Young designers recognised for cartonboard innovations

THE Pro Carton Young Designers Award winners were announced during the European Carton Makers Associations (ECMA) Congress in Krakow, Poland.

Burak Ayataç, the designer of Twin Bags for Popcorn and Beverages, triumphed in the ‘Creative Cartonboard Packaging: Food & Drink’ category, and also won the Public Award. The Turkish student at Istanbul Technical University has solved the problem of transporting cinema snacks, creating a way to carry two popcorn bags and canned drinks from the counter to seat one-handed.

The perforated base is said to allow for ‘seamless separation’ to share out the snacks and drinks once seated. Roland Rex, one of the judges, described Burak’s design as ‘well executed’ and noted how the design provides room for additional printing and marketing opportunities.

This entry also won the Public Award, where the general public voted for their favourite carton concept.

The ‘Creative Cartonboard Packaging (All Other)’ category was won by duo Jana Becker and Wilma Schulz from the Münster School of Design in Germany. Their Float design offers an alternative to traditional bath salt packaging. Demonstrating the structural capabilities of cartonboard, Float uses a creative folding mechanism constructed from one piece of cartonboard, allowing the bath salt package to transform into a floating ship. As you bathe, the ship sails around, turning your bath into a relaxing experience. Judge Sanjeev Das described Float as ‘beautiful packaging of bath salts…with simplicity in execution, yet offering an incredible consumer experience’.

Austrian student Christian Jammernegg won the ‘Creative cartonboard Ideas’ category with the design Swingtape. This compact tape dispenser design is described as offering a sustainable alternative to plastic and solves the problem of tape re-sticking to the dispenser. Once a piece of tape is ripped off using the attached cutter, the tape roll will swing forward to allow easy access to the next piece. Roland Rex praised Swingtape in his judging remarks, saying: ‘This is an absolutely genius piece of packaging. The inventiveness and thought that went into it was thrilling’.

Anna Grubing, Daria-Luna Sagurna and Sabrina Hofmann from the Münster School of Design in Germany won the ‘Sustainability Award’ for their entry: Align. The award tackles single-use plastic packaging in the technology industry, specifically cable and wire packaging, by replacing it with cartonboard. The winning product has two removeable tubes which protect the original cable during initial transport, giving Align endless use for organising and sorting wires. The jury praised the students’ ‘very smart design thinking’.

The ‘Newcomer’s Award’ recognises aspiring packaging designers and submissions from institutions entering the awards for the first time. Oxana Zaporoniuc from the Technical University of Moldova won for a packaging design for liquids which demonstrates the strength and durability of cartonboard. Oxana aimed to create packaging which removes the need for unnecessary material, without compromising on protection, while also delivering shelf appeal. The protective packaging uses smart lock-in features that do not obstruct any of the fragile items’ design or packaging. Judges described the design as ‘a very good example of how to use the full potential of cartonboard’.

Winfried Muehling, general manager of Pro Carton, said, “We were delighted to see a record-breaking number of entries for this year’s Pro Carton Young Designer Awards. This year, we received more than 800 submissions from over 100 universities and educational institutions across Europe, a 28% increase on 2021.

“Each year we see such ingenious, purposeful designs which solve a wide range of problems, from daily inconveniences to global issues. The entries this year perfectly highlight the versatility of cartonboard. We thank everyone for their efforts and a huge congratulations to the 2022 winners. We cannot wait to see the impact these inspiring young designers have on the future of the packaging industry.”