The winners of the Tube of the Year competition, which is held annually by the European Tube Manufacturers Association (etma), were awarded at this year’s World Tube Congress in Hamburg.

A jury comprising representatives of etma member companies and international brand manufacturers chose the winners of the coveted awards in the categories Aluminium Tube, Plastic Tube, Laminate Tube and Prototype. For the first time there was also an award in the Sustainability category this year.

According to Gregor Spengler, etma’s secretary general, “The etma member companies decided unanimously to create the new category because the topics of sustainability, recyclability and resource efficiency had rapidly gained in importance in discussions with customers. Our members are expected to come up with sustainable solutions. With the introduction of the Sustainability category in the competition, etma wants to take into account the high sense of responsibility and the great innovative strength of our member companies and at the same time set a clear standard for our industry’s competence in providing solutions.”

The winner of the Aluminium Tube category was the ‘Cation-active Hair Color’ tube from Russian luxury brand Estell´er, which was produced by Tubex Russia. The exclusive hair dye uses colours with holographic modulations to produce unusual tinting. The design of the tube is equally sophisticated: the dark violet colour with its pearl-like shimmer conveys a special perceived value. This fascinating look is achieved by the use of halftone printing with the addition of a pearlescent pigment to the transparent enamel. The large cap across the entire diameter of the tube is not only consumer-friendly, but also emphasises the tube’s elegant design line. And a pigment with a mother-of-pearl effect is also used to colour the cap and perfect the tube’s appearance.

In the Plastic Tube category, the jury awarded first prize to a tube manufactured by the Albéa Group for Eau thermale Jonzac Sublimactive Sérum Fermeté. This tube for Lea Nature´s Jonzac brand uses a so-called TearDrop design for an anti-aging cell-firming serum, which fills and tightens the skin to give it a dense and smoothing texture and thus minimise wrinkles. The consumer can use the dispenser system to control the exact dosage of the product onto the skin. With its fantastic transparency, the material looks like glass but it is much lighter and more stable than comparable dropper packaging. This makes this tube the ideal packaging for on the go and matches the exclusive lifestyle of the target group perfectly. With its elegantly simple design in offset colours, the tube’s artwork blends harmoniously into the rest of the premium brand’s luxurious product line.

The winning tube in the Laminate Tube category came from Italian manufacturer Global Tube and is produced for Beer Cream from the Italian luxury cosmetic brand LR Wonder Company. The tanning cream is part of a sophisticated range of beauty products and is currently fully in line with international trends. The appearance of the tube is stylish and embodies the fascinating world of fashion and glamour. 

The gently merging and flexo-printed colour gradation across the entire tube body from the bottom to the shiny closure coupled with the perfect use of 360° Decoseam technology is impressive. The tube’s graphic elements produced using gold-coloured cold foil technology add a special accent to the tube’s design. It creates a very special premium look, draws attention to the logo and underlines the perceived value of the product. The metallised gold flip-top closure rounds off the tube’s luxurious appeal and adds another highlight to what is already a successful look.

A tube from CTL Packaging topped the Prototype category. The French manufacturer won over the jury with its Green ESTube, which stands for ‘easy supply tube’. The aim of this technology is to simplify the recycling process. Up to now, most popular tubes have been made of different plastic materials, usually PE for the tube body and shoulder and PP for the cap. In the innovative ESTubes, the body, shoulder and closure are all now made completely of PP and are therefore completely recyclable. And that’s not all: the tubes are printed using digital offset printing, a process that is much cleaner and more eco-friendly than conventional printing techniques. In addition, the Eco Low Profile tube closure achieves material savings of 20 per cent. At the same time, the closure gives the tube an interesting and unusual look. And there is even an added benefit for the consumer: thanks to the particularly flat shoulders and a special edge, water can no longer collect in the cap.

The winner in the newly announced Sustainability category was French manufacturer Albéa Group with the tubes for a shower gel range from Caudalie of Paris. The tubes used have the lowest ecological footprint of all the tubes used in this product category: the low-profile caps reduce the weight by 50 per cent compared with conventional caps. Reducing the wall thickness of the extruded PE tubes from 500 µm to only 350 µm has made the tubes a third lighter. The brand message of a pronounced environmental awareness is conveyed haptically in an impressive and credible manner via the flexible tube, which is extremely stable despite its thinner wall thickness, and the material savings do not compromise the consumer experience. This is also well matched by the successful artwork of the tubes. The use of silkscreen printing produces an extraordinary visual effect. The unique surface structure creates a haptic experience that sticks in the consumer’s memory and strengthens brand loyalty.