DuPont Co. presented its annual awards for packaging, honoring the pouches, bottles, caps and cans that are changing the packaging world. on May 15.
While the top honor, the Diamond Award, went to an aluminum can — Unilever’s line of compressed deodorants that use 25 percent less aluminum and 50 percent less propellant — many of the 16 winners represent leaps, bounds and innovations in plastic packaging and recycling.
Gold Awards went to Procter & Gamble Co. for a smart-dosing liquid cleaner cap and Plastipak Packaging Inc.’s direct-printing solution.
Cincinnati-based P&G developed a low-cost controlled dosing cap for cleaning liquid that cuts down on product waste one squeeze at a time. The smart-dosing cap, made of four plastic parts, uses a timer mechanism activated by one squeeze of the bottle, simultaneously dispensing the product and moving a small piston to cleanly shut off the flow when the prescribed dose has been dispensed. This cap has been adapted and scaled across P&G product lines to vary between 5 and 50 ml with very high accuracy, the company says.
Plastipak’s win for Technological Advancement and Responsible Packaging came for the Plymouth, Mich. Company’s Direct Object Printing system, which prints directly on a package using environmentally friendly ink, eliminating the need for label substrates, reducing labels and glue from landfills and recycling streams and simplifying the supply chain.
“Manufacturing flexibility is increased because the system can print on different bottle sizes and shapes and can even print on the shoulder of any plastic container or print full-panel graphics,” the company said.
India’s Parakah Agro Industries Ltd. was also a Gold winner for its flexible pouch made with DuPont’s Bynel 4109 tie layer resin, which is making shelf-stable milk accessible across the country. The five-layer EVOH-based film pouch holds ultra high temperature (UHT) sterilized milk that has been packed in aseptic conditions. No refrigeration is required until it is opened, the milk does not need to be boiled before it is consumed and the cost of unit pack per liter is significantly lower than traditional aseptic packaging.
“The Elecster (Finland) UHT Milk technology enhances user experience by providing milk to a large population that would otherwise not have access to it,” according to a DuPont news release. “Additionally, the longer shelf life provides an advantage to consumers in India who do not have refrigeration.”
A Silver Award for Responsible Packaging went to the Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc. — the only North American beverage company collecting and processing curbside PET packaging and convert it back into food-grade PET to make its own water bottles. The result is an 84 percent reduction in raw-material energy consumption and 78 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to using virgin PET, according to the Shelburne, Ontario-based company.
“With the innovation of the 15L Arrowhead 100 percent recycled PET bottle, Ice River Springs can now recover and re-use an impressive 100 percent of the green PET packaging it collects through its closed-loop recycling system at its own plastics recycling plant,” DuPont said in its awards announcement.
The United Kingdom’s Nampak Plastics Europe Ltd. also won a Silver Award for Responsible Packaging for developing its line of Inifini lightweight milk bottles. The high density polyethylene milk bottles are the world's lightest 4-pint (2.27L) 32-gram bottle, containing up to 20 percent less material and up to 30 percent recycled HDPE, the company says.
“Nampak is the leading supplier of HDPE bottles to the dairy and juice industries and, based on Infini being the bottle of choice, it can save the UK milk packaging industry 30,000 tons of resin per annum, and could further reduce carbon footprint up to 30 per cent with recycled HDPE,” according to DuPont.
Nampak and Infini are expanding their reach in 2014, with manufacturing licenses awarded for the the Australian and New Zealand markets and discussions underway with licensing partners in the United States, European, Asian and African markets for liquid dairy and non-dairy bottle packaging applications.
Silver Award winners also included:
Clear Lam Packaging, Inc., based in Elk Grove Village, Ill., with collaborators John B. Sanfilippo and Son Inc., a leading nut processor, and Mason, Ohio-based labeler Spear Inc. for the PrimaPak, a flexible, recloseable “pop-up box” for peanuts made from a single roll of flexible film with an outer label to add vertical strength and rigidity while eliminating packaging waste associated with traditional rigid packaging.
The United Kingdom’s FFP Packaging Solutions Ltd. and contributors Faccenda Group, ASDA and ULMA SpA for roast-In-the-bag chicken packaging that minimizes food handling safety risks with a large polyester flow wrap sealed with heat-seal polyester.
PepsiCo, based in Purchase, N.Y., for the lighter-yet-stronger 28-ounce Gatorade bottle with a vacuum panel in the base, rather than the sides, and a series of structural ribs that prevent deformation during and after the hot-filling process and a new roll-fed film label technology to shrink the labels onto the bottles, eliminating adhesives.
The independently judged competition saw about 200 entries from 31 countries, marking the second-highest number of entries and the broadest global reach in the program’s 26-year history, according to a DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers news release.