Helmut Meininger founded the VPZ Verpackungszentrum – a company that sells food packaging – in Graz in 1982. Our portfolio is still traditional and includes paper bags, films, nets and trays. In 1989, Susanne Meininger took over the reins from her father and began working with him to introduce a new environmental focus to product development. This change of course was more the result of personal conviction than a financially driven business decision.
From the outset, we have made it our mission to play an active role in shaping our future. We channel our creativity into new packaging concepts that contribute towards a better environment. As a result, we are market leaders in the development and sale of biogenic packaging. New product development is part and parcel of our success. We turn seaweed into foam, plants into film and beechwood into netting – innovative concepts that result from our quest for high-quality, environmentally friendly solutions. A number of these innovative solutions have already made it onto the market. VPZ has an active research and development team, driven by passion and by the continual need to set new benchmarks in terms of quality. Besides the standard packaging range, VPZ also sells biodegradable packaging such as cellulose tube netting, natural fibre sacks, groundwood packaging, disposable tableware made from sugar cane bagasse, starch packaging, disposable, wooden cutlery and an extensive range of paper packaging. Today, more than 70% of our products are of biogenic origin. Deriving foam from seaweed, biopolymers from agricultural waste or netting from cellulose fibres has nothing to do with science fiction. These are actual research projects on which VPZ have been working since 1992. Mother Nature offers a whole range of solutions that VPZ exploit, working in close cooperation with researchers, designers, technical experts and customers. Today, VPZ unites a business-oriented concept with an environmentally focussed approach.
Our research and development projects at a glance:
Alginsulate foam: In cooperation with the Institute of Process and Particle Engineering at Graz University of Technology, Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Michael Narodoslawsky
Biopolymers derived from agricultural waste: In cooperation with the Institute of Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering at Graz University of Technology, Univ. Prof. DI Dr. Gerhart Braunegg and Dr. Martin Koller
Organic net bags made from natural fibres: Developed as part of the ‘Factory of the Future’ (Fabrik der Zukunft) initiative, a cooperative project involving the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)
Cellulose tube netting: In association with Lenzing AG, Borckenstein and the vegetable grower’s association, Marchfeldgemüse
Plant-dyed net packaging: In association with the Institute for Textile Chemistry and Textile Physics at Innsbruck University, Univ.Prof.Dr. Thomas Bechtold, and the Schöller Spinning Group
Organic wineglass Labels: In association with IM Polymer, Lenzing Plastics and the vegetable grower’s association, Marchfeldgemüse
Awards for VPZ (Selection):
2017 EUROPEAN CEO ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
2016 National Champion at the EUROPEAN BUSINESS AWARDS 2016/17
2016 GREEN PRODUCT AWARD
2016 6th PLACE IN THE GLOBAL RANKING of the last 8 years of A´ DESIGN AWARD entrants, in the ‘Sustainable Products, Projects and Green Design Award’ category
2015 Nomination at the TRIGOS AWARDS for Styria
2015 Top 3 in the ‘Manufacturing’ category at the international GREEN TEC AWARD
2014 TOP 7 GRAZ ENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR 2014 in the ‘Business’ category
2014 AUSTRIA´S LEADING COMPANIES, Top 10 (ranked 8th ) in the ‘Sound small business’ category in Styria, winner of the Austrian PWC SUSTAINABILITY AWARD in the ‘Sound small business’ category
2014 GREEN PACKAGING STAR AWARD
2014 Silver in the ‘Sustainable Products and Projects/Green Design Award’ category at the international A´ DESIGN AWARD
2014 Nomination at the FRUIT LOGISTICA INNOVATION AWARD
2013 International MATERIALICA DESIGN + TECHNOLOGY AWARD Best of CO2
2013 FAST FORWARD AWARD 2013 FIBRE PLUS
2013 NOMINATION at the ENERGY GLOBE AWARD AUSTRIA
2013 ENERGY GLOBE AWARD STYRIA
2012 Cellulose tube netting commended as an ‘EXEMPLARY PACKAGING SOLUTION’ at the AUSTRIAN PACKAGING AWARDS
2012 DAPHNE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY BRONZE AWARD 2010 Nomination at the AUSTRIAN CLIMATE PROTECTION AWARDS
2007 CREATIVE GRAZ AWARD
2006 2nd place at the international RIO AWARD for the Alginsulate foam project
2005 TRIGOS – Nomination for the Alginsulate foam project
2004 TRIGOS – award for the development of organic net bags
2001 ECO DESIGN AWARD
1997 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AWARD FROM THE CITY OF GRAZ
1995 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AWARD PRESENTED BY THE STYRIAN STATE GOVERNMENT
1994 Susanne Meininger –TOP YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR
Products & Services
Use of agricultural waste materials.
Packnatur® Organic Wine Glass Labels
The labels are manufactured from a completely petrochemicalfree composite film, combined with cellulose paper. All raw materials used are of biogenic or mineral origin, are compostable and biodegradable.
Bio net tube made from Lenzing Modal Cellulose
Biodegradable net tubes made from Lenzing modal cellulose (from the thinning of beech trees) for organic fruit and vegetables in supermarkets. A
world first, which has already earned itself several national and international awards.
Biopolymers made from agricultural waste materials
Participation at the biopolymer project of the Institute of Biotechnology of Graz University of Technology. Key Point: Use of agricultural waste materials. Laboratory scale.
Packnatur® cellulose net tube made from Lenzing Modal® beechwood fibre
Biodegradable net tubes made from Lenzing Modal® cellulose from the thinning of beech trees for organic fruit and vegetables in supermarkets. A world first, which has already earned itself several national and international awards.(
Alginsulate Foam made from sea algae
Process for the production of a biodegradable foam material based on algae, developed in cooperation with the Institute for Process - and Particle Engineering at Graz University of Technology up to pilot scale.