Some 111 entries from both food and non-food categories were lined up for this, the 18th awards to be held. Sponsored by Dupont, the awards honored 22 packaging companies in recognition of their achievements.
Leading the way for the personal care sector with a gold award was Alcan Packaging, with its entry for TearAnywhere condom packaging. Made from multilayer film extruded with olefin based materials, the manufacturers say that it is not sensitive to moisture which means that is will not go brittle and affect the quality of the condom over time.
Alcan says that not only does this help to keep the packaging looking fresh and new, it also means that the packaging is more supple, allowing users to tear it open more easily. Finally, the addition of proprietary sealant means that sealing temperatures and dwell times can be reduced during manufacturing, speeding up the whole process considerably.
In the US O'Keeffe's Company was also given a gold award for its a multifunctional polypropylene jar that features vibrant colours, palm-sized ergomic grip and a quarter turn lid with a translucent holographic three dimensional effect.
The claim that the 'grip pak' can be marketed exclusively from the lid for merchandising versatility won favour with the judges. The thin structure also uses less plastic and is 100 per cent recyclable, with applications as diverse as personal care to solid foods.
Moving on to silver awards, France-based Ileos was recognised for its Maria Galland line of cosmetic jars. The new design replaced an older model that had used glass. The new design is made of Dupont Surlyn resin and the cap has been simplified by using ABS/PP with glued seals, which resulted in significant costs and weight reduction.
The other silver award went to Unilever Home and Personal Care, USA, for its new aerosol hair product. Here the judges were impressed by the fact that the actuator uses a polypropylene random copolymer, acetal for the insert within and a polypropylene over-cap.
The design was commended for its aesthetic qualities and the fact that the snout of the actuator acts as a small finger, allowing the user to aim the product more accurately at the hair roots. This makes it the first such product that allows users to specifically target the roots, rather than just the hair ends.
The overall winner was Crown Food Europe. The diamond award went to its single serve copolymer-covered steel bowl for instant meals. With its easy-to-open peelable lid it was said to be both practical and to allow first rate preservation properties for healthy meals.
The Dupont Awards have been held every year since 1986. During this time some 700 entries have been received from over 35 countries, while over 160 innovations have actually received recognition.