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#Sustainability Awards 2020

Packaging waste, climate change and other environmental crises demand an urgent and joined up response from the CPG industry.

Challenging us to take a rigorous and holistic view, the Sustainability Awards sets the agenda on best practice, turns the spotlight on the most important areas of R&D, and helps separate greenwash from the innovations that make a genuine difference.

Sustainability Awards is independently judged by an expert jury representing a cross-section of the international packaging value chain, including leading brand owners and retailers, sustainability organisations, waste management, academia and industry experts. Each year the competition sees ever growing engagement, assessing submissions from start-ups and global brands by the same, carefully considered criteria.

The Sustainability Awards will open for submissions once again in January 2020.
"Due to the win in the competition, we have already been contacted by three major brand owners to discuss our innovation and packaging R&D."
"The Sustainability Awards is a wonderful project. I particularly like the fact that all levels of the market are covered. It is not just about the circular economy and design for recycling, but looking at sustainability holistically."
"Thank you very much to Packaging Europe for the organisation of the Sustainability Awards, which contributes hugely towards sustainability and motivates the industry."

#Sustainable packaging summit

featuring the Sustainability Awards 2020
Live season of virtual events throughout October and November

The winners of the Sustainability Awards 2020 will be announced as part of the wider programme of panels, workshops and networking events in the Sustainable Packaging Summit 2020. To join the value chain, regulators, NGOs and recyclers in discussion of key dilemmas while keeping everyone safe in this time of pandemic, we’re hosting this year’s Summit as a season of virtual events throughout October and November 2020.

Full details, programme & tickets
Kim Houchens (Amazon)
Tom Szaky (TerraCycle)
Gian De Belder (P&G)
David Katz (Plastic Bank)
Louis Lindenberg (Unilever)
Archana Jagannathan (PepsiCo)
James Bull (Tesco)
Hans Van Bochove (Coca-Cola)
Antonino Furfari (Plastics Recyclers Europe)

How to Engage with the 2020 Sustainability Awards

Enter the awards

Submit your sustainable packaging innovation or initiative. Entries can be submitted(there’s no charge to participate) via our online platform between 20 January and 15 May. Full instructions and rules can be found in the Essential Information section below.

Join us at the Sustainable Packaging Summit

The winners of the 2020 Sustainability Awards will be announced on 15th October, as part of the programme of the virtual Sustainable Packaging Summit taking place throughout October and November 2020.

Connect with the sustainability conversation

Throughout this year, the Sustainability Awards serves as a focalpoint to share innovation strategies, discuss best practice, andcross-fertilise ideas. To participate in this conversation or simply ensure youreceive updates on the competition, sign up to our newsletter and follow @packagingeurope.


Submissions open
20 Jan
Submissions close
15 May
Finalists announced
14 June
Sustainability Awards ceremony and Sustainable Packaging Summit
15 Oct

Bio-based Packaging

Barrier solutions based on Cellulose NanoCrystals
by Melodea Ltd, Israel

tara-cool TC20 tempered transport box based onbio-degradable material and tracking
by Taracell AG, Switzerland

FlowPap® Evo, plastic-free, biodegradable and heat-sealablepaper packaging
by Pyroll Group Oy, Finland

Globe Soap - a thin foil tube made of compostable cellulose,a sisal band, and a wooden (spruce) ball
by popular packaging, Germany

Driving the Circular Economy

LuxCR™ process, which depolymerises mechanically recoveredPET back into the monomer unit bis(2-hydroxyethylterephthalate) or BHET
byDuPont Teijin Films, Luxembourg

Delamination and deinking of plastic surfaces
by CadelDeinking, Spain

Detecta - black plastic packaging with no carbon blackpigment
by Quinn Packaging, Ireland

Recycle Pro - disrupting the Nigerian recycling industry
by Recycle Pro Innovation, Nigeria

HolyGrail full-value chain Pioneer Project investigating howtagging packaging can impact more accurate sorting and high-quality recycling
by New Plastics Economy, Belgium)


EcoStitch all-electric hot melt gluing solution
by Valco Melton, USA

Nowa Packaging - forming fibres in dry conditions into 3D packaging
by The Loop Factory AB, Sweden

Combined technology to run fully recyclable packaging material without speed limitations
by SN Maschinenbau GmbH, Germany

DigiColor / IoD n inking system that uses fewer grams of inkin the print unit
by Bobst Firenze Srl, Italy

Best Practice

Loop: the new circular shopping platform with reusable packaging
by TerraCycle, USA

Comprehensive sustainability strategy
by Ardagh Group, UK

CEFLEX - driving towards the circular economy for flexible packaging
by CEFLEX, Netherlands

Social Plastic Ecosystem – partnership with Plastic Bank social enterprise, aiming to stop ocean plastic and provide opportunities for people in poverty
by Henkel Beauty Care, Germany

