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SPC Innovator Awards

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition recognizes meaningful contributions and advancements towards more sustainable packaging through the annual SPC Innovator Awards. The awards celebrate and showcase the outstanding people and organizations behind extraordinary advancements in packaging sustainability.

All winners will be given an award plaque suitable for prominent display. The SPC will coordinate publicizing the finalists and the award winners. Announcements of the award winners and their respective projects or programs will be promoted by the SPC through the SPC website and written communications such as newsletters and social media.

Submissions will close on July 9th, 2021.

The 2021 SPC Innovator Awards will be presented virtually at  SPC Advance 2021 on October 5 – 6, 2021.

Members must be logged in to access the ‘Submissions’ tab.

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Award Categories

Innovation in Responsible Sourcing

Recognizing breakthroughs in the procurement and use of more sustainable materials, including new materials, improvements to conventional materials, improvements to sourcing practices, and novel uses of materials in challenging applications.

Innovation in Design Optimization

Recognizing breakthroughs in efficiency, including reductions in material usage, process improvements enabled by changes in packaging design, and improvements to volumetric/cube utilization and transportation efficiency, provided that functionality and performance are preserved or enhanced while life cycle impacts are lowered.

Innovation in Recovery

Recognizing breakthroughs in the quantity and/or quality of recovered packaging, including design improvements that enable greater compatibility with existing recovery infrastructure, enhancements to recovery programs and/or infrastructure, and partnerships to advance recovery practices and/or participation.

Innovation in Food Waste Prevention

Recognizing breakthroughs in preventing food waste through packaging design, such as improvements to product evacuation, functionality, resealability, closures, pack sizes, and ease of use; technology-based innovations such as coatings, sensors, inserts, packets, and active packaging, and/or raising consumer awareness about proper food storage.

  • 2020 SPC Innovator Award Winners
    UPM Raflatac, Forest Film Innovation in Responsible Sourcing Read more
    YFYJupiter, Revamped Bicycle Packaging Innovation in Design Optimization Read more
    Graham Packaging Company, REFPET Generation III Innovation in Recovery Read more

    Finalists

    Cascades - 100% Recycled Thermoformed Cardboard Tray Innovation in Responsible Sourcing
    delfort - Reinventing Children’s Straws Innovation in Responsible Sourcing
    Domtar - Paper Freezer Pack Innovation in Responsible Sourcing
    Michigan State University - PFAS-Free Water and Oil Resistant Paper Innovation in Responsible Sourcing
    Nature Fresh Farm Sales - PLA Wrap for English Cucumbers Innovation in Responsible Sourcing
    WestRock - Spruce™ Protein Tray Innovation in Responsible Sourcing
    Allied Packaging Corporation - Rapid Bander Innovation in Design Optimization
    Liquibox — Liquipure ultra bag-in-box Innovation in Design Optimization
    Otter Products - OtterBox Mobile Case Packaging Redesign Innovation in Design Optimization
    WestRock - BioPak Protect™ Innovation in Design Optimization
    WestRock - BoxSizer® Innovation in Design Optimization
    Colgate Palmolive Company - Recyclable Tube Development and Commercialization Innovation in Recovery
    INX International Ink Co. - Genesis GS Washable Inks Innovation in Recovery
    Rieke Packaging - Mono-2e Single Material Dispensing Pump Innovation in Recovery
    Sustana Group - Recycling Used Label Liner into New Label Face Stock Innovation in Recovery
    US Postal Service - Undeliverable Marketing Mail Recycling Program Innovation in Recovery
    WestRock - “Don’t Trash the Box” Campaign Innovation in Recovery

    2020 SPC Innovator Awards

    The 2020 SPC Innovator Awards will be presented virtually at  Virtual SPC Advance, September 30, 2020 at 1 pm ET.

  • 2019 SPC Innovator Award Winners
    Annie's Homegrown Innovation in Responsible Sourcing Read more
    Blue Apron -Improvements to Meal Kit Packaging Systems Innovation in Design Optimization Read more
    WestRock Advancements in Foodservice Packaging Recycling Innovation in Recovery Read more
    Revolution Plastics - Delta Plastics + Command Packaging + Encore Recycling Outstanding Person or Team Read more

    Finalists

    Envision Plastics & Crown Poly: Oceanbound Plastic Reusable Bag Innovation in Responsible Sourcing finalist
    Seventh Generation: Flip Top Closure Made with 100% Postconsumer Recycled Polypropylene Innovation in Responsible Sourcing finalist
    UPM Raflatac: VanishTM Clear Film Labels with 90% Recycled Content Face and Liners Innovation in Responsible Sourcing finalist
    Envision Plastics: Food Grade Postconsumer Recycled Gaylord Liners Innovation in Responsible Sourcing finalist
    Annie’s Homegrown: 35% Postconsumer Recycled Cereal Liner & Education Graphic Innovation in Responsible Sourcing finalist
    Plastilene Group: Micro-Foaming Technology in Flexible Co-Extrusion Blown Films Innovation in Design Optimization finalist
    Sealed Air: StealthWrap Innovation in Design Optimization finalist
    Blue Apron: Improvements to Meal Kit Packaging Systems Innovation in Design Optimization finalist
    Seydel Companies: Biowax Alternatives to Paraffin Wax Innovation in Recovery finalist
    WestRock: Advancements in Foodservice Packaging Recycling Innovation in Recovery finalist
    Sustana: Cup-to-Cup Recycling Demonstration Project Innovation in Recovery finalist
    Colgate Palmolive: Recyclability Upgrades for Palmolive Oxy Innovation in Recovery finalist
    TC Transcontinental: Stand Up Pouch with EVOH Compatibilizer Innovation in Recovery finalist

  • 2018 SPC Innovator Award Winners
    Coca-Cola's 89-oz Simply Juice Container Packaging Innovation
    Envision and ViTA Breakthrough Process
    PepsiCo, Natureworks, Danimer Scientific, Omya, Berry Plastics and Johnson-Bryce commercialize bio-based barrier films Outcome of a Partnership
    Ashley C. Hall, Sustainability Manager, Walmart Outstanding Person
    Victor Bell, President, EPI Outstanding Person

    Sustainable packaging innovators earn kudos

    Sometimes it’s hard enough to make any substantial gains in sustainable packaging goals. But it takes extra effort and zeal to really excel. When that happens, the entire industry—and perhaps even the world—advances.

