• Plantic Technologies' Neat Meat tray
    Plantic Technologies' Neat Meat tray
  • Woolworths changed its bakery packaging to be more sustainable.
    Woolworths changed its bakery packaging to be more sustainable.
  • Joe Foster of OF Packaging took home a 2020 Lifetime Achievement in Packaging Award.
    Joe Foster of OF Packaging took home a 2020 Lifetime Achievement in Packaging Award.
  • Lewis Road Creamery's rPET bottle.
    Lewis Road Creamery's rPET bottle.
  • Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm and Sealed Air's Cryovac Darfresh on-tray vacuum skin technology
    Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm and Sealed Air's Cryovac Darfresh on-tray vacuum skin technology
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Australia and New Zealand took home a collective 18 WorldStar Packaging Awards this year, making ANZ the third-most awarded country/region in this year’s awards. Winners of the WorldStar Special Awards and Student Awards were honoured with a Zoom ceremony this week, as the usual live event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prestigious WorldStar Packaging Awards is one of the major events on the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) calendar. This year was the 52nd annual WorldStar Awards, but the first one held virtually. The ceremony was held twice in one day to accommodate the myriad time zones in which winners and participants live.

WPO president Pierre Pienaar said in his opening remarks it is important to ensure the winners were recognised internationally.

“Every company and country that has won needs to be honoured on a global stage,” he said.

“In a time of global isolation, we are still able to get together and meet and celebrate folks from around the world.”

Pienaar said the WPO executive team works continuously on creative and innovative solutions to continue interacting with the global packaging community despite the current global circumstances.

“This was not different regarding the WorldStar 2020 ceremony that had to be adapted to the pandemic moment,” he said.

WorldStar is the largest global packaging awards programme. The 2020 edition had 214 winners from more than 300 entries that came from 36 countries.

During the Zoom ceremony, winners (in the WorldStar Special Awards and Student Awards categories) were honoured from 14 countries, including Australia, Brazil, China, Finland, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Turkey, the UK, and the US.

The annual Australasian Packaging Innovation & Design Awards (PIDAs) are the exclusive entry point for ANZ companies for the WorldStar Packaging Awards.

Joe Foster, managing director of OF Packaging, was awarded one of the two 2020 Lifetime Achievement in Packaging Awards, along with Keith Pearson of South Africa.

Foster thanked the WPO and the AIP during the virtual ceremony for the “tremendous” accolade.

“Receiving such an award is a real, true highlight and a milestone for me,” he said.

“I love engaging with industry and people in the industry, and... being able to pass on my knowledge and passion has been a real milestone for me.” (Hear more in the video link below.)

Also a notable win from our region was the President’s Award, which recognised 2019 PIDA winner Plantic Technologies for the Neat Meat Tray using Plantic RV high barrier Skin Pack recyclable material to replace the previous non-recyclable tray made from black HIPS. This is the first time an ANZ entry has ever won an award in this category.

Plantic’s Brendan Morris said what is important in the pack is the combination of sustainability and performance.

“We combine Plantic’s biodegradable, renewable barrier plastic together with PET to make a material that’s not only ultra-high barrier that allows our customers to extend the shelf life of their product, and reduce food waste, but also makes it very suitable for the recycling stream,” Morris said.(Hear more in the video link below.)

And, the Sustainability Special Award recognised two PIDA winners. In the Gold category was Pact Group for the New Zealand brand Lewis Road Creamery PCR 100 per cent recycled PET milk bottle range.

Terry Chen from Lewis Road Creamery: said: “We love fresh milk, not fresh plastic. We recognised [sustainability] is an important issue close to many people’s hearts, and we realised that the benefits outweighed the cost.”

Also, the Silver winner in the Sustainability Special Award category was Woolworths Australia for replacing plastic trays with pulp-based trays nationally into all stores for more than 50 in-store bakery products.

And an Australasian also won Gold in the Packaging that Saves Food Special Award. Hazeldene’s Chicken Farm and Sealed Air were recognised for Cryovac Darfresh on-tray vacuum skin technology that addresses food safety, extends shelf life by 25 per cent over the previously used modified atmosphere Packaging (MAP) format, and improves on-pack communication.

Alan Adams from Sealed Air said the award was a great validation for what the company stands for.

For a list of all the WPO WorldStar Award winners, head to the WPO website.

Food & Drink Business

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Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirit Co. secured $16 million in growth capital from its completed seed round funding, the most material investment on record for the category.