It was a stiff competition, but these awards aren’t just recognizing products. They also shine a light on major wins for humanity and the planet. The 32nd annual Packaging Innovation Awards by DOW honored the the latest in cutting-edge packaging designs, especially those focused on full-circle sustainability from material sourcing to customer delivery.

2020 Packaging Innovation Awards Silver Award Winner: Ekos Alma New Natura Fragrance

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Categories for the competition ranged from food and beverage to personal care, and the winners received acknowledgement for breakthroughs in both technology and user experience.

The 2020 Diamond Award, the ceremony’s highest honor, went to Plastic Bank’s Social Plastic Ecosystem, designed in collaboration with Henkel. The partnership relied on Plastic Bank’s work to divert plastic from entering the Earth oceans, a program from which Henkel produced and sold 25,000 recycled cosmetic bottles across Europe. The joint project also provided economic support for people in extreme poverty. Their win emphasizes the goal of the competition in identifying more sustainable packaging options and highlighting solutions for environmental and societal issues.

Sustainable packaging products made from Plastic Bank's Social Plastic program.

Diego Donoso, business president for DOW Packaging & Specialty Plastics, summarized this idea by saying: “I am especially inspired by this year’s Packaging Innovation Awards winners because of the industry’s continued focus on innovation and sustainability, despite the difficult global conditions caused by the pandemic. The entry and judging processes were fully virtual this year for the first time, and it still produced strong competition with rigorous judging to recognize the top innovations.”

Although this year’s contest may have looked a little different, judges from a variety of fields including design, engineering, retail, and academia still reviewed more than 175 entries from all corners of the globe.

2020 Packaging Innovation Awards Diamond Award Finalist: Ariel Platinum Sports Refill Pouch

“I’ve been a judge in the Packaging Innovation Awards for many years, and this one presented a unique challenge in the way it was structured,” said lead judge David Luttenberger, Global Packaging Director for Mintel Group. “Despite the challenging circumstances, the participants delivered the same quality of innovations as in previous years.”

2020 Packaging Innovation Awards Diamond Award Finalist: New Thin Film Deposition Technology for PET Bottles

2020 Packaging Innovation Awards Diamond Award Finalist:  Metal-Free Recyclable Coffee Packaging

In addition to the top-ranking Diamond Award, the judges identified three Diamond Finalists. The first was Zacros in collaboration with The Procter & Gamble Company of Japan Limited for their Ariel Platinum Sports Refill Pouch. A second award went to Alico for a Metal-Free Recyclable Coffee Packaging design. The final mention in the category was Kirin Holdings Co. in collaboration with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation for an entry titled “New Thin Film Deposition Technology for PET Bottles.”

In addition, six Gold Award winners included the Mama Silage Bag, an Easy Carry Pouch, the Mexico Yoghurt Cup, Oxi-free High Barrier Green Grain Coffee Packaging, Maybelline FitMe® Matte + Poreless Foundation, and Veja Specialists Redesign. These Gold Award-winning designs come from a variety of corporate collaborations.

2020 Packaging Innovation Awards Gold Award Winner: Danone's Mexico Yoghurt Cups

Recognition also went to five Silver Award winners with packaging innovation in fragrance, an anti-slip bag, easy peel food packaging, recyclable cheese wrap, and Raflatac Forest Film made from renewable raw materials.

In addition, the Calyx Concentrate Container, Grove Bags Terploc® Film, and Sustainable Load Securing System for Drums on Pallets received honorable mentions.

2020 Packaging Innovation Awards Gold Award Winner: Maybelline FitMe® Matte + Poreless Foundation

DOW’s mission is to continue to grow as an industry leader in materials science innovation. DOW operates 109 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 36,500 people.