Packaging Giant Challenges Designers and Engineers to Develop ‘Creative Solutions’

by | Jan 30, 2019

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Packaging company Smurfit Kappa is calling on the industry – and its own designers – to develop sustainable packaging solutions. The company is challenging designers, engineers, inventors and “creative thinkers” to come up with packaging innovations that will replace existing, un-recyclable packaging waste.

Packaging accounts for almost 45% of the demand for plastic in the world, Smurfit Kappa points out, and packaging design has an essential role to play in reducing the amount of waste generated and in delivering a more sustainable future.

One product on which the company plans to focus is the plastic stretch wrap placed around products on a pallet for stability during transport and storage. “It is an efficient and cost-effective solution, but it creates waste,” according to the company. Smurfit Kappa is asking its designers to find a paper-based solution to replace plastic stretch wrap that is recyclable or reusable in the same collection system as paper based packaging while still delivering the same properties for stack of boxes.

To back up its call for innovation in the industry, the company has launched a “Better Planet Packaging Design Challenge.” Winners of the challenge – those who offer solutions to solving concrete problems in sustainable packaging design – will receive 8,000 euros, and their ideas will be showcased at an event in May, 2019.

The challenge is part of Smurfit Kappa’s Better Planet Packaging initiative, which includes a focus on sustainable sourcing of its key raw materials, minimizing its operational impact, and lowering the environmental footprint of our customers and consumers.

With the recent global scrutiny on plastic waste, similar announcements have come from a variety of companies that have vowed to reduce packaging waste. Earlier this week, Samsung Electronics says it will begin replacing plastic packaging materials with more sustainable materials, effective immediately. Packaging currently used for products like mobile phones, tablets and home appliances will be replaced with materials like paper and recycled or bio-based plastics.

Samsung has appointed a dedicated task force to focus on design and development, purchasing, marketing and quality control for new packaging ideas.

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