• PIDA 2022: Gold - Compostable | Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Gold - Compostable | Sustainable Packaging Design
  • PIDA 2022: Gold - Compostable | Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Gold - Compostable | Sustainable Packaging Design
  • PIDA 2022: Gold - Industrial | Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Gold - Industrial | Sustainable Packaging Design
  • PIDA 2022: Recycled Content - Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Recycled Content - Sustainable Packaging Design
  • PIDA 2022: Gold - Recycle/Recover | Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Gold - Recycle/Recover | Sustainable Packaging Design
  • PIDA 2022: Recycle/Recover | Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Recycle/Recover | Sustainable Packaging Design
  • PIDA 2022: Gold - Renewables | Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Gold - Renewables | Sustainable Packaging Design
  • PIDA 2022: Gold - Reuse/Refill | Sustainable Packaging Design
    PIDA 2022: Gold - Reuse/Refill | Sustainable Packaging Design

The Sustainable Packaging Design of the Year award recognises companies that have developed innovative packaging or processing solutions that incorporate sustainability considerations. Elements include Social, Material, Source Reduction, Energy and Recovery.

At the PIDA 2022 awards, presented during Foodtech QLD, sustainability was a strong focus in all categories, but in the Sustainable Packaging Design category itself, there was record number of entries. Due to the continued high standard of innovative designs that cover such a broad spectrum of the waste hierarchy, the judges have separated the winners into subset categories.

Commenting on the category as a whole, co-host of the presentation event, PKN publisher Lindy Hughson said,"Sustainability, Circular Economy, National Packaging Targets... these are the watchwords of our industry, bearing the strongest influence on all our packaging choices. Our industry has truly heard the call to action and is responding through cross industry collaborative efforts, and investment in recycling infrastructure and post-consumer recycled material development at a level that has never been seen before, but which we all know will have to increase even further.

"When packaging suppliers can collaborate with brand owners to deliver a solution that meets not only the brand’s but also the region’s sustainability goals around material reduction, use of recycled content, and recyclability, and thus moves us closer to meeting 2025 National Packaging Targets, then they are deserving winners." 


Gold in the reuse/refill subcategory went to Close the Loop Group for its Koh Kerbside Recyclable Spout Pouch Refill Pack, made from 100 per cent mono-polymer PE and is Roll ‘n’ Recycle’s first ever kerbside recyclable spout pouch. The pouch can be rolled in a three-dimensional shape with a label attached to help keep the rolled tube form. The previous Roll ‘n’ Recycle concept had a semi-attached label with specifications which included sizing limitations. The new packaging sees the label redesigned to incorporate a complete detachment from the pouch and the ability to fully roll into the tube shape. This allows for greater stability and reduces the level of stress on the label.

As Koh is predominantly an e-commerce brand, the Spout Pouch packaging is lightweight. The refill pack provides a customer with five refills in one pouch for their rigid spray bottle that they can keep at home. The refill pouch provided weights 30g and can hold the same amount of volume as five 114g rigid containers.


Two silver awards were given in the Recycle/Recover category, one to Detmold Group for the Detpak RecycleMe Noodle Cup, the other to Huhtamaki Australia for the Maggi Recipe Base/Mono-PP sachet.

There were also two gold winners in this category. The first is MaCher Australia for the Royal Australian Mint Coin Packaging. This is the first-time moulded fibre has been used to create high-end, premium, collectable packaging, a packaging category that is usually dominated by a heavy use of mixed materials, including lacquered timber, leather covered boxes and plastics. To promote and educate the customer on the new packaging format an educational leaflet ‘Thank you for your purchase’ was included in the pack communicating the Mint’s focus on sustainability and highlighting the environmental benefits of the packaging.

The redesigned box is made from a single material – moulded plant fibre (blend of bamboo and bagasse) – and includes one print finish for the foil logo stamped on the outer and internal lid. A significant advancement in the new packaging is that the pulp box design has a weight of 49 grams compared to the previous packaging weight of 148 grams. This box is designed to be reusable, for the on-going storage of high value, collectible coins.

