European Carton Excellence Award: the winners

Celebrated innovation and sustainability in the printing and production of folding cartons and boxes. Protagonist is packaging made from recycled and virgin fibers, an excellent example of circularity and a great opportunity for the future.

At the annual Congress of the European Carton Manufacturers’ Association (ECMA) held in Krakow on September 15-16, the winners of the European Carton Excellence Award 2022, the prestigious award for carton packaging organized by Pro Carton, were announced. In addition to the election of the “Carton of the Year,” the competition awarded prizes in the categories of sustainability, innovation, general virgin fiber and recycled fiber packaging, and food packaging, of which we report.

1. Carton of the year

Rutgers Printing & Packaging Solutions’ “elemental and sustainable design masterpiece” for snack tomatoes was crowned Carton of the Year. The folding box - made by Stora Enso from food-safe, renewable virgin fiber board - struck the perfect balance between maximizing product visibility and maintaining rigidity. Even after many uses, it is also easily resealable with a “click”. Its shape allows more boxes to be stacked on a pallet than traditional plastic designs, thus increasing transportation efficiency and reducing emissions. After use, the boxes can be completely crushed and disposed of in the cardboard recycling system. Simplicity of design, ease of opening, pleasing aesthetic appearance, and tomato-shaped holes that promote airflow were the elements that led the judges to award the prize.

2. Sustainability Award

Van Genechten Packaging’s flexible Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner packaging solution-made from Metsä Board cardboard - won first prize in the category due to its simple yet impactful on-shelf design, which minimizes the use of cardboard, elevates the brand’s ability to communicate, highlighting the fragrance and composition of the product.

3. Innovation Award

“Minimalist yet luxurious” is the apt summary to describe WestRock’s packaging for Nestlé Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa. The Cluster-Pak was considered the most innovative for the stopper at the base of the package, the barcode shielding for markets where it is required to cover codes at the point of sale, and the mechanical closure consisting of “tabs,” which requires no glue and is easy to recycle.

4. Overall virgin fiber packaging award

First place to Faller Packaging with its portable container for the PleioFlow RF device, which uses Holmen Iggesund board. Functionality is the primary feature: it is designed to keep the complex medical device (including wires, tubing and instruments) in a stable position, ensuring its safety and microbiological barrier. The unprinted paper allows visual inspection, to check for residual particles inside as well as damage to the device.

5. Overall recycled fiber packaging award

Lucaprint wins with the “Fanton Power strip relife” packaging created for the company Fanton. Relife is the new eco-sustainable line of “made in Italy” multisockets made from recycled plastic material. The packaging highlights this concept, replacing the classic plastic wrapping with RDM-certified recycled cardboard. The packaging has an anti-tampering system, is completely mono-material and not only protects the product, but also makes it more visible to the consumer.

6. Virgin fiber food packaging award

Autajon Durero Packaging’s innovative e-commerce multi-pack designed for Match Tonic bottles was selected. Designed to accommodate four iconic squared recycled glass bottles, it features folding handles for easy transport and echoes the aesthetic and color palette of the containers. Multiple layers can be stacked on the pallets, avoiding additional protective sheets. The bottle is perfectly wrapped and features an attractive, minimalist graphic design.

7. Recycled fiber food packaging award

According to the judges, MM Packaging’s potato packaging earned first place for its ease of opening/closing and comfortable ergonomics. The cardboard is plastic-free and the box features a convenient carrying handle, as well as a solid shockproof bottom. The clear cellulose window (food-safe, biodegradable and OK compost HOME certified) allows consumers to check the freshness of the product before purchase. The smooth, easily printable surface provides ample space for graphics, recipes, and large bar codes.

Find out more information about the companies mentioned in this article and published in the Buyers' Guide - PackBook by ItaliaImballaggio