Biodegradable, compostable, recyclable, monomaterial, anti-waste (of materials and energy) … The great sustainability issues translated into original packaging, awarded on the occasion of the Italian Packaging Institute’s contest.

by Romolo Napolitano

Big brands, but also companies less known to the general public: all of them winners of the Best Packaging 2019 edition, dedicated to packaging sustainability. The Eco prize went to the eco-barrier bag by Adercarta, the tray with cover for fruit and vegetables from Coop Italia, the biodegradable and compostable packaging for stracchino cheese by Nonno Nanni, the monomaterial packaging from Goglio and the greenbox project by Parmalat and Tetra Pak. The Quality design award went to the  Estathé glass bottle by Ferrero , while Barilla’s new biscuit display case received the Over All award.

The event took place at the Feltrinelli Foundation in Milan, as part of the Talks on Tomorrow, the format of Repubblica and H-FARM, designed to inform the public topical issues related to innovation, digital transformation and the relationship between technology and society. The awards were presented by Anna Paola Cavanna, president of the Italian Packaging Institute and by Giorgio Quagliuolo, president of Conai. The event was preceded by a short talk moderated by Repubblica jouranlist Luca Fraioli with Carlo Alberto Pratesi, professor of marketing, innovation and sustainability at Roma Tre University, Paola Fabbri, professor of materials science and technology at the University of Bologna and Roger Botti, creative director of Robilant & Associati. Many issues were addressed: from the need for more correct information on new ecological materials (Paola Fabbri) to a more holistic approach to sustainability (Carlo Alberto Pratesi), up to the central role that distributors can have in encouraging and promoting sustainable packaging (Roger Botti) . A debate that took stock of the state of the art of packaging sustainability, the limits to be overcome and the challenges to be sustained from now on until the near future.

«The direction we have taken is necessary» says Mauro Fedeli of Goglio, winner with a single-material polypropylene 100% recyclable packaging,. «A decade from now all packaging will be recyclable. It is our duty and that of every citizen to safeguard the environment. Our real challenge today is to create a packaging that continues to perform its function of protection and conservation (of food and not only), with the same reliability, but that at the same time does not become useless waste».

Best Packaging is promoted by the Italian Packaging Institute and produced in collaboration with Conai as part of a wider commitment to sustainability. «In addition to this contest – explains Anna Paola Cavanna – the Italian Packaging Institute is implementing other initiatives to raise awareness among all stakeholders on the issues of eco-compatibility of packaging. Last but not least, we have the start of proceedings that will translate into a document of guidelines for sustainable packaging, which will soon be available to all packaging manufacturers and users».

Environment Award

  • Eco Sacco Barriera, Adercarta and Cartiera Emolli
    The advantages identified included simplification of segregated collection, where even the food contaminated bag can be collected as bio waste, easier handling, optimization of the transport phase and raw material savings.
  • Tray with lid for fruit and vegetables, Coop Italia
    Produced in over 80% post-consumption PET, it represents the closure of the recycling looè. Interesting in terms of the large amounts involved.
  • Monomaterial coffee pack, Goglio
    Innovative monomaterial multilayer, with barrier effect and integrated degassing valve. The packaging also allows raw material savings with positive effects on logistics.
  • Biodegradable and compostable packaging for stracchino cheese, Nonno Nanni
    It facilitates segregated collection, enabling all the container components (tray and flow pack) to be collected as bio waste.
  • Green Box project, Parmalat and Tetra Pak
    A circular economy project, where the primary container processing waste is used in the production of secondary packaging, drastically reducing raw material waste.

Quality Design Award

  • Estathè glass bottle, Ferrero
    The iconic Estathè PET beaker has been updated and redesigned, switching to a glass bottle with a pull-off cap, while maintaining the characteristic decor of the traditional container.

Overall Award

  • New biscuit display case, Barilla
    It combines various aspects, including optimization of shape and materials, structural redesign as well as operator service.