In a glamorous event at our Award Ceremony in Krakow on 15 September 2022, the winners were awarded the most prestigious packaging design award: the best cartons on the market. Carton of the Year went to General/Snack Tomatoes, by Rutgers Printing & Packaging Solutions made out of cardboard from Stora Enso. This Award is not only about aesthetics – functionality also needs to persuade the jury. And there was a clear winner right from the start: the circular economy.

The European Carton Excellence Award, which honours striking packaging concepts that are already successful on the market, has become one of the most important and prestigious packaging design prizes in Europe. This year‘s 26th Award Gala of the European Carton Excellence Award took place in Poland for the very first time: an incredible experience – finally celebrating in person again after two years!

This pioneering Award has itself also gained in importance: it highlights sustainable packaging possibilities for the future that have already proven to be very successful commercially. “The entries clearly demonstrate the leadership of carton solutions on the road to circularity”, said Winfried Mühling, General Manager of Pro Carton.

Ideas and concepts have become increasingly interesting and diverse. For quite some time now, the number of structural and conceptual innovations has been on the rise, largely with a focus on replacing previous solutions made of plastic, whereas past award entries were often extremely visually and functionally appealing.

Satkar Gidda, Chairman of the jury, was highly enthusiastic: “The judges look to see where a pack has certain advantages or benefits in either reduction of material, structural design, touch and feel, merchandising, and of course, consumer understanding and benefit. This year, we noted that whilst some years ago we had many entries focused on print finishes, new print techniques and emboss/textures, we now see more and more sophisticated, clever cartons; the structures of which are very carefully thought through.”

The top prizes were awarded to the best packs in both virgin fibre and recycled cartonboard as well as to the best entries for the three Special Awards: Sustainability, Innovation and Public Award. Four Platinum and eight Gold Awards were also given to outstanding packs that highlighted some of the most exciting developments in the carton market and demonstrated many new ways in which cartonboard can replace less sustainable packaging!

Carton of the Year 2022 is “General/Snack Tomatoes” by Rutgers Printing & Packaging Solutions. A masterpiece of elementary and sustainable design, with a perfect balance between maximizing the visibility of the product while maintaining rigidity. The jury was absolutely enchanted: “The design integrates the motion of a human hand in a natural way, for incredibly genuine use. It has a locking mechanism with an audible ‘click’, giving the consumer the assurance that the pack is locked.”

In addition to this one-off award, two winners – carton converter and cartonboard manufacturer – also received the Carton Excellence Cup, which was introduced for the first time last year. The trophy will remain with the victors for a year and will then be passed on to next year’s winners. The names of all previous winners are engraved on the trophy and will be updated each subsequent year. A lasting tribute for the many outstanding contributions to a better future!

We’re already looking forward to next year’s competition!

Pro Carton’s three awards – the European Excellence Award (jointly with ECMA), the Pro Carton Young Designers Award and the Pro Carton Student Video Award – once again provide fascinating solutions for consumers and the environment.

All winning designs as well as photos – and soon video interviews with the prize winners – can be found on the Pro Carton website. Printed brochures in English showing all the winners are available from Pro Carton via

Carton of the Year

General/Snack Tomatoes

Carton Converter | Rutgers Printing & Packaging Solutions

Cartonboard Manufacturer | Stora Enso

Public Award (see also Gold Awards)

Advent Calendar Maison du Chocolat

Carton Converter | DUCAJU®

Cartonboard Manufacturer | BillerudKorsnäs


Herbal Essences Shampoo Conditioner bundle

Carton Converter | Van Genechten Packaging (Plant Turnhout)

Cartonboard Manufacturer | Metsä Board


Sanpellegrino® Aranciata Rossa by Nestlé

Carton Converter | WestRock

Cartonboard Manufacturer | WestRock

General Packaging – Virgin Fibre

PleioFlow RF Device

Carton Converter | Faller Packaging

Cartonboard Manufacturer | Holmen Iggesund

General Packaging – Recycled Fibre

Fanton Power strip Relife

Carton Converter | Lucaprint

Cartonboard Manufacturer | RDM Group

Food & Drink Packaging – Virgin Fibre

Match Tonic

Carton Converter | Autajon Durero Packaging

Cartonboard Manufacturer | Stora Enso

Food & Drink Packaging – Recycled Fibre

Hofer Marktplatz „Erdäpfelkiste“

Carton Converter | MM Packaging (Plant MM Neupack)

Cartonboard Manufacturer | MM Board & Paper