What trends in packaging should you be taking notice of?

Apr 22, 2022

As companies prepare to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets, a host of innovative packaging ideas have been winning awards.

It appears the future of packaging design in Australia and New Zealand is bright. With the 2022 PIDA Australasian Packaging, Innovation & Design Awards set to be announced in Queensland on July 8, Australian Institute of Packaging Executive Director Nerida Kelton believes there are encouraging signs that businesses are taking sustainability seriously when it comes to packaging.

“Key areas that do stand out across all categories is how the companies are working hard to meet the 2025 National Packaging Targets to ensure that their packaging is sustainable and has a lower environmental impact,” says Kelton.

These targets mean all Australian packaging must be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 or earlier; that 70 per cent of plastic packaging must be recycled or composted; and that problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic packaging must be phased out through design or innovation, or by using alternatives.

“With 2025 only three years away, now is the time for your business to stop and re-evaluate current packaging designs and formats and develop a structured plan to ensure that all of your packaging adheres to the sustainable targets,” adds Kelton.Fortunately, on a global scale, Australian and New Zealand packaging companies are already punching above their weight, receiving the second-highest number of awards (27 across 12 categories) behind Germany in the recent 2022 Worldstar Packaging Awards. Japan were third and China placed fourth.

“This is the highest amount of awards that have ever been won for [Australia and New Zealand], which is an outstanding achievement and recognition for the innovations that are being developed in this region,” Kelton says.

Standout winners included New Zealand’s The Collective drinking yoghurt and NSW-designed SqueezePak squeezy Sauce Bottle. Both are outstanding technical examples of how to incorporate post-consumer recyclate (PCR) into food and beverage packaging, says Kelton.

“Incorporating post-consumer recycled content is such an important piece of the circular design puzzle as it means brands can reduce the percentage of virgin materials used in their packaging,” she adds.

“This in turn will see less burden on natural resources and reductions in packaging going to landfill, land pollution and marine litter. Packaging that is circular by design also reduces carbon emissions and pollutants in the environment.”

Meanwhile, eye-catching winners from the 2021 PIDA awards included Cutri Fruit ‘Galaxy’ peaches (featuring interactive pop-outs and a display window that can be used as a projection screen) and KIT KAT’s ‘Recycle Me, Give the Planet A Break’ wrappers (swapping its logo for a mobius loop, thus encouraging consumers to recycle the soft plastic in-store).

On the coffee front, SIPP Instant’s organic fairtrade coffee received a PIDA Gold for Beverage Design of the Year thanks to its home-compostable internal film (made from eucalyptus trees), 100 per cent recycled cardboard, non-toxic inks and a compostable window. And Cyclpac, for Melbourne Coffee, won PIDA Gold – Sustainable Packaging Design of the Year (Recycle category) for developing its flexible, fully recyclable packaging from a mono structure that protects from heat, oxygen and vapour-loss. “It could change traditional approaches in the coffee industry for good,” says Kelton.

The full list of 2022 WorldStar Packaging Award winners is available here with the WorldStar Special Awards to be held in Milan, Italy in May. Applications for the 2022 Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards – the official feeder to the global awards – are open here, until April 8.

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