Metsä's 'Better with Less Design Challenge' Winners Announced

by Rudy Sanchez on 03/16/2020 | 3 Minute Read

The Better with Less Design Challenge, organized by European paper board company Metsä Board, encourages designers to develop packaging for everyday products that are more sustainable than current options. 

Entrants’ projects get judged on factors such as innovation, shelf appeal, product protection, consumer experience, and commercial viability. The jurors, which includes Dieline Founder and CEO Andrew Gibbs, announced the winners of this year’s design challenge, featuring inventive solutions to fast-food serveware, an easier-to-recycle drink carton, minimal and functional razor packages, and student awards to an improved box for batteries and a french fry container with a built-in ketchup bowl.

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First Place - Expandable Eco Street Food Ware

No matter the cuisine, street foods can be a messy affair. From saucy and soupy to greasy and hot, it's almost always eaten outdoors and on-the-go. 

Unfortunately, we derive most street food packaging from plastic, something The Better with Less winner Expandable Eco Street Food War’ solves while taking into consideration not only the environment but the customer and the vendor. The pleated paper plate can be stored flat, saving street vendors precious space, and can also serve as a flat plate for customers. The pleats allow the extensible plates to adapt to a variety of foods, from pitas to sushi. The Expandable Eco Street Food Ware was designed by Christine Gamboa, a Senior Art Director, and Gaudy Danao III, an Associate Creative Director, both from the Philippines.

“The winning design is a simple, smart, and practical solution offering high variability with minimal material use – reflecting 'Better with Less' at its best," says the competition’s chairman and jury member, Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director at Metsä Board. "It provides a good user experience and is truly environmentally friendly and economical. Made of a plastic-free barrier board it is easily recyclable, compostable and biodegradable."

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Honorable Mention - Project FF

Jasper Chou’s concept for a better french fry package, Project FF, solves an all-too-common problem-there usually isn't an ideal spot to place ketchup when eating your fries.

But, it also eliminates the need for single-use, unrecyclable ketchup sachets, and it's glueless, allowing for composting. The triangle-shaped box is also made from a single sheet and can be stored flat, saving space.

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Internship - Paperboard and Packaging Excellence Centre

Metsä also awarded an internship to the designers of Reload, a plastic-free package for batteries that allows the user to store spent and fresh batteries separated in the same pack. This design also makes it easier for consumers to recycle batteries properly. The concept was created by Hamzeh Za’balawi, Franziska Prior, Marcel Diederich, and Oliver Ricker. One student designer will spend a year at Metsä’s new Paperboard and Packaging Excellence Centre in Finland. 

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Second Place - Bruk

American designer Eric Smith takes second place with Bruk, an innovative design that makes beverage cartons easier to recycle. Paper cartons may seem more eco-friendly than plastic containers to consumers, but they are made with mixed materials, a plastic liner affixed to paperboard. To be recycled, these pieces must be separated, a costly process that isn't available in many areas. Bruk makes it fun and easy for the consumer to separate the paper from the plastic so that it can get recycled by their local processors.

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Third Place - Razor

‘Razor’ is a simple paper box that surrounds the blade heads of razor blades, leaving the handles exposed, designed by students Magdalena Schmitz, Sarah Redlich, Mikayla Just, and Alejandro Don Flores, from the Münster School of Design.

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