Innovative packaging in various technologies
To recognise excellence in paper-based packaging, Mondi is again sponsoring two trophies. The first is for innovative folding carton packaging; and the other is for innovative corrugated packaging.
Aluminium foil’s track record as a packaging material comes from its wide range of impressive properties, and recognising the innovative use of aluminium-based packaging is the Hulamin-sponsored trophy. ‘The purpose of this award is to encourage and promote technically innovative solutions for the dairy, soft drinks, healthcare and pharma markets, whether for pouches, stick-packs, dispensing mechanisms, material structures or lidding materials,’ explains Hulamin’s marketing director, Reginald Nyandeni.
‘By sponsoring this trophy we aim to demonstrate the versatility of aluminium foil across many packaging markets, showing off aluminium foil’s role as a thoroughly convenient, environmentally conscious and innovative material for both today’s and tomorrow’s needs,’ he adds. ‘Past winning packs have emphasised the versatility of alufoil across a range of applications. In short, genuine innovation creates a bright future for aluminium foil.’
Recognising innovation in wraparound filmic labels is Treofan. ‘We want Treofan to be the top-of-mind supplier when it comes to label solutions,’ explains Treofan’s marketing specialist, Megan Hainsworth.
‘At the moment we are very well known as a supplier of flexible packaging material but not really known as a supplier of labelling material. So we really want to make ourselves known as label solutions supplier within the industry . . . that’s our reason for sponsoring this trophy … and we’re looking forward to seeing what comes to the table!’
Innovative plastics packaging is recognised by a trophy sponsored by Sasol Polymers.
Printing and finishing
For recognising printing excellence – specifically on flexible packaging – Coates Brothers is this year’s sponsor.
‘Once again, Sun Chemical and Coates are delighted to offer our support as one of the sponsors of the prestigious Gold Pack Awards. With ink being a vital cog in the printing process, it’s a source of continuing pride that our products are associated with innovative packaging which meets and often exceeds world standards,’ comments John Bisset, MD of Coates Brothers. ‘The culmination is the dazzling awards ceremony, where our hearty congratulations are extended to the worthy winners,’ he adds.
A new trophy this year – sponsored by Supreme Cylinders – recognises technical innovation in terms of finishing techniques – specifically embossing and/or foiling on a label or folding carton.
‘It is not commonly known that we are one of the largest South African suppliers of specialised tooling,’ says the company’s proprietor, Alan Cogill. ‘We supply brass, copper and magnesium blocks and cylinders to the printing and packaging industries. Many of our customers consistently win national and international awards.’
In the past, Supreme Cylinders’ marketing has been low key, but that’s changing. ‘As a result of implementing new systems, equipment and efficiencies, we’re now in a position to “spread our wings”. We want to reach out to new customers in South Africa, and neighbouring countries, and part of this campaign is our involvement in the Gold Pack Awards,’ Alan explains.
‘It’s an honour for us to be able to contribute towards the recognition of those organisations competing in this year’s Gold Pack Awards and to congratulate the winners for their outstanding work.’
For printing excellence on kraft-based packaging – either corrugated or sacks – Sappi Kraft is once again the prime sponsor.
‘At Sappi we believe that the value proposition of paper packaging is inimitable,’ comments general manager, marketing, Matt Spence.
‘Paper packaging is undoubtedly the packaging solution of choice for any brand owner who needs an environmentally-friendly substrate which is sustainable, strong, versatile and aesthetically pleasing. We are proud to be a sponsor of this category in this year’s Gold Pack Awards and we look forward to seeing our customers showcasing their printing and design expertise on kraft paper packaging.’
Sustainability to the fore
Environmental performance and sustainability are critical to the future of brands and retailers. Consumers have never been more vocal in their clamour to see manufacturers and retailers deliver on their corporate responsibilities – today this is a key criterion by which business success is judged.
Gold Pack 2009 provides an ideal platform for stakeholders throughout the supply chain to share best practice and create visions for the future of sustainable packaging, with two key trophies.
