a silver prize for the Youfoodz Meal Kit, which is in the form of a small, bag-style product, with one of the parts serving a dual purpose and can be converted into a recipe tent card. The packaging contains several ingredients in a kit, so that you can easily prepare a homemade meal. The packaging contains a product that naturally eliminates food waste. The exact portion of the ingredients is provided to the consumer in the kit pack. The packaging substrate consists of softwood fibers that are suitable for cooling. As such, the consumer can hold the ingredient in the kit together until use. This reduces the likelihood of waste and improves durability. The two-piece design reduces the amount of pre-consumer waste and the packaging can be 100 percent recycled by roadside pickup.

Primo Foods received a special award for the Red Range Slice Pack.

Primo Foods was awarded a special award for the Red Range Slice Pack. Primo replaced the packaging of its Red Range Slice Pack products with a smaller and universally usable shelf box made of 100 percent recycled cardboard. Previously, the Red Range products were displayed on a plastic tray on the shelf so that the packs could stand up. These packs on the plastic display case were packed in larger boxes in different sizes and with different proportions of virgin kraft cardboard. Removing the plastic display cases was the culmination of this improvement. By removing the trays, the carton could be made smaller, which in turn enables standardization of the carton size and better pallet utilization. This change resulted in a 99 ton reduction in plastic due to the removal of trays and a 171 ton reduction in carton weight due to the use of a smaller carton throughout the range. Since the new boxes were smaller, more boxes could be stacked on a pallet. This in turn made it possible to reduce the number of pallets that had to be processed through the supply chain each year. The new boxes are made from 100 percent recycled cardboard.

The recurring theme in all packaging is that the packaging technologists and designers have pointed out functionality, intuitive and accessible design features, functional principles and actively to a more sustainable packaging with improved communication on the packaging for the consumer.

We are now qualified for the prestigious WorldStar Packaging Awards and cannot wait for these companies to receive global recognition for their unique, innovative and sustainable packaging designs.

About Nerida Kelton MAIP

Nerida Kelton MAIP is Executive Director of the Australian Institute of Packaging and ANZ board member of the World Packaging Organization. She is also a member of the International Packaging Press Organization (IPPO).

She has been in the packaging industry for over 22 years, holds a position on the steering committee of the National Ministry for the Environment and Energy Strategy for food waste and is AIP leader for the Save Food Packaging Consortium project at the Fight Food Waste Cooperative research center. She wants to help the packaging industry understand the role of packaging in minimizing food waste and help promote the recognition of brands that develop innovative save food packaging. Nerida is also passionate about educating and educating packaging professionals about the importance of sustainable, circular packaging design and recognizing best practices in this area.

About the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP)

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is the highest professional organization for the education and training of packaging in Australasia. Support in shaping the careers of generations of packaging experts – from packaging technologists to international managers in the packaging business to a large number of employees in related disciplines – sales and marketing, purchasing, production and the environment.

The AIP was founded in 1963 in response to the need for packaging technologists to interact and give individuals in the packaging industry a professional identity. The AIP has been active in the industry for over 55 years and is the only professional organization that enables professional and personal development at all levels of the packaging industry. The educational offer includes the diploma in packaging technology, the certificate in packaging, the master in food and packaging innovation, the certification as Certified Packaging Professional (CPP), the course Fundamentals of packaging technology, half-day training, conferences, technical forums, on-site visits, influential Mentoring program for women, internship program and more. The AIP covers Australia, New Zealand and parts of Asia.

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