The German Packaging Institute (dvi), organiser of the German Packaging Award, had already revealed the 34 best innovations of the year in August.

At the industry celebration on the first day of FachPack, the representatives of the victorious companies from Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Sweden were now able to receive their trophies and certificates – and at also at the event,, the winners of this year’s Gold Awards were announced. 

This year, the Otto Hänsel Foundation Prize also celebrated its premiere at the German Packaging Award, recognising outstanding achievements by mechanical engineering students. The prize is awarded by the Board of Trustees together with the German Association of Food Processing and Packaging Machinery (VDMA).

Making achievements heard

In her introductory speech, Dr. Bettina Horenburg, dvi board member and overall responsible person for the German Packaging Award, pointed out that the trend towards “sustainability and new materials with their various facets was even more vital than last year. However,” she continued, “it has also become clear that packaging cannot be reduced to sustainability and nothing else. Packaging primarily ensures the protection and shelf life of products and prevents consequential losses that would pose a serious economic and ecological problem.” 

On the one hand, Winfried Batzke, dvi Managing Director, was delighted that the public is becoming increasingly aware of packaging issues. “On the other hand, though, we cannot let the pace be set by the lay-person here! The world does not need greenwashing; rather, it needs practicable, well thought-out solutions, and you are the ones who need to proclaim them to the world at large. And therein lies the problem: the industry must make its voice heard – and heard loudly and clearly. We at the dvi are keen to help you shout out your message with our award, or offer you other suitable platforms where you can make your voice heard.”

Four Golds

The highlight of the industry celebration was the announcement and presentation of the Gold Awards. “We had a very strong and highly innovative field of participants with submissions from 14 nations. The ones who make it through this scrutiny and win a Packaging Award have already achieved something special. However, four innovations rose above even this illustrious circle of winners. The jury therefore awarded them the highest accolade – the German Packaging Award’s Gold Award,” said Dr. Horenburg, expressing her congratulations.

ALB-GOLD paper pasta packaging by ALB-GOLD Teigwaren GmbH won a Gold Award. The jury honoured this "well-thought-out solution with its skilful use and selection of sustainable materials, producing the first FSC-certified paper bag with CO2 emissions reduced by 65 per cent compared to standard film bags. The untreated paper is highly recyclable yet provides the barrier that the product needs. A minimal application of sealing wax made of resins and waxes ensures a reliable seal, giving enhanced convenience and feel."

Gold also went to “Food Protect” by Smurfit Kappa Herzberg Solid Board GmbH. The jury was particularly impressed by the recycling material’s barrier solution in cardboard food crates, which opens up a wide range of application possibilities for paper and cardboard. In contrast to surface-applied barrier solutions, the active carbon layer of Smurfitt Kappa’s “MB12 technology” is at the core of the innovation, acting on the surface and on the cut edges of the finished packaging. MB12 not only acts as a barrier, but is also a catalyst that binds volatile organic substances. All common processing technologies can therefore be used during production without breaching the barrier. In addition, further layers can be added, providing a moisture or fat-repellent layer for example. This means it is possible to respond extremely individually to the requirements of the packaged goods.

Pöppelmann GmbH & Co. KG won a Gold Award. Its “universal packaging made of post-consumer material for closed-loop raw material cycles” is manufactured from over 90 per cent post-consumer recycling (PCR) material. The packaging is disposed of via the yellow plastics bin for recycling and is easy to detect and sort within the recycling stream. The granulate produced at the end of the process can be fed back into the material cycle for further use. The jury sees replacing “virgin raw material” with recycled plastic as an important contribution to conserving resources and increasing the proportion of reusable plastic within packaging waste.

For the very first time, Gold was also awarded in the “Young talent” competition category. Felicia Kopitzke, Sophia Huber and Daniela Betz, packaging technology students from the Stuttgart Media University, stood out from the crowd with their “Second Chance” innovation. This ingenious solution enables a further use of attractive glass packaging containers by dispensing with the ugly standard thread for the lid closure. The students’ innovation allows the glass to be gripped by machine due to its cut ellipses in the second row of the jar, while remaining fully compatible with standard lids. The jury was excited about this “Design to second use” and was full of praise for how the smart and visually graceful closure elements of the jar have been integrated into the 3D design concept.

The winners at a glance

The dvi presented the Gold Award winners and a selection of Packaging Award winners in a special performance show at FachPack. All 34 award-winning innovations with pictures and the jury’s evaluation texts are there for all to see on the German Packaging Award website. The submission phase for the next German Packaging Award is expected to start in March 2020.