With environmental influences high on everybody’s agenda, the Packaging Council of South Africa (PACSA)’s trophy recognises sustainability in any of the major packaging technologies, while the Plastics Federation of South Africa has sponsored a trophy specifically to recognise plastics packaging designed for easy recycling.
As Andrew Marthinusen, PACSA’s executive director, comments: ‘PACSA’s core focus has long been packaging and the environment. With the Waste Act having been signed into law this year, and all that entails, we want to highlight and reward organisations that have delivered environmentally proactive and sustainable solutions in the packaging industry.’
The Plastics Federation’s reason for sponsoring a trophy is also to highlight the sustainable role of packaging.
Explains the Federation’s executive director, David Hughes: ‘The aim is to promote the design of products and services that are sustainable, ie products and services that contribute to social progress and economic growth, as well as providing ecological benefit, throughout their life cycles. The sustainability of a product is largely locked in at the design phase, which is why designing for sustainability (D4S) is so important. It involves practitioners at every stage of the plastics product chain, including designers, polymer suppliers, product manufacturers, brand owners and specifiers,’ David explains.
‘D4S seeks to promote a whole-of-life approach to product innovation and stewardship and the need for step-change transformations in material and resource use,’ he adds.
David goes on to remind us of some important points:
- Many plastics are durable – they don’t go away.
- Plastics need to be cherished as a finite and valuable material – plastics are too valuable to waste.
- It’s time to re-think our relationship to synthetic materials.
- Current and new technologies as well as new materials all help deliver improvements and solutions to avoidable waste.
‘These are valuable insights as we seek to understand the responsibilities and opportunities we have to use our resources and energy wisely and contribute to a sustainable future. The reduce [avoidance and minimisation], reuse and recycle aspects of the waste management hierarchy are very important – with recycling being a great way for everyone to help with sustainability,’ David continues. ‘Many branded packages are simply not recyclable because of their design and composition.’
David goes on to point out that, with the advent of the Packaging Industry Waste Management Plan, it’s going to be imperative for post-consumer packaging to be recyclable and for consumers to be able to identify recyclable packaging.
‘Designers, brand owners and packaging companies must get used to the idea that while protection of contents is important, so too is sustainability and good waste management. Designing for sustainability is a key marketing component,’ he stresses.
Out of Africa
Taking the Gold Pack Awards beyond the confines of South Africa and into the rest of the continent is the aim of the Out of Africa Awards. This year, these Out of Africa Awards are sponsored by Unilever.
Comments Ross Plumbley, VP Research & Development for Unilever’s AMET region: ‘Unilever is sponsoring the Out of Africa Awards as we wish to recognise packaging talent and effort beyond South Africa, within our region. It’s also important to motivate and develop packaging expertise in developing and emerging markets in Africa, to enable current and future business growth opportunities.’
With communication being a key marketing aspect of packaging, PACKAGiNG & Print Media is again sponsoring a trophy to recognise slick on-pack communication, whether it’s clever copy to deliver a message to consumers, or more subtle communication in terms of a pack’s look and feel.
As PACKAGiNG & Print Media’s prime function is communication – connecting all links in the packaging chain, from raw material supply, to packaging and converting in all the major packaging technologies, and to the myriad end uses of packaging in the branded goods sector – it’s particularly apt for this magazine to sponsor this particular trophy.
And the cherry on top
The Gold Pack trophy is the ultimate accolade. Sponsored by the Institute of Packaging (SA), this is the premier award and is bestowed on a pack – drawn from any category – that’s considered by the judges to the best overall entry in this year’s programme.
And it doesn’t stop there. Apart from the sponsored trophies and the Gold Pack trophy, additional trophies (sponsored by the Institute of Packaging) may be presented at the discretion of the judges to recognise Particular South African Input, Innovative Marketing, Consumer Convenience or Technical Innovation.
GOLD awards are presented for outstanding packaging design – including surface graphics and print, form and functionality, use of materials and components – in nine product-based categories – Food Packaging; Beverage Packaging; Health & Beauty Packaging; Household Products Packaging; Medical and Pharmaceutical Packaging; Electronics & Automotive Packaging: Transit & Bulk Packaging; Promotional, Novelty & Family Packaging; Other (including Components, Export Packaging, etc).