Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand won the gold award for reducing by a third its plastic content for the Venus & Olay razors, switching from PVC to the more recyclable PET and using 50 percent recycled materials, DuPont says.
BMC Inks also got the gold award for partnering with materials recovery firm Close the Loop to keep ink cartridges out of landfills. BCM Inks uses the recovered ink to make water-based flexographic ink called PCR (Post-Consumer Recycled) Black to print on corrugated shipping containers. One drum of PCR Black stops approximately 200,000 ink cartridges from going into a landfill, the company says. This recycling process recovers about 30 million ink cartridges a year.
Switzerland’s Coop Cooperative won the gold for reducing packaging in its ready-to-eat salad bowls by 30 percent.
Each year, DuPont awards diamond, gold or silver in one or all of three categories: innovation, sustainability and cost/waste reduction. This year the panel of judges awarded one diamond, four gold and 10 silver awards for packaging.
Other winners that reduced packaging waste and cut their environmental footprints include:
- Heinz reduced materials used in its ketchup bottle by 20 percent.
- Clearly Clean Products partnered with Weis Markets to make recyclable modified atmosphere package (MAP) — the only such recyclable MAP in the world, DuPont says — for meat, chicken, entrees and seafood. The tray, made from recyclable PET, has a peel-away liner that, when removed, allows the tray to be recycled again.
- Folmex developed a a polyethylene-based package for its laundry detergent in the Mexican market that downgauged the earlier packaging by 21 percent, eliminating 111 tons of material a year and saving 20 tons of CO2. The downgauging has also helped the brand owner increase its product-to-package ratio by 27 percent and decrease CO2 emissions from transportation by 22 percent, DuPont says.
- Amcor redesigned its blister packs for medication, reducing materials used to pack the same number of tablets by a third.
DuPont’s awards point to a trend in the packaging industry that Environmental Leader guest columnist Dennis Salazar highlighted last week. Salazar says what’s new in packaging is more about companies’ approach to it rather than innovation, as focus shifts from sustainable packaging to reducing materials used.