Resource Efficiency

Biodegradable and marine degradable fibre composite
by Plafco Fibertech, Finland

Mixpac Ecopacc collapsible cartridge for adhesive applications
by Sulzer Mixpac AG, Switzerland

Manufacture of PET Drums using the CYPET Process
by CYPETTechnologies, Cyprus

Tide Eco-Box designed to reduce packaging and plastic, emissions, and losses
by Procter & Gamble, USA

Recyclable Packaging

Wave Bag - protection, paper recyclability and logistics savings from a paper envelope
by OFFMAR Srl, Italy

Finish 0% Eco Pouch - fully recyclable all-PE packaging
by Reckitt Benckiser, Netherlands

All-PP mono-material pouch solution for dry foods
by Jindal Films / Unilever / Mondi collaboration, Luxembourg

X-CYCLE PE recyclable barrier and metal-free packaging
by A.Hatzopoulos SA, Greece)

2020 Winners

Overall Winner

Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research

Best Practice

EasyD4R® – publicly shared software tool for evaluating the recyclability of plastic, paper, glass as well as metal packaging

Bio-Based Packaging

Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research
bioORMOCER® - bio-based and biodegradable functional barrier coatings

Driving the Circular Economy

Penn Color
High opacity & premium whiteness PET packages with 0% TiO2 content


Syntegon Technology
PaperForming Technology

Recyclable Packaging



Ruinart, Pusterla 1880 & James Cropper
Maison Ruinart ‘second skin’

Readers' Award

NIVEA shower gel refill station

Pre-Commercialised Innovation

Ardagh Group
Closing the Glass Recycling Loop


The competition’s categories spotlight each of the key areas of innovation where the environmental footprint of packaging and packaged goods can be reduced, from resource efficiency to recycling, biomaterials to greener packaging machinery, and driving best practice at the brand owner and retailer level. Moreover, across all categories the judges are instructed to favour holistic solutions over those whose gains in one area may be offset by negative side-effects in others.


The overall winner. Awarded to a category winner that the judges consider to represent the most significant contribution to sustainability.


Retailers or brand owners that have achieved the most in minimising the environmental impact of packaging and its supply chain.


Development or innovative use of new, bio-based materials with significant positive impact or potential in packaging applications


Breakthroughs and innovations in recycling technology or reusable packaging systems; initiatives promoting increase in recycling rates or nurturing demand for recyclate; groundbreaking use of recycled feedstocks.


Innovations in packaging materials to facilitate recyclability; design for recyclability.

Pre-Commercialized Innovation

Sustainable packaging innovations of any type that have not yet been launched on the market.


Innovations in packaging that do more with less. For instance, downgauging materials or reducing their carbon footprint without increasing the environmental impact of the packaged product.


Innovations in engineering that have increased production line environmental efficiencies (in energy or water consumption or waste reduction) or facilitated adoption of sustainable packaging materials.


Kim Houchens

Director, Customer Packaging Experience

Gian De Belder

Principal Scientist, Packaging R&D

Jochen Hertlein

Packaging Performance & Sustainability Lead

Tom Szaky


Bruno Van Gompel

Technical & Supply Chain

Nina Goodrich

Executive Director

Chakravarthi AVPS

Global Ambassador
World Packaging Organisation

Chris Daly

VP Sustainability, Europe & Sub Saharan Africa

Jean-Marc Boursier

Senior Executive VP, Recycling & Recovery Europe

Patrick Poitevin

Principal Scientist, RDQI

Marianne Klimchuk

Professor & Chair, Communication Design Pathways Department
Fashion Institute of Technology

Philippe Blank

Head of Innovation & Sustainability
Henkel Beauty Care

Linda Roman

Associate Director, Technology Platforms – Packaging

Jocelyne Ehret


Arno Melchior

Global Packaging Director

Thomas Reiner


Graham Houlder

Project co-ordinator

Dr Shira Rosen

Chair of the Israeli Packaging Institute / Head of Packaging Development & Innovation at Strauss Group

Michael Nieuwesteeg

Managing Director

Frank Wang

R&D Innovation
Mengniu Dairy Group

Nerida Kelton

Executive Director
Australian Institute of Packaging

Giacomo Canali

Packaging Research & Sustainability Manager

Jim Downham

President & CEO

Carmen Sánchez

Deputy Director

Haulwen Nicholas


Marcel Verhaaf

Creative Director

Ferran Marti

R&D Manager

Tracy Sutton

Circular Economy Packaging Design Consultant

Ariana Susanti

Business Development Director
Indonesian Packaging Federation

Sanjay Patel


Kevin Vyse

Head of Technical
Rapid Action Packaging

Paul Vanston


Claire Sarantópoulos

Senior Scientist
Centro de Tecnologia de Embalagem

Paul Jenkins

Managing Director

Antro Säilä


David Luttenberger

Global Packaging Director

Luciana Pellegrino

Executive Director

Susanne Folkerts

Sustainability program manager EMEA

Ahmed Alex Omah

African Packaging Organisation


Submissions to the Sustainability Awards 2020 can be made between 20 January and 15 May via our dedicated competition portal. You’ll need to create an account, which enables you to return and edit your submission anytime until the closing date. There is no charge to enter the Sustainability Awards.

