In keeping with the overall theme of innovation, Packaging Europe’s Sustainability Awards took a different approach in 2022. The individual awards categories were divided into two camps: commercialised and pre-commercialised - with the former focusing on innovations that have already been launched, and the latter recognizing products that have not yet reached the market.
The commercialised winners were unveiled during the Sustainable Packaging Summit in Lisbon, and the pre-commercialised winners were announced at our Innovation Horizon conference in Amsterdam on November 14th.
Below is a full list of all the winners from both camps. A hearty congratulations to them all! To learn more about the winning innovations, click here to read our series of Q&As with the finalists.
We’ll be announcing further details on the 2023 edition of the Sustainability Awards very soon - keep an eye on our website and social channels for more information.
Firstly, the award for Overall Winner went to Sigwerk, with its UniNATURE packaging inks formulated with a high Bio Renewable Content.
In addition, the winner of our Readers’ Award went to Vandemoortele & MCC Verstraete for the SealPPeel packaging solution.
Let’s take a closer look at our winning entries:
As mentioned, the overall ‘Most Sustainable Innovation’ award, as well as the award for ‘Renewable Materials’, went to Siegwerk’s UniNATURE packaging inks. These contribute to defossilization by partially replacing fossil carbon with biorenewable carbon. Natural and conventional resins, from bio-sourced monomers, are combined so customers can use UniNATURE inks without process adjustments. UniNATURE inks also benefit from improved ink stability and lower VOC content.
The range incorporates up to 50% renewable carbon content – up to nine times more compared to standard water-based inks. The range provides an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional inks without impacting the recyclability of paper and board packaging, and also contributes to reducing microplastics in inks.
The award for ‘Driving the Circular Economy’ went to R-Cycle’s digital product passport for plastics. As a platform for all stakeholders along the packaging lifecycle, this solution automatically collects and provides recycling-relevant data in an open standard format during packaging production and makes it accessible for improved waste sorting and further applications to improve sustainability.
The winner in the ’Climate’ category was Henkel’s Technomelt Supra ECO carbon-negative packaging hot melt, which the company tells us has the potential to exceed more than 80% bio-based raw material input without compromising on performance.
According to the company, the industry standard for hot melt adhesives with packaging applications is up to 50% bio-based raw material. However, it notes that when bio-based content exceeded the 50% threshold, processing inefficiencies arouse for producers, such a slower line speeds or shorter equipment cleaning cycles, reportedly preventing companies from moving beyond this amount.
Boston Consulting Group’s CO2 AI won out in the ‘Best Practice’ category. This is an end-to-end, ready-to-deploy, AI-powered digital solution that corporations from all industries can use to quantify emissions accurately – and find solutions to reduce them at scale.
According to one of the company’s clients: “CO2 AI is the most comprehensive E2E tool for sustainability on the market and most advanced decision support tool”.
AmSky by Amcor Healthcare received the award for ‘Recyclable Packaging’. AmSky is a recycle ready, High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)-based pharmaceutical and nutraceutical blister packaging system that is designed to be a drop-in replacement for existing thermoformed blister packaging applications that currently use PVC/Foil.
The combination of PVC/Foil is one of the least sustainable packaging combinations in all of packaging.
The ‘E-Commerce’ award when to Aptar for its monomaterial ‘Future’ pump, which combines eco-design principles with cutting-edge innovation: monomaterial PE, fully recyclable, and e-commerce ISTA6-compliant.
An easy-to-use pump featuring an incorporated on/off locking system with a 360°-degree rotator, available in two dosages and neck sizes, suitable for a large range of viscosities and PCR FDA capable.
Tonejet’ s Cyclone C4+ was the winner in the ‘Machinery’ category. Cyclone C4+ is a direct digital can printing system that replaces pressure-sensitive labels and shrink sleeves for short-run beverage can decoration.
The system prints directly onto the can which stays 100% recyclable. Brewers will cut costs, save time, and no longer need to wrap cans in plastic!
And finally… the 2022 Readers’ Award, selected by you, the Packaging Europe Audience, went to SealPPeel packaging from Vandemoortele & MCC Verstraete. SealPPeel is a heat seal die-cut lidding innovation made from PP, which allows PP packs to become fully mono-material.
According to the company, this solution ‘drastically increases the chances of the packaging getting recycled into valuable rPP; while simultaneously increasing the shelf appeal thanks to superior print quality’.
Winners included the food freshness indicator by ColorSensing in the Active and Intelligent section, Flexpenser’s liquid dispenser in the climate section, polycirQ’s and Siegwerk’s deinking process for printed plastic films in the Driving the Circular Economy section, the recyclable PP-based barrier sachet by Taghleef Industries and Gerosa Group in the recyclable materials category, and AB InBev & Sustainable Fiber Technologies barley packaging in the recyclable packaging category.
Let’s take a closer look at our winning entries:
ColorSensing – Active and Intelligent packaging
ColorSensing helps food packing companies and retailers cut down food waste thanks to a digital, multiparametric and cost-effective smart label to check possible package leaks, cold chain breaks, and the real freshness of the product. As a result, they ensure the quality and safety of their products while improving their profitability.
Flexpenser - Climate
Flexpenser is described as a technological breakthrough for sustainable storage and consumption of liquids and semi-liquid for households and industries. Flexpenser has a patented solution to minimize waste from liquids/semi-liquids and their packages, making it possible to minimize their environmental impact The technology can ”open a package without opening it” so that the liquid and its package last dramatically longer at a much lower cost, according to the company.
polycirQ’s and Siegwerk’s deinking process – Driving the Circular Economy
polycirQ, a Siegwerk subsidiary, has developed deinking surfactants that aid mechanical recycling by applying hot-washing to remove printing inks from LDPE and PP films to enable closed-loop recycling. The company says that it is offering a recycling service for printed films that turns scrap into recyclate suitable for high-quality packaging applications.
Taghleef and Gerosa’s recyclable PP-based barrier sachet – Recyclable Materials
This packaging solution is a PP-based, high barrier four-side sealed sachet developed by Taghleef Industries and Gerosa Group which sets out to replace multi-material structures made of PET/Alu/PE or PET/metPET/PE. The most common applications include dry powder products or dressing sauces.
Barley packaging – Renewables
The barley pack, devised by AB InBev & Sustainable Fiber Technologies is created by upcycling an agricultural co-product. Surplus barley straw is used to create a high-resistance carton with the help of a new technology and leveraging a novel straw pulping method developed by Sustainable Fiber Technologies.