DuPont Awards Packaging from Aveda, Whole Foods Market, Procter & Gamble

DuPont Awards Packaging from Aveda, Whole Foods Market, Procter & Gamble

Plastic milk pouches, recycled-content bottles and compostable baked good trays are some of the packaging recognized by the 21st DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation.

DuPont announced the winners through a virtual event that let attendees chat with speakers and each other, visit virtual exhibit halls and watch videos about the winners. The company chose to hold the event virtually, said President of DuPont Packaging Bill Weber, because of the time and financial constraints companies are under. Yet DuPont sill wanted to give those interested in the awards a way to interact with one another and somewhat replicate an event experience.

The online event also included two short prerecorded videos from two speakers - Ron Cotterman, executive director of sustainability for Sealed Air, and Julian Carroll, managing director of EUROPEN - and live chat sessions with those speakers.

Cotterman spoke of the benefits of waste-to-energy recovery and how the U.S. does much less energy recovery that other countries. "Plastic packaging in particular is well suited to these processes because it has approximately twice the energy value of coal and at least three times the energy value of the average municipal waste stream," he said. Many of the barriers to energy recovery are financial: Finding inexpensive landfill, permit processes and the cost of capital.

Recycling systems, he said, need to take in a broader range of materials, and industry must work with recyclers to sort materials so that all items end up in the correct stream, whether its recycling, composting or waste-to-energy.

Carroll spoke about efforts underway to create a more standard understanding of packaging. The Global CEO Forum is working on creating common definitions and metrics related to packaging, and the ISO has been asked to start working on global standards for packaging and the environment.

"These standards are going to address the issues of how packaging is designed and constructed, the issues of what materials should be used, how those materials should be utilized, and in particular, how the end-of-life scenario pans out for those particular materials," he said.

The DuPont awards winners, chosen from about 120 entries, are:

* Aveda Vintage Clove Shampoo (U.S.): The shampoo bottle is made with 96 percent recycled content, and the bottle caps are made with 100 percent post-consumer recycled content, made possible by an Aveda program that collects and recycles used plastic caps.

Whole Foods Market bakeware* Whole Foods Market's baked goods in Sealed Air's Renew-A-Pak (U.S.): The Renew-A-Pak bakeware (right) is made with 100 percent renewable content, compostable and biodegradable. Bakers are able to bake goods in the bakeware and sell the goods in it without transferring them to different packaging, which is current bakery practice.

* Ecolean Group's lightweight packaging (Sweden): These pouches (below, left) for liquids like milk, used in place of cartons, cut packaging weight by 50 percent and take up less space in shipment.

Ecolean group* Healthy Choice frozen food trays (U.S.): These trays are made with 40 percent post-consumer recycled PET plastic.

* Invisible case polyouters from Procter & Gamble (Belgium & Turkey): For packaging multipacks of detergent, P&G switched from cardboard outer packaging to a poly bag.

* Tray and hood carton for Alldays pads (Germany and U.S.): The carton, anotPangea Organicsher P&G package, was redesigned for smaller packs, uses less materials, reduces store labor and uses less ink.

* Bertolli pasta sauce pouches (U.S.): The microwavable pounces use 70 percent less materials compared to glass jars and take up significantly less space in trucks, especially when shipping unfilled packaging. One truckload of unfilled pouches equals 25 truckloads of unfilled jars.

* Prilosec OTC pack (U.S.): The pill pack was redesigned to double the number of pills on a blister card to fit one course of treatment on one card, cutting down on packaging waste.

* Pangea Organics holiday gift packs (U.S.): The gift carton (right) is made of 100 percent renewable, recyclable, or biodegradable materials with vegetable-based inks. The cartons are embedded with seeds, like many other Pangea packaging, and can be planted after use.

* A&C Packers' easy pour barrier containers (Australia): The containers replace steel drums for solvent applications and are reusable. They have a five-year life compared to the previous one-year lifespan, and when they can no longer be used, they can be recycled into other items like drain pipes.