Displaying items by tag: Pro Carton

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, European consumers increasingly recognise the environmental threats to planet Earth, and the need to live, and consume, in a more sustainable way

Two in three European consumers (63%) are intent on creating a more sustainable lifestyle, with more than half (58%) of consumers putting recycling at the top of the list to reduce the impact of climate change.

Despite the current challenges facing consumers, respondents in all five countries surveyed – UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy – agree that being sustainable has become more important. However, those in mainland Europe seem to be more committed than those in the UK, where just over half (57%) say a sustainable lifestyle is more important, compared to 69% in Italy, 67% in Spain, 66% in France and 59% in Germany.

The study, on behalf of Pro Carton, the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers, asked more than 5,000 consumers about their attitudes towards the environment and packaging perceptions – exploring everything from deforestation and transportation, against other global concerns such as the war in Ukraine, Covid-19, and the economic crisis.

2022 – the year of inflation, extreme climates, and warfare

Among the biggest challenges identified by consumers, climate change (63%), ranked second only to the cost-of-living (71%) but ahead of warfare (59%), the economy (55%) and poverty (52%). Here, German consumers place greater concern on warfare (74%), compared to just 32% of Brits – almost certainly a result of their respective proximity to the ongoing conflict. In comparison, 84% of respondents in the UK are concerned about the cost-of-living, compared to 60% of German consumers.

The study also revealed that consumers across Europe have growing concerns about the environmental impact of plastic packaging (55%), while more than three-quarters (79%) admit that the cost-of-living crisis, war in Ukraine and the fallout from the pandemic are hindering a focus on a more sustainable lifestyle.

Addressing ways to combat climate change, recycling more has risen the ranks, escalating from second position in the same Pro Carton 2019 study to first place in 2022. It was closely followed by planting more trees – the previous first-place winner – and using more natural, renewable materials, which held steady in third place.

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A step towards circularity

Taking action to move towards circularity, there is a clear step-change among consumers taking their own advice. Here, 58% of European consumers are recycling more than 12 months ago, while more than half (54%) say the environmental impact of a product’s packaging has become more important in the last 12 months. And, the impact is being felt on brands failing to respond to this environmental call, with one in two consumers switching brands or products because of the packaging used.

When faced with a choice of two different forms of packaging, consumers further extend their preference for carton packaging. The preference rating for the economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium moved from 81% in 2019 to 86% in the 2022 study. Consumers in Spain and Germany are even more likely to purchase cartonboard-packed products, 90% and 89% respectively, while Brits fall behind with just 79%.

Demonstrating the virtues of cartonboard, the importance of packaging recyclability was evident across the board, with ‘easy to recycle’ highlighted as the most important packaging feature, cited by 85% of survey respondents. Packaging made from natural, renewable materials also ranked highly, with 81% of respondents balancing this with the role of packaging to protect the product (81%). And, consumers are willing to pay for these benefits. Almost three-quarters (72%) say they would pay more for their desired product if its packaging had less impact on the environment. A quarter said they would be prepared to pay between 5-10% more, with 8% going one step further, preparing to pay between 10-20% more.

Consumers in Europe also show a strong confidence in deciding on the recyclability of packaging materials. 77% of consumers express confidence that they know which packaging materials can be recycled. Leading on the trust scale was paper and cartonboard with 82%, followed by glass (80%) and corrugated cartonboard (78%). At the lower end, only 48% believed plastic coffee cups could be recycled, and just 47% of flexible plastic packaging.

Commenting on the results of the study, Winfried Muehling, Marketing & Communications Director, Pro Carton, said: “The findings from our latest consumer survey demonstrate unequivocally that when it comes to recycling and respecting the planet, consumers are willing to do their bit. The research points not only to the impact of current global crises, but the steadfast attitudes of consumers since the sustainability debate came to the fore.

“The results show us that consumers are willing to play their part, but they also expect brands and producers to respond to their cry for more environmentally-friendly packaging and guidance on recycling – both of which are huge components of the merits of the cartonboard industry. The trust consumers in Europe show in the collection and recycling system for fibre-based packaging materials is particularly notable. The high recycling rate for paper and cartonboard packaging of 82% combined with the strong resilience of the fibres used to produce cartonboard makes the material a true circularity champion.”

