Krones wins German Packaging Award 2020 for sustainability

Each element of beverage bottle designed with an eye to recycling

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Krones
Krones wins award in the “Sustainability” category. Both the bottle and all of the related technologies are already available as marketable products. Photo - Krones

On 25th August, the German Packaging Institute announced the German Packaging Award 2020 winners. Both Krones and its subsidiary, Dekron, can look forward to receiving an award in the ‘Sustainability’ category. The prize-winning entry involves a beverage bottle, the design, and the lifecycle, which were comprehensively created following sustainability criteria.

With the “3 Circles” bottle, all of the individual elements and the entire lifecycle were designed to be sustainable. According to Krones, it is made 100% out of recycled PET, and it can be completely recycled again after use. Instead of having a label that is usually unable to be recycled, the bottle was decorated using a digital direct print. The inks used here dissolve in the recycling process without leaving any residues, meaning that the bottle material can be used again for food packaging in the subsequent life cycle without loss. A tethered cap was selected as the closure. This cap remains firmly attached to the bottle’s body after opening and thus meets the requirements of the EU directive 2019/904.

Marketable overall concept from tried and tested technologies

The leitmotif of ‘sustainability’ is also reflected in the artwork displayed on the bottle print and – in a slightly more subtle manner – in the bottle body’s design. For the globally recognized recycling icon provided the inspiration for the idea of the tripodal base. The same rings true for the shoulder area, which is the shape of three rounded-off triangular areas. Krones said, it generates a connection between the bottleneck and body area, which is very unusual for PET bottles, but which remains harmonious.

Krones said that the technologies for the production, decoration, and recycling of the bottle are already available at Krones and Dekron as standard products. The recycled starting material, the specially designed preform, and the container and its decoration with environmentally friendly ink are self-produced. “3 Circles” is thus a marketable all-round concept for the sustainable packaging of beverages for commercial use in the beverage industry, it says.

European performance showcase

The internationally advertised German Packaging Prize is sponsored by the Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy. It is viewed as being Europe’s most significant showcase of performance in the field of packaging. According to the German Packaging Institute, the variety of submissions was the greatest ever, and the quality of innovations was at a very high level. The competition is open to companies, individuals, and institutions, both domestic and abroad. The submitted entries are assessed by an independent jury. The 22 members originate from the industrial, trade, branded product, and research sectors.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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