Winners of European Carton Excellence Awards announced

WINNERS of the 2022 European Carton Excellence Awards have been announced.

Rutgers Printing & Packaging Solutions ‘masterpiece of elementary and sustainable design’ for cherry tomatoes was crowned the Carton of the Year during the annual European Carton Makers Association (ECMA) congress in Kraków, Poland.

Made from renewable virgin fibre cartonboard manufactured by Stora Enso, the folding box is said to strike the ‘perfect balance’ between maximising visibility while maintaining rigidity. The box boasts a ‘smooth white surface and unbleached inside’, and is re-closable with a ‘click’ even after multiple uses, reassuring consumers that it is locked.

Its shape is described as allowing more boxes to be placed on a pallet than traditional plastic designs. After use, the boxes can be flattened and disposed of in the carton recycling stream.

The judges – including consultant for branding and design, Satkar Gidda, packaging designer Susanne Lippitsch, and global packaging director for Unilever, Sanjeev Das – praised the simplicity of the design, which can be opened with one hand. They also appreciated the presentation as well as the design of the airflow with the cherry tomato-style punched in holes.

Winners were also selected across a number of other categories including Sustainability, Innovation, General Packaging – Virgin Fibre, General Packaging – Recycled Fibre, Food & Drink Packaging – Virgin Fibre, and Food & Drink Packaging – Recycled Fibre. Platinum and Gold awards awarded given to designs deemed particularly outstanding.

Van Genechten Packaging’s solution for Herbal Essences’ shampoo conditioner bundle, created using cartonboard from Metsä Board, triumphed in the Sustainability category for a design which uses ‘minimal’ cartonboard while ‘perfectly’ holding the products together. The sleeve also creates a new communication platform, allowing cross-selling of different products. The cut-out windows allow consumers to view the scent or flavour of the product inside as well as enabling them to read the ingredients list.

The Innovation category was won by carton converter and manufacturer WestRock for Nestlé’s Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa. The firm created the Cluster-Pak carrier with barcode masking at the top and can-locker at the bottom, allowing for 360° product visibility and billboarding while still using as little material as possible. As Sanpellegrino is exported globally to markets where barcodes need to be covered at the point of sale, it required a folded panel at the top to avoid a single unit scan when buying a multipack. By using a mechanical lock, it is also glue-free and said to be easy to recycle.

Faller Packaging took home the General Packaging – Virgin Fibre award for its PleioFlow RF Device carrier using cartonboard from Holmen Iggesund. Designed to keep this medical device – with all its wires, tubes and instruments – in a stable position, guarantee its safety and protect the micro-biological barrier, functionality is the most important attribute. The unprinted card allows the SterinClin pouches to be inspected for particle residues in the pouches themselves as well as in the cracks and any other damage that may occur. It is also described as easy for surgeons to open and unmount the product within the sterile surrounding of the operating theatre.

Lucaprint’s Fanton Power strip Relife won the General Packaging – Recycled Fibre category for its line of ‘Made in Italy’ multi-sockets, created with RDM’s recycled cartonboard material. The packaging features a tamper-evident system and the case is said to be optimised for the industrial process. A mono-material case concept, it does not have a lining or coating.

Autajon Durero Packaging’s design for Match Tonic bottles was crowned Food & Drink Packaging – Virgin Fibre winner thanks to the design of its e-commerce pack for housing four units of the company’s square recycled glass bottles. The package uses Stora Enso cartonboard. Matching the aesthetics of the bottle – square with round corners in the shape of a basket – the multi-pack unit design features folding handles. According to the judges, the pack is very clever thanks to its ‘optimal use of material – not too much, not too little’ and ‘perfectly wraps around the shape of the bottles’.

MM Packaging’s potato pack – winner of the Food & Drink Packaging – Recycled Fibre category – is, according to the judges, ‘a fantastic piece of work that can be opened and closed very easily with comfortable carrying ergonomics’. The cartonboard is manufactured by MM Board & Paper and is entirely plastic-free. The box features a carrying handle and crash lock bottom. A cellulose window film means the freshness of the potatoes can be inspected before purchase, while the printable surface provides space for graphics, recipe solutions and large barcodes.

Winfried Muehling, general manager of Pro Carton, said, “We were truly excited and proud by the quality of the entries for the European Carton Excellence Awards this year. The designs are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and diverse, with a greater focus on consumer handling and material usage.

“Over the years, the environmental value of cartons and cartonboard has become more significant. The 2022 entries clearly document the lead cartonboard and folding boxes take on the road to circularity. True symbols of change.”

Platinum award winners

Product Carton Converter Cartonboard Manufacturer
Kempinski Étagère Rattpack Sappi
Maison Angelina Paris – Pop-up Advent Calendar SBCI societé baumoise de cartonnages ed d’impressions Holmen Iggesund
Rituals – Summer of Joy Van Genechten Packaging (Plant Turnhout) Stora Enso / Metsä Board
Scottish Leader Moonchild Whisky Limited Edition WestRock WestRock


Gold Award winners

Product Carton Converter Cartonboard Manufacturer
Spiritique: Yu Gin Van Genechten Packaging (Plant Angoulème) BillerudKorsnäs / RDM
Advent Calendar Maison du Chocolat DUCAJU BillerudKorsnäs
Dr.Grandel PopArt Edelmann Group Stora Enso
Elembal 20m film étirable MM Packaging (Plant: MM Packaging Caesar) Buchmann Karton
Lindt Glückskäfer Cardbox Packaging Wolfsberg BillerudKorsnäs
Mercury Smart Watch – Mercury Bikers Lucaprint Stora Enso
McDonald’s Hexagonal clamshell salad box Graphic Packaging International Stora Enso
Eco Wine Pack Alzamora Group Stora Enso