To find out more, visit www.procarton.com.

About Pro Carton

Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium. www.procarton.com 

What is cartonboard?

Cartonboard is a multilayer paper-based material with, usually, three or more layers of fibre derived from wood, or recycled materials such as paper or cartonboard. It is often used in packaging to make cartons for everyday products, such as breakfast cereals, frozen foods, luxury fragrances and pharmaceuticals.

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Monday, 19 September 2022 09:49

European Carton Excellence Award winners announced

2022 winners highlight innovation and sustainability in recycled and virgin fibre-based packaging

The judges of the 2022 European Carton Excellence Awards have revealed the winners of the 2022 competition. Rutgers Printing & Packaging Solutions ‘masterpiece of elementary and sustainable design’ for cherry tomatoes was crowned the Carton of the Year during the annual European Carton Makers Association (ECMA) Congress in Kraków, Poland.

Made entirely from food-safe renewable virgin fibre cartonboard manufactured by Stora Enso, the folding box strikes the perfect balance between maximising product visibility while maintaining rigidity. With a smooth white surface and unbleached inside, it conveys absolute eco-friendliness, and it is easily re-closable with a ‘click’ even after multiple uses, reassuring consumers that it is locked. Thanks to its shape, more boxes can be placed on a pallet than traditional plastic designs, saving costs, increasing transportation efficiency and reducing emissions. Crucially, approximately 67 tonnes of plastic are avoided by using cartonboard for 1 million boxes. After use, the boxes can be completely flattened and disposed of in the carton recycling stream.

Carton of the year: Cherry tomatoes packCarton of the year: Cherry tomatoes pack

The judges – including consultant for branding and design, Satkar Gidda, leading packaging designer Susanne Lippitsch and Global Packaging Director for Unilever, Sanjeev Das – were keen to praise the simplicity of the design, which can be opened with one hand. They also appreciated the presentation of the pack – remarking that it looks great on the table, on the shelf and in the refrigerator – as well as the design of the airflow with the cherry tomato-style punched in holes. Together, all these elements – combined with the fact that it is a single-piece construction – resulted in it being selected as the Carton of the Year.

In addition to the Carton of the Year, winners were also selected across a number of other categories including Sustainability, Innovation, General Packaging – Virgin Fibre, General Packaging – Recycled Fibre, Food & Drink Packaging – Virgin Fibre and Food & Drink Packaging – Recycled Fibre. Platinum and Gold awards were also given to designs that the judges deemed particularly outstanding and deserved special recognition.

Sustainability success

Van Genechten Packaging’s flexible solution for Herbal Essences’ Shampoo Conditioner bundle, created using cartonboard from Metsä Board, scooped the top award in the Sustainability category thanks to its simple, effective design which uses minimal cartonboard while perfectly holding the products together. In addition to its sustainability credentials, the sleeve also creates a new communication platform, allows cross-selling of different products, and has proven to be an excellent sales accelerator. The cut-out windows also allow the consumer to view the scent or flavour of the product inside as well as enabling them to easily read the ingredients list.

The judges praised the design, commenting on its simple yet effective on-shelf appeal and ability to heighten brand communication. “The presentation is fantastic and the consumer knew exactly how it should be used as the brand and content message are very quickly conveyed”, they commented.

Sustainability category winner: Herbal Essences Shampoo Conditioner bundleSustainability category winner: Herbal Essences Shampoo Conditioner bundle

Incredible Innovation Board Supplier West Rock

“Minimalistic yet premium” sums up the winning pack design from WestRock for Nestlé’s Sanpellegrino® Aranciata Rossa in the Innovation category.  Carton converter and manufacturer WestRock created the Cluster-Pak carrier with barcode masking at the top and can-locker at the bottom, allowing for clean 360° product visibility and billboarding while still using as little material as possible. As Sanpellegrino is exported globally to markets where barcodes need to be covered at the point of sale, it required a folded panel at the top to avoid a single unit scan when buying a multipack. By using a mechanical lock, it is also glue-free and easy to recycle. According to the judges “it’s the locking system of this carton construction that is so amazing as it locks without glue and is fundamentally very stable and functional.”

