Austrian Environmental Award and International Design Award for Bio-net packaging made from beech wood

16. Juni 2014



They have been successfully in use for more than 1 year, for the organic food brands of the two largest grocery chains in Austria, REWE and Hofer, thus saving the environment several tonnes of plastic packaging each year. In compostable net tubing from modal beech wood cellulose from Lenzing AG a useful new material application has been developed from low-value timber from thinning native forests. The new packaging not only scores highly in comparison with plastics, but also in comparison with other natural substances: In comparison to cotton and flour starch there is a big difference in the ecological footprint in terms of cultivable land used and irrigation needs.

The packaging looks natural and gives a coherent image for organic food and packaging. The silky handle not only feels good for the consumers, it also protects sensitive contents such as zucchini or thin-skinned avocados. Innovation also means involvement in research. The research project „Colors of Nature“ combines old knowledge of plant colours with modern industrial processes. The project, which we are pursuing with the Institute for Textile Chemistry and Textile Physics, of the University of Innsbruck in Dornbirn for our cellulose packaging can now proceed to the next level. The colour cones we require, with a diameter of 15 cm, can be homogeneously dyed to the inside core. Here onion skins were used, as occurring for example with the packaging of onions in large quantities. The packaging innovation was presented in February, in Berlin, at the International Fruit Logistica Trade Fair for fruit & vegetables, and thus entered the international arena.

The product was honoured with a nomination for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award and presented in the special exhibition for innovations. Since then, not only have many sample shipments gone out world-wide from Austria for testing trials, but further new application ideas have also come into our field of vision. Two outstanding awards were achieved by this innovation this year: the ÖGUT Environmental Award and the A’ Design Silver Award in the category of Sustainable Products and Projects / Green Design Award.

ÖGUT Environmental Award
On the 28th occasion this year, the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology (ÖGUT) awarded the ÖGUT environmental award to the best sustainability projects. In the category for “Sustainable Material Use in Production“ the biogenic packaging „Bio-net tubes from cellulose“ from the Verpackungszentrum Graz convinced the jury and was awarded the prize sponsored by the Coca Cola Company.

A’ Design Award
The A’ Design Award, organised in Italy, is one of the world´s largest design competitions attracting 12,536 submissions from 208 countries in 2013/2014. An international jury of designers, entrepreneurs, design educators and journalists assessed the cellulose net tubing with the silver award. The Silver A’ Design Award is given to designs from the upper 5% percentile, which have attained an exemplary level in the field of design. The projects submitted are examined by three different juries, which for each competition are made up of 5 representatives from academic institutions, 5 subject matter experts and 5 members of focus groups. The assessment covers such aspects as functionality, ergonomics, engineering, presentation, innovation, usability, fun details, technology, and other ​​specific properties of note.


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