    On April 25, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition applauded innovation and leadership in sustainable packaging with the presentation of its 2018 SPC Innovator Awards. Excellence in sustainability and packaging was recognized in four categories: Packaging Innovation; Breakthrough Process; Outcome of a Partnership; and Outstanding Person.

    Read the Full Profile of the 2017 SPC Innovator Award Winners
  • 2017 SPC Innovator Award Winners
    Chad Kreye, Target Outstanding Person
    Avery Dennison, CleanFlake™ Solution Packaging Innovation
    Hefty® Energy Bag - Dow, Reynolds Consumer Products, Recyclebank, First Star Recycling, Conagra Brands, Systech Environmental Corporation Outcome of a Partnership
    Keurig Green Mountain MRF Flow Study Methodology Breakthrough Process

    The sustainable packaging community celebrates achievements

    Adam Gendell, Associate Director of the SPC:

    “The submissions we received were a clear indicator of the impressive breadth and depth of our members’ activities in packaging sustainability. Our awardees are taking chances and deserve celebration for their enterprising and creative ideas. All of these winners went beyond the easy wins, and showed true commitment to creating meaningful change.”

     

    Read the Full Profile of the 2017 SPC Innovator Award Winners

Please read about the 2021 SPC Innovator Awards below and find the submission form at the bottom of the page. Submissions will close July 9th, 2021.

2021 Award Categories:

Innovation in Responsible Sourcing

Recognizing breakthroughs in the procurement and use of more sustainable materials, including new materials, improvements to conventional materials, improvements to sourcing practices, and novel uses of materials in challenging applications.

Innovation in Design Optimization

Recognizing breakthroughs in efficiency, including reductions in material usage, process improvements enabled by changes in packaging design, and improvements to volumetric/cube utilization and transportation efficiency, provided that functionality and performance are preserved or enhanced while life cycle impacts are lowered.

Innovation in Recovery

Recognizing breakthroughs in the quantity and/or quality of recovered packaging, including design improvements that enable greater compatibility with existing recovery infrastructure, enhancements to recovery programs and/or infrastructure, and partnerships to advance recovery practices and/or participation.

Innovation in Food Waste Prevention

Recognizing breakthroughs in preventing food waste through packaging design, such as improvements to product evacuation, functionality, resealability, closures, pack sizes, and ease of use; technology-based innovations such as coatings, sensors, inserts, packets, and active packaging, and/or raising consumer awareness about proper food storage.

Judging Criteria:

  • Overall magnitude of improvement to sustainable packaging.
  • Potential to be replicated and affect systemic change.
  • Originality and creativity.

Judges will also consider the presentation and communication of the submission.

Entries for each category may consist of a package, process, or activity.

  • A package can be attributed to the supplier, the brand, or any combination of supply chain partners. The package doesn’t have to be commercialized, but preference will be given to a package that has been brought to market.
  • An activity may be a company program or project, or a partnership between industry, academic, government, or non-profit organizations.
  • A process can apply to any part of the packaging life cycle or be otherwise related to packaging sustainability.

Eligibility and Submission Guidelines

  • Any SPC member may submit an entry. The content of the entry must involve at least one SPC member company.
  • SPC members may submit a maximum of three entries, either in a single category or across multiple categories.
  • Submissions should focus on a specific achievement that has come to fruition in the last twelve months.
  • Submissions may feature accomplishments from previous years and/or multi-year projects, however preference will be given to more current/recent achievements.
  • The achievement must be one that goes beyond the requirements of federal, state, or local regulations.
  • Submissions may be re-categorized at the discretion of the SPC, with a notification given to the entrant.
  • Winning submissions from previous years are ineligible, even if submitted in a new category.

Judging

An impartial judging committee comprised of SPC staff and members of the SPC Executive Committee will consider each submission based on the selection criteria above to identify finalists in each category. There is no fixed number of finalists and the number of finalists selected is at the discretion of the judging committee. Each finalist will be publicly displayed on the SPC’s website. All submitted language is subject to revision by SPC staff and may be publicized.

Award winners are selected by the SPC staff with guidance from the SPC Executive Committee based on the selection criteria.

At the discretion of the SPC Director, one submission from across each of the four “Innovations in Sustainable Packaging” categories may be selected as an additional winner on its merit of embodying an advancement that encompasses multiple concepts in sustainable packaging.

In the event that an awards category lacks a sufficient number of submissions to constitute a representative body of activity, the SPC may choose to omit the category entirely from judging and decline to award a winner.

Honorable mentions may be recognized at the discretion of the SPC.

Submissions

Entries must be submitted through the appropriate submission form below. No other forms of submissions will be considered. The SPC will clearly and prominently communicate opening and closing dates for the submission period. Entries submitted after the closing date cannot be considered.

2021 SPC Innovator Award Submission

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