The product is a world-first for the industry and was launched ahead of World Environment Day. The packaging design will be rolled out across The Royal Australian Mint’s Standard Proof numismatic product range.

The second Gold winner is Nestlé Australia for the Smarties Range Paperisation.

Smarties is the first global confectionery brand to switch from plastic bag and blocks formats to paper packaging that is recyclable. The materials were selected based on their acceptability in the Australian recycling infrastructure. The use of water dispersible coating allows for separation of non-fibre materials with the fibre backing, allowing recycling in the paper recycling centres.

The paper material selection took into consideration product shelf life, manufacturing and supply chain efficiencies; with the aim of matching the existing plastic packaging.

TheSmarties product range, which is considered sensitive, has been packed in paper packaging coated with a high moisture barrier, while still maintaining water dispersible qualities. The maximum reduction in packaging weight has been achieved by reducing headspace where possible.

Claims on front of pack illustrate to the consumers that the pack has now transitioned to paper packaging. Using a clever graphic to provide the effect that the packaging underneath is produced using paper material, the claims ‘I’m Paper’ speaks to the consumer.

The front of pack also has a call to action to the consumers to ‘Recycle Me’, indicating that the paper material is recyclable. The call-out to ‘Be Smart’ is a play on words on the Smarties brand which is an effective method to further engage consumers on the sustainability message. The Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) is included on all packs to raise consumer awareness and ensure Smarties fans know how to recycle the packs.

The transition out of plastic packaging removes 20 tonnes of virgin plastic use annually in Oceania. This change has resulted in removal of approximately 250 million plastic packs sold globally every year.


In the subcategory Renewables, Brownes Dairy won another gold for ‘Australia’s Most Sustainable Milk Cartons’. The eye-catching packaging is a natural brown colour, converted from fully renewable materials and made with renewable energy. The recent move to Tetra Rex Craft Plant Based drove a further weight reduction of just under four per cent, taking further packaging out of the supply chain. Less packaging material is required to protect the same amount of milk, further enhancing the sustainability credentials of the carton.

Brownes Dairy has incorporated the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) into the pack design. The on-pack artwork provides clear information about its renewable source to aid consumer understanding and awareness of these unique cartons. This education is further amplified through the School Tours programme, which sees 10,000 primary aged school children come through Brownes Dairy’s doors each year.


BioPak reigned supreme in the Compostable sub-category, where it picked up a silver for its FSC Paper Spoon Straws, and two gold awards.

The first gold was for Sugarcane Pulp Hot & Cold Cup Lids, created to match and fit the BioPak eco-friendly hot and cold paper cups already available.

The innovation ensures the lids hold onto cups firmly with a distinctive snap feel when applied to cups. The lids are certified home and industrially compostable to Australian standards (AS4738/AS5810) and made from plant-based, renewable resources and are PFAS free.

Switching from single-use plastic packaging derived from finite fossil resources to sugarcane packaging makes a big difference. If a large QSR swapped out 10 million conventional plastic lids to sugarcane pulp BioCane alternatives they could avoid 37,400 kgs of fossil-fuel plastics, offset 83,478 kgs of carbon emissions and if all were composted at home, the organic waste would create 25,900 kgs of nutrient-rich soil which in return sequesters even more carbon from the atmosphere, reversing climate change.

The second gold was presented for the BioPak FSC Rectangle Paper Containers (BioPak).

Many people are not aware that plastic takeaway containers that are contaminated with food (think greasy curry, pasta and other oily foods) cannot be recycled and putting them in the recycling bin can jeopardise the entire bin of recycling.

The new FSC certified rectangular paper containers have been designed to replace plastic take-away container. They are PLA bioplastic lined to allow them to carry hot, greasy foods without spoiling or breaking. The PLA bioplastic lining is made from rapidly renewable materials. The footprint of these renewable materials is smaller than that of traditional plastics derived from fossil resources – Ingeo bioplastic for instance, has a footprint up to 80% lower.

Until now, using bioboard BioPak have only been able to manufacture round paper bowls. However, with new machinery and tooling, they have been able to achieve the rectangular shape with the performance of a round paper bowl.

