June 14, 2011 | Plastics News, PLYMOUTH, MI
DuPont’s 23rd Awards for Packaging Innovation honored Plastipak for a cost-cutting, more efficient technology for hot fill processing, ThermoShape™. This technology supports a new lightweight PET container for hot fill beverages. ThermoShape™ makes it possible to use 20% less material without the need for vacuum panels, and with no impact on the performance of the bottle.
“The nominees and winners this year show how sustainability considerations are driving innovation,” Shanna Moore, global director of sustainability at DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, said in a news release. “We see how sustainability takes many shapes, ranging from use of organic or renewable materials to the relentless drive to reduce waste and weight.”
Plastipak shares the excitement DuPont expressed by recognizing a broad field of admirable advances in sustainable packaging solutions. Winning entries included innovations such as packaging trays made with renewable bamboo and bulrush fiber-based material. This new package, the judges felt, pushed the boundaries of pulp trays, reducing both cost and material weight. It is also easier to open and offers more room for marketing-related graphics.
Another packager won praise for its mushroom seeds-to-packaging product, which is grown from mycelium and regionally sourced agricultural byproducts such as cotton burrs and oat hulls. The package is made of ultra-rapidly renewable resources and is completely compostable. The jury found it to be a cost-effective, sustainable replacement for expanded polystyrene or other materials used in protective packaging.
According to DuPont, the trends among the 2011 award recipients bear out the results of a recent DuPont online survey of packaging professionals. Survey respondents picked sustainability as the top challenge facing the packaging industry, closely followed by cost concerns.
“Nearly all of the winning innovations related to reducing waste in the system,” jury panel head John Bernardo, a principal at Sustainable Innovations, said. “The jury could see a much deeper consideration of sustainability concerns, starting with responsible sourcing and thoughtful package design, all the way to end-of-life factors.”