Is there a fee for entering the Sustainability Awards?

No! Participation in the competition is free of charge.

How should we submit an entry?

Once you have created a user account in the competition platform, simply fill in the submission form. This consists of several fields. but the key criteria on which entries are judged are 1) a statement outlining the entry and what is innovative about it, and 2) the impact it has had or is projected to have. There is a limit of 600 words for each of these sections. You can also link to an external web page with additional information or a video about your submission. Please also upload an image of the innovation or initiative so it can be included in articles about the competition. You can save your entry and finish it later. Don’t forget to complete all sections of the form by 15th May!

What is the qualifying period for entries?

The innovations or achievements entered into the competition must have been launched or announced no earlier than 1 January 2019.

Can we submit multiple entries?

There is a maximum of three entries per submitting organisation. Large organisations with multiple business units are encouraged to coordinate internally to decide which innovations or initiatives to nominate.

Can we submit a product that has not yet been launched?

Products that are not yet in commercial use are accepted in the category ‘Pre-Commercialized Innovation’. For all other categories, any product submitted should already be commercially launched.

What is the Readers’ Award and can we enter it?

TheReaders’ Award is separate from the main part of the Sustainability Awards, in that nominations are made from the readers of Packaging Europe rather than the companies responsible for them. Therefore, you cannot submit your own work for this category through the main competition. The winners are also chosen byPackaging Europe readers rather than the independent judging panel.

Can we submit the same product / project in more than one category?

No, you can only submit a particular product or initiative in one category. Otherwise, Packaging Europe reserves the right to withdraw the submission from one or all categories. Please read the category descriptions carefully before deciding which is the most appropriate one.

When is the closing date for entries?

The closing date for entries will be midnight (CET) at the end of 15 May 2020.

How are the entries judged?

A selection of industry experts representing the whole value chain will vote independently on the submissions. There are two rounds of voting. The first round will determine four finalists in each category. The second round will select the winners for each category, and also an overall winner ‘BestSustainable Packaging Innovation’. In the event that the highest scoring entry is not an innovation per se, e.g. if it is a broad sustainability strategy entered into the ‘Best Practice’ category, this will not be considered for the‘Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation’ prize.

What are the judges looking for in a submission?

Please read the specific criteria for each category. In general, the core principle of the awards is to reward the project or product that, in the judges’ view, has the greatest significance in terms of its positive impact on sustainability. This can be understood either in its immediate performance metrics or in the potential transformative impact –i.e. there isn’t necessarily a stronger weighting to commercialised products over early-stage R&D breakthroughs. Judges are also instructed to consider the holistic implications for sustainability, even when the category emphasises a particular aspect. For example, if the criterion is ‘resource efficiency’, the winning entry should not simply be the one with the biggest weight reduction, but also offer a viable solution that does not result in reduced performance according to other environmental criteria. The more factual information you can provide –including any relevant supporting data –the more likely the judges are to accept your claims. You are encouragedto provide links to additional information, videos, etc.

Can a collaboration be submitted to the Sustainability Awards?

Yes! Although a single user must submit the entry, you can list all involved stakeholders. We welcome collaborative entries such as packaging innovations developed jointly between a brands and packaging companies, and multi-stakeholder projects.

What happens if my submission is chosen as a finalist?

Finalists will be selected in the first round of judging and announced by the middle of June 2020. If your submission is selected as a finalist (i.e. one of the top four entries in one of the competition categories), judges may request additional information /clarifications from you. All 28 finalists across the seven categories will be celebrated at the Sustainability Awards 2020 ceremony at the virtual Sustainable Packaging Summit on 15 October.

Can I get feedback on my entry?

The judges sometimes leave comments about entries. On request we can share any remarks they may have made, on an anonymous basis. Please be patient with us –this is a manual process and we have hundreds of submissions!

When are the winners announced?

The winners will be revealed at a special dinner and awards ceremony at the Sustainable Packaging Summit at the virtual Sustainable Packaging Summit on 15 October.

If I win one of the Sustainability Awards can I enter the WorldStar awards?

Yes. The Sustainability Awards have been recognised by the World Packaging Organization and therefore all winners are eligible to enter the WorldStars.


Nestling in the quiet hills above the historic Belem district, the Pestana Palace is the finest hotel in Lisbon –the European Green Capital 2020. A tranquil and beautiful backdrop for knowledge sharing and private networking, the Pestana Palace provides luxury, space and a sense of Lisbon’s history. Just a short walk from Belem or the trendy LX Factory quarter, and if you fancy staying the weekend, the perfect base for exploring Europe’s loveliest city. Join us at the Pestana Palace hotel for the Sustainability Awards 2020 and the Sustainable Packaging Summit – the event that will break the paradigms.