On 27 January 2011, the first official awards ceremony for winners of the Emballé 3.0 competition was held in Salons 37 in Paris. The competition, which was launched by the CNE in autumn 2010 for students at various engineering schools, particularly in packaging or design, recognises the innovation and originality of a packaging project for staple goods. From the thirty entries, three were selected and one was given a Special Mention by the judges. Spotlight on this unprecedented event…
Promoting a packaging competition requiring entrants to design an innovative project, which offers shared benefits and is exemplary in terms of waste prevention and packaging reduction at source, was a gamble. However, students, tutors and members of the judging panel were all enthusiastic about the novel idea launched by CNE Chairman Michel Fontaine and Executive Officer Bruno Siri. The competition also caught the attention of several sponsors, CLIFE, Eco-Emballages, ELIPSO, FCD, France Aluminium Recyclage, PROCELPAC, Valorplast and Verre Avenir, which supported the project from the outset.
120 schools were invited to take part and 87 students submitted thirty entries to a judging panel of industry figures: Arcelor Mittal, DuPont, ELIPSO, Emballage Digest, Emballages Magazine, OR.GE.CO, design agency P’Référence and, of course, the directors of the CNE. The energy, intelligence and originality of the projects impressed the judges, who found it difficult to pick a winner.
Ultimately, three projects won awards. The Paris Institute of Technology for Life, Food and Environmental Sciences, AgroParisTech in Massy, was behind two winning entries. The first is packaging for salads with separate dressing in a plastic cube. The packaging is light, modern and stylish, and the cubed shape allows for better storage in supermarket aisles. It saves space in pallets and requires fewer vehicles for transportation. The second project proposes a range of natural shampoos in powder. The packaging takes the form of a cotton bag holding a shampoo preparation kit with a reusable bottle, three sachets of powdered shampoo, a funnel, lavender essential oil and instructions. The idea is that the consumer prepares the shampoo with a bottle provided for several uses, thereby removing the need to carry water. The judges were impressed by the quality of the presentation and the practicality of the project.
The third award-winning project comes from ENSAIA School in Nancy. It was put forward by third-year students, who suggested packaging yoghurt with air. The “airpack” is packaging formed by a layer of compressed air trapped between two ultra-thin layers of PET. The project caught the attention of the judging panel for its originality, the main material being air! It combines rigidity with flexibility and replaces the polystyrene that is generally used for yoghurts with PET.
Finally, the panel was unable to resist recognising a fourth project, even though it did not follow the competition’s strict guidelines. The ingenious idea of transforming the packaging into a decorative item won over the judges. The Shock Sock Lamp, whose packaging unfolds to form the body of a decorative lamp lit by a bulb provided in the packaging, was produced by students from ENSAAMA School.
Amandine Burette and Alexane Icca are the winners of the first project, salad packaging. Here they share their impressions of the competition.
Newsletter: How did you get the idea to design packaging in the form of a cube?
Amandine Burette/Alexane Icca: We eat takeaway salads and found the existing round packaging in plastic boxes impractical and unprofitable in terms of packaging savings. They’re difficult to store in supermarket aisles and take up loads of room for the content. So we designed practical packaging with less empty space inside and less plastic. It was almost obvious when we thought about it.
Newsletter: What did you gain from taking part in the competition?
Amandine Burette/Alexane Icca: It forced us to be open-minded, to try to innovate on things we saw all the time. We tried to stay anchored in reality with a product that can satisfy the end consumer. We had to work on a real project and it was a great experience. Then that enabled us to work in groups together, to brainstorm together and not rule out any possibility. Sharing such open-mindedness was very enriching. As a group we’re more creative. We worked for four weeks; it was quite quick and really interesting.