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Design Challenge


Smurfit Kappa Better Planet Packaging Design Challenge 2019

Smurfit Kappa announces the winners of its Better Planet Packaging Design Challenge

The competition, which attracted over 300 entries, was part of the company’s drive to provide a collaborative platform to solve one of the biggest challenges in the packaging industry – to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste that is generated every day.

The first challenge was to develop an alternative for the plastic stretch wrap which is used around pallets to provide stability during transport and storage. The winner of this challenge was Eric Haas, a freelance product and packaging designer from Germany. 

The second challenge was to develop a fully paper-based parcel with thermal protection for chocolates, for use in the eCommerce sales channel. The winner of this challenge was Kerstin Fischbacher, a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. 

Read our full press release

At Smurfit Kappa, we believe we have a responsibility to respond to the challenge facing the environment and society today – to re-imagine more sustainable packaging solutions.

We want to help create a world where packaging helps, not harms the world around us. We believe this can only be done by being open and working with others across and beyond our industry – open to new thinking, new solutions and new inspiration. 

The inaugural Design Challenge is one of many Better Planet Packaging Initiatives and is open to anyone to participate.

The goal of our Better Planet Packaging Design Challenge is to find paper-based alternatives to every day non-biodegradable packaging. We have set two specific challenges and submissions can be made for either one or both!

Entries will be judged by a panel of senior judges from Smurfit Kappa and the winner (for each challenge) will receive €8,000 prize money.  The winning designs will be showcased during our Innovation event on May 16th 2019 which will be attended by many global brands.

All entries must first register in order to take part in the competition and the deadline for submission entries is March 29th 2019.  

Design Challenge 1 - Pallet Stretch Wrap Alternative

Pallet Wrap

Develop an alternative to avoid plastic stretch wrap around pallets to provide stability during transport and storage.

Today, when products are placed on a pallet they are wrapped with plastic stretch wrap for stability during transport and storage. It is an efficient and cost-effective solution, but it creates waste, which potentially can end up as litter, or is not recyclable (incinerated). The challenge is to find a paper-based solution to replace plastic stretch  wrap that is recyclable or reusable in the same collection system as paper based packaging while still delivering the same properties for stack of boxes.

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Design Challenge 2  | Paper-based parcel with thermal protection

To develop a fully paper based parcel with thermal protection for chocolate (as an example of temperature sensitive product) for use in the eCommerce sales channel.

Temperature sensitive products needs to be packaged in a way that enables temperature control e.g. keeping the temperature low through transport (approx. 6 hours).  Current solutions are in most cases made with multiple materials, such as EPS or cool packs, which makes the final parcel difficult if not impossible to recycle for consumers.  The challenge is to find a sustainable solution that will deliver the required temperature control but is renewable and kerbside recyclable (in paper recycling system), ideally using wood fibre.  Concepts can use various types, shapes and forms of paper-based materials (think of paper, corrugated, carton, honeycomb, pulp).




The Prize

Smurfit Kappa will award one winner for each one of the design challenges.  Each winner will receive:

- €8000 euro in prize money

 - Winning designs showcased at the Smurfit Kappa Innovation event on 16th May 2019

- Winner will be featured in internal and external Smurfit Kappa publicity activity



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