Innovation Category Winner: Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa by NestleInnovation Category Winner: Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa by Nestle

General Packaging – Virgin Fibre

Faller Packaging took home the General Packaging – Virgin Fibre award for its PleioFlow RF Device carrier using cartonboard from Holmen Iggesund. Designed to keep this complex medical device – with all its wires, tubes and instruments – in a stable position, guarantee its safety and protect the micro-biological barrier, the functionality of this carrier is its most important attribute. The unprinted card allows the SterinClin pouches to be visually inspected for any particle residues in the pouches themselves as well as in the cracks and any other damage that may occur. It is also easy for surgeons to open and unmount the product from the carrier within the sterile surrounding of the operating theatre – “a masterpiece of plastic replacement and a simple example of cartonboard for the medical industry” according to the judges.

General Packaging – Virgin Fibre award for its PleioFlow RF Device carrier General Packaging – Virgin Fibre award for its PleioFlow RF Device carrier

General Packaging – Recycled Fibre

Lucaprint’s Fanton Power strip Relife won the General Packaging – Recycled Fibre category for its new eco-sustainable line of ‘Made in Italy’ multi-sockets, created with RDM’s certified recycled cartonboard material. The packaging, which replaces classic plastic wrapping with recycled cartonboard, is equipped with a tamper-evident system and the case is optimised for the industrial process. A completely mono-material case concept, it does not have a lining or coating, highlighting the sustainability credentials of the contents. Overall, the packaging protects the product and makes it visible to the consumer, providing excellent on-shelf presentation and branding. The judges described it as “a wonderful piece of cartonboard engineering which fixes the product inside.”

General Packaging - Recycled Fibre winner: Fanton Power striip RelifeGeneral Packaging - Recycled Fibre winner: Fanton Power striip Relife

Food & Drink Packaging – Virgin Fibre

Autajon Durero Packaging’s design for Match Tonic bottles was crowned Food & Drink Packaging – Virgin Fibre winner thanks to the innovative design of its e-commerce pack specifically conceived to house four units of the company’s square recycled glass bottles. The package uses Stora Enso cartonboard. Matching the aesthetics of the bottle – square with round corners in the shape of a basket – the multi-pack unit design features folding handles that mean it is easy to carry and space-efficient for transportation. Multiple layers can also be stacked on pallets without the need for additional protective sheets. The structure is user-friendly and ergonomic while the graphics are simple and clean resulting in a visually striking end design. According to the judges, the pack is very clever thanks to its “optimal use of material – not too much, not too little. It perfectly wraps around the shape of the bottles and has an attractive, minimalistic graphic design.”

Food & Drink packaging - Virgin Fibre winner: Match Tonic bottlesFood & Drink packaging - Virgin Fibre winner: Match Tonic bottles

Food & Drink Packaging – Recycled Fibre

MM Packaging’s potato pack – winner of the Food & Drink Packaging – Recycled Fibre award – is, according to the judges, “a fantastic piece of work that can be opened and closed very easily with comfortable carrying ergonomics.” The cartonboard is manufactured by MM Board & Paper, and is entirely plastic-free, the box features a convenient carrying handle and solid crash lock bottom. A clear cellulose window film – which is food grade, biodegradable and OK compost HOME certified – means the freshness of the potatoes can be inspected by consumers before purchase, while the smooth, easily printable surface provides ample space for graphics, recipe solutions and large barcodes. The shape of the pack is interesting for a retail environment, providing excellent on-shelf stand-out and brand communication opportunities.

Food & Drink Packaging - Recycled Fibre winner: Potato packFood & Drink Packaging - Recycled Fibre winner: Potato pack

Winfried Muehling, General Manager of Pro Carton commented: “We were truly excited and proud by the quality of the entries for the European Carton Excellence Awards this year. The designs are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and diverse, with a greater focus on consumer handling and material usage. Over the years, the environmental value of cartons and cartonboard has become more significant. The 2022 entries clearly document the lead cartonboard and folding boxes take on the road to circularity. True symbols of change.

We extend our congratulations to all the winners of the European Carton Excellence Awards and thank all those who entered. We look forward to hearing even more about their successes in the year to come and invite all companies to enter again next year.”

About Pro Carton

Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium. www.procarton.com 

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Pro Carton, the European association for carton and cartonboard manufacturers, is calling on members of the public to place their votes and help select the public award winners in the 2022 European Carton Excellence Award (ECEA) and Pro Carton Young Designers Award (PCYDA).

