Better With Less - Design Challenge Winners Announced - Sustainability and Dual Role of Packaging Prevail

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Metsä Board's international packaging design competition challenged designers to create more environmentally friendly solutions for some of the most frequently used consumer packaging. First place goes to ecological alternative for street food containers while entry from the U.S. takes second place.

First Place Winner: Expandable Eco-Street Food Ware

"The winning design is a simple, smart and practical solution offering high variability with minimal material use – reflecting “Better with Less” at its best."

Metsä Board, the leading European producer of premium fresh fiber paperboards, has announced the winners of its international packaging design competition, the Better with Less – Design Challenge. This year, sustainability and the dual role of packaging played an especially strong role among the participating designs.

First place (prize of 7,000 euros) went to ‘Expandable Eco Street Food Ware,’ an ecological solution that addresses the growing demand for street food packaging and an alternative to plastic, designed by Christine Gamboa, a Senior Art Director, and Gaudy Danao III, an Associate Creative Director, both from the Philippines. Second place and 2,000 euros went to ‘Bruk’, a sustainable beverage carton that can be easily recycled with reduced plastic content, designed by Eric Smith from the United States. The third prize, 1,000 euros, went to ‘Razor’ that replaces standard plastic packaging with a minimalist paper box that covers only the razor heads while leaving the handles uncovered. The design was created by Magdalena Schmitz, Sarah Redlich, Mikayla Just and Alejandro Don Flores, all students in product design at the Münster School of Design.

The first-place winner is a highly adaptable packaging solution that can provide a simple and trendy alternative to plastic and styrofoam containers, typically used to serve fast food. The paperboard container is 10 inches in diameter when laid flat and can be folded in eight different ways ranging from a cone to a plate to accommodate many types of food. Besides saving material, the design minimizes the space occupied by the container during storage as well as in disposal and recycling.

“The winning design is a simple, smart and practical solution offering high variability with minimal material use – reflecting “Better with Less” at its best. It provides a good user experience and is truly ecological and economical. Made of a plastic-free barrier board it is easily recyclable, compostable and biodegradable,” says the competition’s chairman, and member of the jury, Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director at Metsä Board.

“In the winning designs sustainability and circular economy aspects were well considered and innovatively implemented, and the competition between the top three was very tight. There were many inspiring solutions reflecting a shift in consumer trends from plastic towards more sustainable packaging materials. In some designs, the packaging had a dual role, becoming a part of the product when using it, which further strengthens the circularity of packaging,” adds Harju.

Metsä Board also offered an additional prize of an internship for one student at its new Excellence Centre in Finland. ‘Reload’ that allows the storage and sorting of full and empty batteries in the same package won the judges over in the student category. The package was designed by Hamzeh Za’balawi, Franziska Prior, Marcel Diederich and Oliver Ricker. In addition, an honorary mention went to Jasper Chou’s Preject FF, a sustainable, glueless container for French fries and ketchup.

About Better With Less - Design Challenge

The international packaging design competition Better with Less – Design Challenge 2019–2020 was organized by Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group. The competition challenged designers to create more environmentally friendly solutions for some of the most frequently used consumer packaging. As many as 146 entrants from 28 countries submitted their ideas. The jury included packaging design influencers from around the world.

Learn more about the winning design and the finalists from the competition website,

Link to photos

Metsä Board

Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fiber paperboards including folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Our lightweight paperboards are developed to provide better, safer and more sustainable solutions for consumer goods as well as retail-ready and food service applications. We work together with our customers on a global scale to innovate solutions for better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. The pure fresh fibers Metsä Board uses are a renewable resource, traceable to origin in sustainably managed northern forests.

The global sales network of Metsä Board supports customers worldwide, including brand owners, retailers, converters and merchants. In 2018, the company’s sales totaled EUR 1.9 billion, and it has approximately 2,400 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

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Metsä Group

Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable and sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards as well as tissue and greaseproof papers.

Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.7 billion in 2018, and it employs approximately 9,300 people.. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 103,000 Finnish forest owners.

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Judy Kalvin
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