The standard of entries for the 2017 Carton Excellence Awards was probably the best we have ever seen. The level of originality and technical excellence was outstanding and it is good to see that our reach continues to get wider as we had entries from 15 different countries this year.

This can only be good news, not only for our industry but also for all those who feel strongly about packaging as part of a sustainable future. On the 21st anniversary of the Awards cartons have never been more relevant, they have certainly come of age!

We made some significant changes to the Awards this year to further recognise and promote the excellence within the carton industry.

New name:

The awards have a fresh new look and a new name. One that aptly and succintly describes what they are – the European Carton Excellence Awards.

We believe that this simpler and more consumer friendly name will help us to promote the awards and the winners even more extensively in the future. The organisers of the Award remain unchanged. Namely the two trade associations for the cartonboard and carton industries, Pro Carton and ECMA.

New prize:

For the first time in the history of the competition, we have invited the public to vote on the best carton. The winner in this new category will receive the Public Award. All the 37 finalists were included and anybody could register a vote.

This opened up the Awards to a new audience which can only help us to demonstrate just how functional and attractive cartons can be.

New categories:

There are two new awards, both of which were previously special awards rather than categories in their own right. The Save the Planet Award will go to a carton that demonstrates outstanding environmental credentials, whilst the Innovation Award will recognise creativity and technical brilliance. This gives us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate all the finalists not just the winners.

New jury:

We have kept to our policy of selecting judges from across the supply chain to allow due consideration of the market’s needs but also to ensure we have a good level of technical knowledge about carton construction and printing:

  • Satkar Gidda (Design, SiebertHead) chaired the jury in his trusted manner with his brand leadership expertise.
  • We welcomed to the jury this year a new judge in Dr. Janet Shipton (Consultant, Packknack). Janet provided a new perspective which enriched the workings of the jury.
  • Susanne Lippitsch (Design, SL-Design) added her specific experience as a successful designer and lecturer on design.
  • Lotte Krekels (Retail, Carrefour Belgium) looked at the entries particularly from a merchandising and shelf impact standpoint.
  • Wilfried Duivenvoorden (Brand Owner, Unilever) paid special attention to the needs of brand owners in terms of consumer attractivenness, functionality and brand communication.
  • Peter Klein Sprokkelhorst (Consultant, Advisor to the Jury) advised on the technical attributes of the submitted concepts.

We would like to thank them all for their tremendous effort!

As always, we have prepared a comprehensive marketing and PR package for the media and for all the winners to utilise. You can find all the information on this website as well as on the various social media platforms – FacebookTwitterPinterestInstagram and Linkedin: please share, like and communicate!

Lastly, thank you to all the finalists and of course many congratulations to all the winners!

Roland Rex, President Pro Carton                    Andreas Blaschke, President ECMA

Message from Pro Carton’s General Manager
The European Carton Excellence Awards is the highlight of the year for the carton industry and the sheer number and standard of entries just reinforces that view. A big thank you to all the participants, the jury’s job gets more difficult every year. Meanwhile, its fledgling, the Pro Carton Young Designers Award, is going from strength to strength. With over 170 entries from 16 countries it is now firmly established with many Design schools as part of their annual curriculum. In fact, 46 colleges took part this year, by the far the highest number ever, which hopefully will prove to be a rich source of potential talent for the future.

Cartons’ environmental credentials were once again recognised in the Sustain ability in Packaging study undertaken amongst brand owners across Europe, whilst plastic continues to come under increasing pressure from NGOs and the media. The plastic waste issue is, of course, of concern to everybody and we can all do our bit to prevent the situation from worsening. I would also call on brand owners to, whenever possible, use a sustainable packaging material rather than a non-sustainable one. Cartonboard is one of the few materials that is renewable and biodegradable; and of course, can even be recycled back into cartons again!

There’s a number of new features that we’ve added to the Pro Carton website over the last few months so that it becomes an even more useful reference and opinion site. As well as details of the various activities undertaken by Pro Carton, there’s also lots of articles, reports and reference documents. There’s a number of different infographics on the site too which I hope you might want to use with your customers and colleagues. Please use the website, it is there to help you as well as to promote our industry.

Finally, can I ask for your help in spreading our message. As a packaging substrate cartonboard is probably the most sustainable material there is. Cartons can also communicate brand values like no other and once again the awards showed just how fantastic they can look and feel, whether it’s for an “everyday” or “luxury” brand. Cartons’ relevance and suitability for today’s society has never been greater.

Please share the message.

Tony Hitchin, General Manager, Pro Carton