Winner of the Better with Less – Design Challenge: Ecological alternative to disposable plastic

Wednesday 18. March 2020 - Metsä Board, a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre board, is pleased to announce the winner of its international packaging design competition Better with Less - Design Challenge. Expandable Eco Street Food Ware is a smart and environmentally friendly solution that meets the growing demand for street food containers and the desire for alternatives to plastic packaging. This years submissions placed particular emphasis on sustainability and the dual function of packaging.

The winning concept is particularly flexible and plastic-free, offering a simple and trendy alternative to the plastic and styrofoam containers commonly used in the fast food sector. The cardboard container has a diameter of 25 centimetres when flattened out. It offers at least eight different folding options, from the conical bag to the plate. The simple concept therefore offers numerous application possibilities for the most diverse dishes.
The concept not only saves material, but also minimizes the space required for storage and the volume of material for disposal and recycling. It is called “Expandable Eco Street Food Ware” and was developed by Christine Gamboa (Senior Art Director) and Gaudy Danao III (Associate Creative Director), both from the Philippines. They receive the main prize of 7,000 euros.
“The winning concept is a simple, intelligent and practical solution that offers versatility with minimal material consumption, thus optimally fulfilling the motto “Better with Less”. It provides a good user experience and is truly environmentally friendly and economical. The packaging is made of a plastic-free barrier board, is easy to recycle, compostable and biodegradable,” says competition chairman and jury member Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director at Metsä Board.
The second prize of €2,000 goes to the developers of “Bruk”, a sustainable beverage carton that is easy to recycle and contains less plastic. The design is by Eric Smith from the USA. The third prize of 1,000 EUR goes to the design team of “Razor Dispenser”. This packaging for disposable razors replaces the usual plastic with a minimalist paper box that only covers the razor heads, leaving the handles free. The design is by Magdalena Schmitz, Sarah Redlich, Mikayla Just and Alejandro Don Flores, all of whom study product design at the Münster School of Design.
“In the winning concepts, aspects of sustainability and recycling management were well thought out and innovatively implemented. The three best placed products had a neck-and-neck race”. There were many inspiring solutions that reflect the shift in consumer trends away from plastic and towards more sustainable packaging materials. In some concepts, the packaging fulfilled two functions at once, i.e. it became part of the product during use and thus increased the benefits of the packaging in terms of recycling,” explains Ilkka Harju.
Metsä Board has also awarded an additional prize to a student. This student will receive an internship at Metsä Board’s new centre of excellence in Finland. In this category, the jury was impressed by the ‘Reload’ concept, where full and empty batteries can be stored and sorted in the same packaging. The packaging design is by Hamzeh Za’balawi, Franziska Prior, Marcel Diederich and Oliver Ricker. In addition, a special award (Honorary Mention) went to “Project FF” by Jasper Chou. This is a sustainable, adhesive-free container for French fries and ketchup.
Better with Less – Design Challenge 2019-2020 is an international packaging design competition organised by Metsä Board, a Metsä Group company. The competition invites designers to develop more environmentally friendly solutions for some of the world’s most widely used consumer goods packaging. 146 participants from 28 countries submitted ideas. The jury included influential packaging design experts from around the world.
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