One of the highlights of the Ipack-Ima, Pharmintech, and Print4All in-person event in Milan was the activity of the World Packaging Organization which released its country waste stream recycling guides for packaging designers at the show and held a grand evening celebration of the WorldStar 2022 Awards. The gala event took place after two years of online ceremonies on 4 May 2022 in the atrium of the Fiera Milano with 300 packaging professionals, representing 37countries, who traveled to receive and celebrate 130 WorldStar Awards out of the 240 winners in various categories from among the 440 entries this year.
Between the toasts and courses, the winners and their team members lined up to individually receive their awards from the WPO president Pierre Pienaar and WPO senior VP, Luciana Pellegrino. In addition to the WorldStars, winners were also announced in five Special Categories – Marketing, Sustainability, Packaging that Saves Food, and the President’s Award, as well as Lifetime Achievement.
Several winners from the subcontinent were present at the WorldStar Award ceremonies including the SB Packagings team led by the ebullient Amit Banga who was extremely pleased and feels that his company is on the verge of huge growth. The SafePack team won a Presidents Special Award in addition to its WorldStar for its Compostable AntiRust VCI Film. Overdime Exports from Sri Lanka won the WorldStar for its 100% recyclable packaging for tuna in the food category.
The Indian connection was also there in the EPL WorldStar Award for its 100% recyclable PCR laminate tube in the health and personal care category. Although EPL Europe based in Germany received the award the global company is based in India and the celebrations of the EPL team were certainly and aptly boisterous. For double World Star Award winner Takeda Pharmaceutical, Sriman Bannerjee was present to pick up the company’s two World Star Awards – the first for the use of green-polyethylene which the company has pioneered, in its CABPIRIN pharmaceutical packaging derived from plant-based bioethanol.
The second award picked up by Bannerjee and the Takeda team was for the company’s Takhzyro pre-filled syringe secondary packaging using a carton with an inner strength that is created using a pyramid as a metaphor. Designed for quick assembly and disassembly it has a PET tray for better recyclability. The design is reminiscent of several creative pharmaceutical carton designs in Japan that extensively use paperboard both outside and inside for cushioning. However, the use of composite material Paperboard+PET results in a lower carbon footprint in comparison to an all paperboard carton and reduced overall weight in this case. The PET tray also provides an opportunity to recycle and use recycled material as a substrate.
The WorldStar Packaging Awards for this year overwhelmingly showed their concern for recyclability and sustainability and especially innovative packaging for food that can extend the delivery of more protein to larger sections of the world’s population. If innovations in curing, processing, and packaging can help this to happen without the extensive use of expensive cold chains this will be of vital importance to human health and the reduction of the carbon footprint of protein logistics.
The winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Packaging for 2022 were Rachel Bayswater from the UK and Graeme Lang from Australia. The Presidents Awards winners were, Gold for Functional Barrier Papers – a complete range of recyclable barrier papers for sustainable packaging solutions, Mondi – Austria; Silver for PACKSYS Capsule Dispenser, PACKSYS – Germany; Bronze for BeeeerBox, Smurfit Kappa – Czech Republic; Bronze, Compostable Anti Rust VCI Film, Safepack – India.
Pierre Pienaar, WPO President, explained the President’s Award recognizes innovative solutions that, somehow, can contribute to the development of a sustainable world. “In other words, I have the mission of choosing the best from the best, knowing that this packaging will make a difference in the world and will have a positive impact on one or various important aspects of modern life, such as environment protection, sustainability, food safety or save food.”
In the special categories, the Marketing Awards were Gold for CoolCAN – a web2print solution for personalized can printing, Colognia press – Czech Republic; Silver for Greyder V, Tasarist – Turkey; and Bronze for Asahi Suoer Dry Nama Jokki Can, Asahi Breweries – Japan.
The winners in the Packaging that Saves Food special category were – Gold, hvb HiPack, hvb Innova, Switzerland; and Silver, IceCoat – Mini Fridfe without Electricity, STREIFFGruppe – Sven Holger Streiff and Maik Bermeitinger – Germany; and Bronze, Junee Prime Lamb and Sealed Air for CRYOVAC brand Total Bone Guard, Sealed Air – Australia and New Zealand.
The WPO Packaging Sustainability Awards were Gold, rPET school milk cup, Pet-Man, Starlinger viscotec, Greiner Packaging, Schulmilchbauern Oberösterreich, Austria; Silver: Woolworths PaperSeal Meat Tray, Woolworths Group – Australia & New Zealand; Silver: PAPACKS Refill Caps, PAPACKS Sales – Germany; Bronze: Flexible and sustainable packaging concept for fruit and vegetables, Bama Packaging – Norway; and, Bronze: PAPACKS Fiber Bottle, PAPACKS Sales – Germany.
The countries most awarded are Germany, with 28 awards, followed by ANZ (Australia & New Zealand) taking 27, Japan taking 23, and China taking 15 awards each. The Asia Pacific region seems to have done extremely well apart from the 65 awards for Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and China, with South Korea receiving 13, India 10, Thailand 4, Singapore 3, Sri Lanka 1, and Vietnam 1.
WPO senior VP, Luciana Pellegrino noted that the packages eligible for WorldStar are those that have already received a national award recognized by WPO. “The submissions for the 2022 edition were high standard and they really reflect the focus of the global packaging industry in innovation. We can see a number of clever and unique ideas, from a significant number of countries, in all categories.”
According to WorldStar Coordinator and WPO VP Events, Soha Atallah, “After two years of lockdown and getting used to attending hybrid and virtual events, we were thrilled to be able to organize the WorldStar Award ceremony physically and to be able to greet and recognize the WorldStar winners on a stage! Last night was a magic night with the packaging community celebrating packaging excellence from around the globe.” Atallah said that the entries to WorldStar Award 2023 will open from 15 June 2022 until 15 October 2022.