European Carton Excellence Awards 2023


2023 marks the 27th anniversary of the prestigious European Award for Excellence in Carton Packaging. At this high-profile event, which has become a symbol of excellence in the packaging sector, the prestigious jury evaluated 100 applications from 33 companies from 15 European countries. The nomination of the winners took place on September 22 at a gala held in Seville. Among the many creative packaging ideas, one of the winners was a Mary Cohr facial moisturizing cream packaging produced using Sappi’s Algro Design product range. The jury was impressed by the sustainable and tamper-proof seal on the packaging.

The European Carton Excellence Award is organized by Pro Carton and the European Carton Manufacturers Association (ECMA ). The contest is open to brands, designers, cardboard manufacturers and processors, and all of them are invited to present their most innovative cardboard packaging. The nominations fall into four categories: Packaging in general/virgin fiber, Packaging in general/recycled fiber, Packaging for food and drink/virgin fiber and Packaging for food and drink/recycled fiber. Based on strict criteria such as graphic and structural design, production methods, cost efficiency, sustainability and innovation, a prestigious jury of packaging experts chooses the winners in each category. Among the different categories, Gold and Platinum awards are also awarded. The winners not only benefit from an important reinforcement for their brand, but also receive a highly coveted award in the sector.

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Mary Cohr’s secondary packaging for a cosmetic container, which won the award in the General Packaging/Virgin Fiber category, impressed the jury primarily with its tamper-proof seal.

New cardboard packaging as a reference for protection against counterfeiting

Mary Cohr’s secondary packaging for a cosmetic container designed by the Edelmann Group, a German packaging manufacturer, won the award in the General Packaging/Virgin Fiber category. She impressed the jury primarily with her tamper-proof seal: “The highlight of the Edelmann Group’s design is the tamper-proof seal on the cardboard box, something we had never seen before,” declared the jury. “This is a convenient, simple and environmentally friendly method for consumers and retailers to detect if the package has been counterfeited. The concept is so ingenious that it will completely change the future of tamper-proof packaging eliminating the need for non-recyclable packaging.”

A concept born from sustainable development

Typically, high-quality cosmetic bottles and jars are packaged in cardboard boxes, which in turn are wrapped in transparent film to protect the products from environmental influences and possible counterfeiting. In the context of the quest for greater sustainability and new plastic reduction regulations, designers at Edelmann Group, a German-based manufacturer with international operations dedicated to high-quality packaging solutions for healthcare, cosmetics and consumer goods brands, faced the challenge of developing a solution without using transparent films. The new packaging also had to be compatible with packaging machines and ensure high shelf impact.

The designers came up with a cardboard packaging solution with two side flaps for closure, an additional flap and a lid with a hinged flap. While one of the side flaps features a green dot, the additional flap features a black dot. When the container is first opened, the extra flap tears off and reveals the green dot. Even if the container is resealed, the green dot can be seen on the side flap. In short, when the additional flap with the black dot is no longer present, users detect that the packaging has already been opened. The new mechanism against counterfeiting attempts replaces the transparent film that was commonly used.

A game of dots: the side flap with the black dot breaks when the packaging is first opened, thus preventing counterfeiting attempts. This packaging has used the premium quality virgin fiber board from Sappi’s Algro Design product family.

Sappi’s Algro Design virgin fiber board meets the highest demands

The complex design of the two overlapping side flaps required a cardboard that would not fray after being torn, so that the package would retain its immaculate appearance even after being opened for the first time. The sustainability factor was taken into account by using a white background color with fresh and clear typography in green. A cardboard was needed that would enhance the colors and letters as much as possible. All selected Algro Design virgin fiber boards stand out for their characteristic balance between functionality, versatility and aesthetics. Bright white paperboard opens up an exceptionally wide spectrum of possibilities for packaging design.
Lars Scheidweiler, head of Packaging Solutions at Sappi Europe, is delighted with the award: “The high-quality cardboard packaging used for Mary Cohr’s facial moisturizing cream is a perfect example of how the quality of the cardboard influences the result of the product. design in general. We are a company that highly values ​​sustainability, so we are excited about this award for a packaging that allows us to reduce the use of transparent film, which represents a contribution to a high degree of environmental compatibility.”