Submitted by: The Two Sides Team October 9, 2019
On Wednesday 25 September, the winners of the 2019 Sustainability Awards were announced at the FachPack conference in Nuremberg. Germany. As part of the Sustainable Packaging Summit at the conference, the Awards celebrate and reward the start-ups and established brands creating genuine sustainable solutions in packaging, producing innovations that make a real difference.
With six awards on offer, plus an overall Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation, there were a total of 193 entries, with paper solutions making up a significant proportion of the shortlist – and the winners. Here are the key paper-based winners.
Recyclable Packaging Award
This category was for innovations in materials and packaging design for recyclability, and attracted a wealth of groundbreaking solutions. But the winning entry was the Wave Bag by Italian packaging company Offmar. The Wave Bag uses corrugated paper in place of plastic bubble wrap for the inner lining of protective envelopes.
“The bag offers the same amount of protection as its plastic equivalent, but is lighter, easier to use and, of course, 100% recyclable”
The product of two years research, the bag offers the same amount of protection as its plastic equivalent, but is lighter, easier to use and, of course, 100% recyclable. As well as using recycled paper, the manufacturing process reduces waste material by almost 30 per cent, while shipment and storage space has been cut in half.
The winner of this award created a series of barrier solutions using cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). Israeli company Melodea developed a method of extracting CNCs from waste wood pulp and using them to make a non-toxic, green, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable layer that not only has key barrier properties but enhances the strength of the packaging.
Since the CNC layer is compatible with a wide range of materials, it offers a sustainable alternative to aluminium and fossil oil-based materials. The company also take great care to minimise the environmental impact of production, developing their own, unique system to recycle up to 95% of the chemicals used in the manufacturing process.
Judged by the readers of Packaging Europe magazine, the first-ever Readers’ Award went to Nestlé for its YES! snack bars. These fruit and vegetable bars are wrapped in a new, recyclable paper – the first time a confectionary bar has been packaged in paper using high-speed flow wrap technology. To add to its sustainability credentials, the paper is from sustainable sources, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification.
Until now, such high-speed production was only possible using plastic films or laminates, but Nestlé has unlocked the potential for recyclable paper packaging to be used throughout the confectionery industry.
Article by Sam Upton
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