Nominations have closed and the verdict of the Packaging Europe readership is in - so we can reveal the three finalists for our Readers’ Award! Unlike the rest of the Sustainability Awards, which are judged by an independent expert jury, this is a chance for you to decide which innovation best addresses the environmental challenges the industry faces today.

To register your vote and have a chance to win an iPad, you can either select your favourite on our online poll here, or come and see us at our FachPack stand (Hall 7, stand 416) and vote in person! The winner will be announced, alongside those of the main categories of the Sustainability Awards 2019, at FachPack's PackBox Forum on 25th September from 17:30.

We received a wide range of nominations from our readers, which once again highlighted the depth and breadth of the sustainability efforts in the packaging industry. Our finalists - the most popular three nominations - address the sustainability issue from different angles: recyclability, replacing plastics with paper and a practical solution for reusable packaging. Read on to find out more about the three finalists.

Paper based confectionery packaging


Nestlé's YES! snack bars were recently launched in a new recyclable paper wrapper for what the company says is the first time a confectionery bar has been packaged in paper using a high-speed flow wrap technology.

This has now unlocked the potential for recyclable paper packaging to be widely used in the confectionery industry. Up until now, high-speed production of shelf-stable snacks was only achieved using plastic films and laminates.

The company said that one of the big challenges was to run paper packaging at high speed on existing machinery, and 300-bars-per-minute was achieved. The new packaging also is said to guarantee a standard shelf life of nine months. The paper barrier manages to keep the product fresh. Proper sealing was the third challenge that has been achieved.  

 100% recyclable pouch with decorative elements


A joint effort between Mondi, Werner & Mertz, EPEA Switzerland (Cradle to Cradle®), Der Grüne Punkt – Duales System Deutschland and Institut cyclos-HTP, this pouch is 100 per cent recyclable and has detachable decorative panels.

The pouch was reverse-engineered to create a pack that is fit for every stage of the process and facilitate correct sorting. The packaging needed to be made of a polyethylene mono-material in order to guarantee recyclability. 

The issue of recycling printed plastic materials was solved by adding two layers to the pouch: An "outer garment" that is printed with brand design on the front and consumer info on the pack. When the pouch is empty, it is undressed automatically by shredding and sorting the two components into separate recycling streams. The material is free of glue or adhesive. Spout and cap are also made of polyethylene.

Refill pods for bottles


Replenish aims to tackle the problem of disposable packaging and reduce the amount of waste generated by disposable bottles with its concentrated refill system and customisable bottles.

The company makes use of the fact that many of the products bought are 90% water, with only a small amount of active ingredients.

Replenish products, available for hand wash and cleaning products, feature a refill pod at the bottom of a reusable bottle. Consumers can buy new pods keep reusing the bottle. Each pod with concentrate makes six bottles of cleaner or handwash.

To vote for your favourite Readers' Award nomination, simply click through to the poll here