Dezeen promotion: Global packaging company Smurfit Kappa is looking for designers to enter its Better Planet Packaging Design Challenge and create sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging.
There are two challenges in the Smurfit Kappa Better Planet Packaging competition, and entrants can enter either one, or both. The first asks challengers designers to develop an alternative solution to the plastic stretch wrap around pallets, used to provide stability during transport and storage.
Despite being efficient and cost-effective, the plastic stretch wrap creates waste that is often not recyclable and ends up being sent to landfill.
Smurfit Kappa therefore wants designers to develop a paper-based alternative that is recyclable, or reusable, in the same collection system as paper-based packaging, while still delivering the same features as plastic wrap.
The second competition tasks entrants with designing an entirely paper-based parcel with thermal protection for temperature-sensitive products, such as chocolate, for use in the e-commerce sales channels.
Current thermal packaging is made with materials such as expanded polystyrene, a rigid cellular plastic, or is packaged with cool packs, making the parcels difficult for consumers to recycle.
The newly developed packaging would need to be able to keep the temperature low through transport, while also being renewable and recyclable, made using paper-based materials such as wood fibre.
Entries will be judged by an international panel of senior packaging experts from across Smurfit Kappa's business, including paper, corrugated, recycling and sustainability.
The winning designer of each challenge will receive a prize of €8,000 and the winning packaging concepts will be showcased at our European Innovation event taking place on 16 May this year.
The challenge is part of Smurfit Kappa's latest programme, The Better Planet Packaging Initiative, which aims to reimagine and redefine the future of sustainable packaging.
"The toll that waste is taking on our environment is one of the biggest challenges facing our generation," said the company. "According to figures released in the European Commission Report in 2015, packaging accounts for almost 40 percent of demand for plastic in Europe."
According to the company, the Better Planet Packaging Initiative is just one of many programmes that it is planning in the coming months and years, in an attempt to spark conversations and stimulate new ways of thinking around the subject of sustainable packaging.
"This is a problem that needs to be solved. But to find an answer will require a global response," it continued. "It will require the brightest minds in design and business working together, to find solutions to packaging waste through innovation, collaboration and partnerships."
Aspiring entrants can register to participate in the competition via Smurfit Kappa's website. The deadline for design submissions is March 29, 2019.