An average cafe using these containers will be able to avoid 455 kg of plastic a year using these alternatives BioPak FSC paper containers and lids. Industrially compostable to Australian AS4736 standards they are independently tested and verified to completely biodegrade within 120 days in a commercial compost facility, the end product is a non-toxic, nutrient-rich compost. BioPak have also created a new brand-agnostic network called Compost Connect that connects foodservice businesses to industrial composters to help compost all certified compostable packaging and food scraps. So far, Compost Connect has diverted over 1500 tonnes of waste from landfill, equivalent to taking 1,100 cars off the 975 cars off the road.


Amcor Flexibles Australia took home silver in the Industrial subcategory for its Amcor Ecotite R solution, while the gold went to Opal for the Opal & JBS Dunnage Solution.

The corrugated cardboard dunnage is made from 64 per cent PEFC-certified Kraft paper and 36 per cent FSC certified recycled paper, and offers a direct replacement for the non-recyclable EPS version. The Opal Dunnage Solution offers greater supply chain efficiencies for both transportation and storage. While EPS dunnage can enable 200 boxes packed per pallet, the JBS and Opal dunnage allows for 1800 per pallet. The ability to store more boxes per pallet results in less trucks on the road, resulting in lower carbon emissions.

Recycled Content

In the Recycled Content Category, a high commendation went to Pact Group for the Goodman Fielder Meadow Fresh Milk 30% rHDPE Bottle, while Goodman Fielder picked up a bronze for its Praise 100% rPET Bottles.

Silver went to Sealed Air for Bubble Wrap 50% recycled content air pillows.

Ego Pharmaceuticals won gold for the new etch&ethos bottles, designed from FDA Certified 50% recycled food grade HDPE and offering features for accessibility, reusability, recoverability and recyclability.

The 1kg HDPE bottle is designed to refill smaller bottles, and both cap and bottle can be kerbside-recycled in Australia. The smaller 300g bottle with its pump is recyclable without the pump. Both carry the ARL.

The bottle is being marketed as an at ‘home pack’ that can be refilled and should be reused multiple times at home by refilling from the larger 1kg pack. Customers can also just purchase the 1kg pack and refill their own home dispenser pack. Both bottles have QR codes that take the customer to the etch&ethos website if they would like to reorder through Ego directly for the larger 1 kg packs.

The 1Kg bottle also has a label made from non-fossil fuel PE from UPM Raflatac and the ISCC certified plastic film is produced by using sustainable resources to replace an equivalent amount of fossil resources in the production process (mass balance approach). This is the first use of this label in Australia and New Zealand.

Closed Loop Collection

The Nespresso Curby Coffee Capsule Collection Program took out silver in this subcategory with gold going to Nestlé Australia for the KitKat prototype recycled content wrapper.

The 30% recycled content KitKat prototype wrapper is an Australian first, created to demonstrate the potential for advanced recycling in Australia using Australian post-consumer soft plastics.

The prototype wrapper was created by a coalition of companies in the Australian value chain who brought their individual expertise together to process collected waste soft plastic, convert it to oil, and produce Australia’s first soft plastic food wrapper made with recycled content.

The coalition with a shared vision includes:

1. REDcycle and CurbCycle, who collected households’ soft plastic waste, some from REDcycle in-store bins and some from the kerbside collection trial (conducted by Nestlé, iQRenew and Curbcycle on the NSW central coast).

2. iQ Renew sorted the collected soft plastics and created a processed engineered feedstock.

3. Licella converted the plastic to oil using their Australian-developed Cat-HTR advanced recycling technology.

4. Viva Energy Australia refined the synthetic oil.

5. LyondellBasell made food grade polypropylene.

6. Taghleef Industries created a metalised film.

7. Amcor printed and created the wrapper; and 

8. Nestlé wrapped the KitKat – keeping it fresh and safe to eat.

The KitKat prototype wrapper program has showcased what is possible collaboratively and has been supported by a call to arms to industry to get involved and on-going advocacy continuing to spread the word and build support for advanced recycling in the region.

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