Glittering celebration of WorldStar Packaging Awards in Milan

SB Packagings and Safepack receive Awards in-person

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Amit Banga, managing director, SB Packagings with colleague Indrajeet Singh receiving the WorldStar Packaging Award in Milan from WPO president Pierre Pienaer. Photo PSA

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.

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Director of Sales & Marketing Johann Tranchell of Overdime Exports receiving the award from Pierre Pienaar at the glittering ceremony in Milan

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.

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Rajendra Tapadia managing director and CEO of Safepack Industries in Pune receives the Worldstar Award from Pierre Pienaar at the glittering ceremony in Milan. Photo PSA

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. 

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Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ Sriman Bannerjee receiving one of the two Worldstar Packaging Awards the company won, in Milan Photo PSA.

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.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.

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