Vote for your favourite packaging concepts

Public voting is now open for the European Carton Excellence Public Award (ECEA). As the continent’s leading sustainable packaging design competition, the award recognises the creative work and industry expertise of carton manufacturers and converters.

WestRock won the Public Award last year with its Smarties Giant Hexatube. The design is made entirely from cartonboard, replacing the plastic cap and plastic shrink seal in the previous Smarties packaging to save the environment from over 100 tonnes of plastic per year. The pack is one of WestRock’s most technically difficult to produce due to high levels of cutting and creasing accuracy, which ensure the product can be filled consistently at high speed in the factory and its tamper evidence function is not hindered.

The entries selected for public voting this year represent the best of the European folding carton industry. The shortlist comprises 24 solutions that cover a diverse range of applications. The judges were astounded by the quality and functionality of this year’s entries submitted by some of the most recognisable cartonboard mills, converters and designers in the industry. The finalists not only captured the judges’ attention for their innovative approach to packaging design, but their ability to convey the importance of environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging concepts to the consumer.

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Select this year’s winning Young Designers

Voting is also open for Europe’s leading annual young talent competition for packaging design, Pro Carton’s Young Designers Award (PCYDA), which calls on students to design and create creative cartonboard concepts in four categories: Food & Drink, All Other, Creative Cartonboard Ideas and Sustainability.

This year’s PCYDA saw more than 830 entries from over 100 universities and colleges across Europe - breaking the 2021 record. Judges were hugely impressed with the creativity and innovation of the entries, as well as the professional presentation of the videos that were submitted to accompany each design. The best 25 designs are now open for the public to choose their favourite, and can be found on the Pro Carton website here.

Voting for both the European Carton Excellence Awards and Pro Carton Young Designers Award is now open on the Pro Carton website. For both awards, members of the public can vote once per entry, with three votes available in total. Voting closes on Friday, 26 August. The winners will be announced at an Awards Gala on 15 September in Krakow, Poland.

Commenting on the quality of this year’s entries, Winfried Muehling, General Manager of Pro Carton said: “I was truly impressed with the quality of the entries for the European Carton Excellence Award and the Pro Carton Young Designers Award! So many entries scored highly across the awards criteria; from appearance and creativity to protection and authenticity. We’d love the general public to help us decide the winner of the public vote by selecting their favourite and look forward to announcing the winning entrants this September!”

For more information and to place your vote in this year’s European Carton Excellence Award (ECEA), and Pro Carton Young Designers Award (PCYDA) visit the Pro Carton website today: http://www.procarton.com. The Pro Carton Student Video Award will also shortly open for public voting. More information will be announced in due course.

About Pro Carton

Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium. www.procarton.com 

What is cartonboard?

Cartonboard is a multilayer paper-based material with, usually, three or more layers of fibre derived from wood, or recycled materials such as paper or cartonboard. It is often used in packaging to make cartons for everyday products, such as breakfast cereals, frozen foods, luxury fragrances and pharmaceuticals.

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Saturday, 21 August 2021 00:17

Cartonboard proves its life cycle credentials

A new life cycle analysis report has highlighted the outstanding environmental credentials of cartonboard packaging when compared against fossil-based alternatives.

Published in June 2021, Cartonboard Life Cycle; Comparing the carbon footprint of carton packaging against alternative solutions, goes into the granular detail of the cradle-to-grave environmental performance of cartonboard in frozen food, ready meal, fast food and small electricals packaging, compared to other commonly-used packaging materials, such as multilaminate film bags, PP trays, PET trays and PVC blister packs.

The study, carried out by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) Bioeconomy unit for Pro Carton, the European Association for Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers, and peer reviewed by Intertek, provides an insight into the relative carbon footprints for packaging in different consumer sectors, alongside detailed explanations of the factors driving those comparative results.

Fast Food PackagingFast Food Packaging

RISE’s cradle-to-grave comparison ensures that the entire lifecycle of packaging is taken into account – from how it is produced (or grown in the case of the wood used in cartonboard manufacture) to processing and disposal. The study reports both fossil green-house-gas (GHG) emissions and biogenic GHG emissions and removals.

