Greener Package Competition Awards Sustainability Innovators

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For the third annual Greener Package Awards competition, stricter entry requirements ensure that the winners of the 2011 competition are providing measurable sustainable differences.

Summit Media Group, Inc. announces the winners of the third annual Greener Package Awards for 2011, recognizing companies that have demonstrated outstanding efforts in packaging sustainability. Greener Package, Summit’s online sustainable packaging knowledge exchange, hosts this annual competition, and assembled an independent panel of judges to determine winners for Environmental Impact, Innovator of the Year, and Beyond the Package Awards.

Among other guidelines, this year’s entries were required to include verifiable data for at least one aspect of environmental impact. Environmental impact categories include: greenhouse gas reduction, sourcing metrics/impacts, end-of-life recovery metrics/impacts, life-cycle metrics/impacts, and/or social impacts. This year’s 13 award winners represent substantiated environmental advances in packaging innovation, and offer inspiration for other companies searching for sustainable solutions.

Recognized in 2010 for becoming the first bottled water producer in North America to manufacture its own recycled PET resin, as well as a 100% rPET bottle in-house, private-label water bottler Ice River Springs received the Environmental Impact and Innovator of the Year awards in the FDA-Regulated category. Named “inspiring” and “outstanding” by judges, Ice River Springs’ new recycling facility in Shelburne, ON, Canada boasts a closed-loop recycling system to facilitate its sustainability efforts.

Honored with the Environmental Impact award in the FDA-Regulated category of this year's competition, Stonyfield Farm received high marks for its effort in switching from a high-impact polystyrene yogurt cup, produced using form/fill/seal technology, to one containing 93% renewable polylactic acid plastic in October 2010. Coupled with the new pack's 48% reduction in global warming potential versus petroleum-based packages, organic yogurt producer Stonyfield Farm set itself apart from the competition through its attention to detail in changing its product.

Several other companies also received awards in the Greener Package Awards competition. Ecologic Brands submitted a winning application for its multi-component molded-pulp package for Seventh Generation's new 4X concentrated brand of liquid laundry detergent. Adding to its list of sustainable efforts, the Seventh Generation winning container consists of a molded-pulp outer shell made from 70% recycled cardboard (OCC) and 30% old newspapers (ONP) that can be recycled up to seven times. Ecologic Brands was rewarded with an Environmental Impact award in the Non FDA-Regulated Products category.

Winner of the Innovator of the Year award in the Non FDA-Regulated Products category, packaging supplier Ecovative is recognized for developing “mushroom root”-based packaging. The new protective packaging is designed for Steelcase Inc., an office furniture company that produces a line of ready-to-assemble furniture. Judge Frank Perkowski, of Business Development Advisory, says, "This is truly an innovative packaging solution that has obvious environmental benefits relative to existing technologies."

Intelligent Thermal Solutions, LLC, a winner of two Greener Package awards in the Secondary/Large-Format Packaging category, makes reusable and returnable shipping containers. The containers provide an alternative to previous cold-chain shipping methods; Intelligent Thermal Solutions' 36-liter ultra-rugged EcoTherm™ ATA R36 refrigerated shipper features several patented technologies that allow the container to maintain an internal temperature of 2ºC to 8ºC for five days, while using less material than a typical cold-chain shipper.

First to create a complete line of highly concentrated car-wash chemicals and a dispensing system, winning company Cleaning Systems, Inc. took home the Environmental Impact award in the Secondary/Large-Format Packaging category. Environmental advantages over existing systems include less wasted product, reduction in diesel fuel to transport the products, and recyclability of the new containers.

ITW Muller submitted its entry based on the new OctoMAX monitoring system that allows packagers to find and maintain an optimal setting for stretch-wrap film use. The advancement led the company to receive an Environmental Impact award in the Packaging Machinery category of the 2011 Greener Package Awards.

Intralox won an award for its S7000 Switch conveyor system that is used to handle film-only multipacks of bottled products. The S7000 Switch conveyor system makes use of new roller-belt technology that assures companies of gentle handling of packages at high-throughput rates without jams or product damage.

One of two Beyond the Package Awards was granted to a winning collaboration; Starbucks Coffee Co., International Paper, Georgia-Pacific, and Mississippi River Pulp were recognized by the judges for their successful partnership in piloting cup-to-cup (and cup-to-napkin) recycling processes for single-serve, coated hot cups. Winner of the second Beyond the Package Award, APPE, was honored for expansion of its PET recycling facility. After investing nearly $14 million, APPE increased its Beaune, France, recycling plant capacity by 40% – to 35,000 metric tons – making it the largest food-grade rPET producer in Europe.

Award winners will be recognized in the August issue of Packaging World Magazine. For complete coverage of all the 2011 Greener Package Award winners, visit http://bit.ly/poamrV

About Summit Media Group, Inc.
Chicago-based Summit Media Group, Inc. (http://www.summitmediagroupinc.com) is an integrated media publisher offering business information for professionals in packaging and manufacturing automation. Print magazines include flagship monthly Packaging World, Automation World, Packaging World’s PACK EXPO Showcase, Healthcare Packaging, and Contract Packaging. In addition to publishing a variety of newsletters, Summit also produces webinars and conferences and owns Web resource GreenerPackage.com.

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