The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) is pleased to advise that they entered seven student design projects for the first time in the WorldStar Student Awards which resulted in a silver in the Sustainability category and all seven teams receiving Certificates of Recognition by the global team of judges for their outstanding packaging designs.

The WorldStar Student Awards competition is owned and produced by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and is an international packaging design competition for students – undergraduate or graduate – from countries around the world who are involved in projects in the field of packaging, including structural design and/or graphic design. The WorldStar Student Awards are designed to encourage and show the talents of students as well as new and innovative ideas and thinking in the field of packaging.

Silver Sustainability Award Winner – Camel

The winning entry was called Camel and was a design the team developed for an energy ball company that produces a substantial amount of by-products in their peanut manufacturing process. The winning team was Caterina Palma, Sherlyn Marvella, Tamanna Kibrea from the New Frontiers Program at Monash Food Innovation.
camel_worldstar_winners_1100pxThe New Frontiers Program is Monash Food Innovation’s premier industry focused student led program. The program sees SME’s partnered with a dedicated student team for 10-12 weeks working on a business challenge in food, beverages, market analysis, new product development and packaging. Over the duration of the program participants learn MFI innovation methodologies to explore value propositions, markets, knowledge mapping, product mapping and ideation to provide leading innovative solutions for their partnered SME.

The Singapore program uses the New Frontiers structure to engage with eight Singaporean SME’s who are interested in exploring and developing a line extension or new product for the Australian market. Each SME has a dedicated multidisciplinary Monash student team working over ten weeks on their unique business challenge. SME executives and Monash students partner to be trained in a proven innovation framework which includes gathering market insights, knowledge mapping, product mapping, ideation of product/packaging and validation with prototyping. The outputs are a high fidelity product and packaging concept ready to be scaled up or implemented by SME partners.

The AIP invited the team to explain a little bit about why they chose to valorise a by-product into packaging…

“We are very pleased to be receiving the silver award for sustainability. To have our concept judged and recognised on the global stage makes all of our hard work and ambitions for packaging in the future worth it! This award means that new innovative sustainable product packaging is being recognised now. We are excited to see our peanut by-product fibreboard concept potentially being introduced and used in the future of sustainable packaging.” Caterina Palma, Monash University Student and Camel Team Member.

The team thought the outer layer of the food packaging could utilise 30% of the peanut husks in the production of fibreboard. They saw this as a means of valorising food waste and aligning the packaging with the food; which is organic and vegan.

The company that the team worked with produces a substantial amount of by-products in their peanut manufacturing process with the production of peanut shells/hulls estimated to be 230-300g per kilogram of peanut. This by-product traditionally headed straight to landfill or burnt adding to atmospheric CO2. The student team began to think about ways to valorise this by-product and turn it into something useful.

During their research the team realised that peanut shells/hulls create significant waste disposal problems and pollute the environment; although they are inexpensive and a renewable resource. They wanted to utilise the peanut by-product and regenerate into a valuable resource, and reduce the harmful effects that were occurring on the environment.

They looked at modifying the outer layer of the food source – a peanut – and reform it into an outer layer again but in the form of food packaging. The team identified research by Akgül & Tozluoğlu (2008) that suggested using 30% peanut husks in the production of fibreboard met the minimum requirements for Models of Rupture and Models of Elasticity. Fibreboard is a material used to make furniture, this means that if using 30% peanut husks can be used to make structural furniture, it potentially has the capability to be sound enough, strength-wise, for food packaging; with the valuable addition of being lightweight.

The new design appearance is raw and organic with minimal pastel colouration. The colour of the packaging, brown with light and dark specks throughout, gives the appeal of natural and healthy, which is what the product inside the package also aims to be. This meets the aesthetic of today’s generation, as there is an increase in mindful healthy eating while not damaging the environment and world around them. The packaging aligns with the product inside which is organic, vegan, no added sugar or preservatives, this is important as the prevalence of veganism is increasing in Australia.

The box itself is a distinctive and new shape to how energy balls are usually packaged (which is in plastic the majority of the time). The convenience of opening the box and then being able to close it back up if the consumer doesn’t want to eat them all in one go. It is also perfect size for on-the-go, as it can fit into a bag and is strong enough to not be crushed inside. As regulation requires, the product needs to be sufficiently sealed before purchased in stores. The edible substance concealed by an inside layer of home-compostable plastic (AS5810, ABAP 20007), this will act both as protection from contamination while also providing evidence for tampering. This makes 100% of the packaging 100% compostable.

The AIP would also like to congratulate the other Australian teams that received Certificates of recognition including: Apollo Marine: (Shaun Allen, Daniel Straw, Chrishane Amarasekara), Kampot Pepper Gift Pack: (Alexandra Straw, Lanson Cheong, Ariel Golvan), Lim Kee: (Rachel Brindley, Riley Hodgson, Patrick O’Connor), Nuvojoy: (Meera Menon, Michelle Porciuncula, Olivia Sims), Pere Ocean Pearls: (Arhan Anis, Omar Enayatzada, Soumya Buyya) and Tai Hua Soy Sauce: Sophie Francis, Joseph Tran, Neha Satish Kumar.

“Through the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) and the WorldStar Student Awards, our students have a unique opportunity to have their industry partnered work displayed and recognised on a global platform. Critically this provides recognition beyond their immediate studies, bolsters their professional development and allows students to reach out to prospective employers and showcase the real world solutions devised during their industrial immersion”. Adam Norris, Design Manager at MFI.