Calling all Packaging Designers – entries for the European Carton Excellence Awards are now open!

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Celebrating the best in ecological packaging design, the 26th European Carton Excellence Awards, Europe’s most prestigious annual competition for cartonboard packaging, is now open for entries.

The Awards, hosted by Pro Carton and the European Carton Makers Association (ECMA), challenges partners from all levels within the supply chain to showcase the most innovative packaging designs made from cartonboard, the most ecologically balanced packaging medium.

The awards consist of four categories: General Packaging – Virgin Fibre, General Packaging – Recycled Fibre, Food & Drink Packaging – Virgin Fibre and Food & Drink Packaging – Recycled Fibre, as well as special awards for Innovation, Sustainability (previously known as the Save The Planet Award) and the coveted Carton of the Year. Finally, the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite pack in the Public Award, while a number of Platinum and Gold Award winners will also be chosen.

Winners are chosen by a prestigious panel of packaging experts, representing different stakeholders from the cartonboard value chain.  The panel will assess each entry against various criteria including graphic and structural design, production techniques, cost-efficiency, ecology, innovation and convenience.

More than 25 years of excellence in cartonboard
Last year’s edition marked a quarter of a century of the Awards, with a number of extraordinary submissions from all over Europe. The coveted Carton of the Year prize went to Durero Packaging (Structural Designer) and Holmen Iggesund (Cartonboard Manufacturer) for Bodegas Balsamic, an impressive gift pack that pays homage to brand owner Toro Albalà’s Spanish roots with its four-piece self-lock system that opens to resemble a Spanish fan, as well as a beautiful embossed and stylish matt black finish.

The 2021 Public award was awarded to WestRock and Metsä Board for its Smarties Giant Hexatube. The design, which formed part of brand owner Nestlé’s strategy to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, features a plastic-free pack made entirely from recyclable paperboard with an integrated cartonboard lid. The Cardbox Packaging and Stora Enso were also recognised, receiving the Innovation prize for Karlo Spoon, a wonderfully clever cartonboard spoon created in response to the EU’s disposable plastic cutlery ban. Furthermore, the winner of the Sustainability Award was Graphic Packaging International and BillerudKorsnäs for its sustainable burger tray that ensures maximum product freshness and shelf-life – without leaks.

“At Pro Carton, we are all about promoting the sustainability credentials and brilliance of cartonboard, and what better way to do that than with the European Carton Excellence Awards. Despite only joining Pro Carton in October last year, I have followed the awards closely for years and have been frequently blown away by the quality of submissions and the versatility of fibre-based packaging. I am extremely excited to see the creativity and functionality of the 2022 entries”, says Winfried Muehling, General Manager of Pro Carton.

Find out about this year’s European Carton Excellence Awards including how to enter here: https://www.procarton.com/awards/european-carton-excellence-award/