Fossil GHG emissions arise from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels, while Biogenic emissions arise from the combustion of biofuels and the degradation of bio-based products. Biogenic removals refer to CO2 uptake from the atmosphere through photosynthesis during biomass growth.

Pro Carton General Manager Tony Hitchin commented: “Whilst the unique aspects of the life-cycle of fibre-based packaging are taken into account when calculating the total carbon footprint we also wanted to see what the results would be when only the fossil green-house-gas (GHG) emissions were considered and the cartonboard solutions gave a favourable result.”

About Pro Carton

Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium. www.procarton.com 

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Friday, 18 December 2020 10:42

Pro Carton crowns the young designers of tomorrow

2020 12 18 104310The winners of the annual Pro Carton Young Designers Award 2020 were announced during the first ever Carton E-vent & Awards ceremony on 7 October. The virtual event was co-hosted by Pro Carton, the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers, and the European Carton Makers Association (ECMA).

Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, 2020 proved to be another record-breaking year with over 550 cartonboard designs submitted from 25 different countries across the continent. Prizes were awarded across four categories: Save the Planet, Creative Cartonboard Packaging for Food & Drink, Creative Cartonboard Packaging for All Other Products and Creative Cartonboard Ideas plus a Newcomers’ Award which went to a University that hadn’t won before. 

And the Award goes to…

The ‘Save the Planet’ Award went to Max Gugenhan from Austria. His Cardboard pads entry was designed to reduce the plastic waste generated from the shipping of small products and fragile items such as electronic devices. The judges were impressed with its innovative design, as the 90° rotated pads create an entanglement which offers excellent spring action and a perfect hold helping to protect the parcel’s contents.

Another Austrian student, Lorenz Keiblinger, scooped the award for the ‘Creative Cartonboard Packaging for All Other products’ category with his ZIG ZAG ZIG entry. This unusual knife pack is easy to open, allows excellent visibility of the product, and requires no plastic, unlike the majority of cutlery packaging. It uses the knife itself for stability by trapping it in a carton strip whilst the sharp edge is safely protected as it is fully enclosed.

2020 12 18 104437

The winner of the Creative Cartonboard Ideas award, Nora Karl from Germany, created Fulfil - tampon packaging that aims to help save the marine environment at a global level. Tampons should not be flushed as they block pipes and pollute the ocean, and this creative design means that each tampon comes with a folded sanitary disposal box providing the user with a more hygienic and eco-friendly means of discarding the product.

The Creative Cartonboard Packaging Food and Drink Award was presented to Gabriela Buțincu from Romania for her entry, Easy-to-use flour box. The judges commented that ‘it provides the perfect example on how a carton box can incorporate different functionalities without requiring any specialist skills or additional tools from its user’. The practicality of the packaging impressed the judges as it has an innovative flour sieve built into the pack.  

2020 12 18 104553

As part of their prize, the winning young designers can look forward to a trip to Italy to visit the Reno de Medici (RdM) cartonboard mill and Artigrafiche Reggiane & Lai, a leading Italian carton converter.

Finally, the winner of this year’s Newcomer Award, that goes to a university that hadn’t supplied a winner before, went to Yana Malakhovskaya from Samara State Technical University in Russia. Her entry Avis provides sustainable packaging for nuts and snacks, aiming to appeal to both children and adults. The judges were impressed by the creative design which was inspired by the opening and closing of a bird’s beak. The carton has an innovative opening mechanism - applying pressure to the edge of its high side results in the opening of the "beak", allowing the consumer to pour out the required number of nuts and then close the package.

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Tony Hitchin, General Manager of Pro Carton, said: “We are delighted with the number of entries to this year’s Young Designers Award; it is great to see that students have been proactive during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. The number of high-quality submissions we received was astonishing and demonstrated the creativity of the younger generation, as well as the passion which many students have for a better future with sustainable packaging”.

“The year-on-year growth of the Awards is always welcomed, but a 20% increase in entries from last year is a significant achievement given these unpredictable times. We’d like to thank all those who entered for making another successful competition and helping us in our goal to promote the use of cartonboard as it plays a crucial role in encouraging brands to support a circular economy.”

About Pro Carton

Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium. www.procarton.com    

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