Europe’s leading paper-based packaging manufacturer Smurfit Kappa is sponsoring the ‘Durable Internet Shopping Pack’ Award in this year’s Student Starpack Awards.

Within five years online spending will account for 30-50% of total consumer spending, creating a demand for robust packaging that ensures products reach consumers in prime condition.

The ‘Durable Internet Shopping Pack’ Award requires students to create a cardboard pack that can protect a small electrical item and manual, even when dropped three times from a metre high.

Clive Bowers, CEO of Smurfit Kappa UK said: “Packaging is an innovative industry and internet shopping a strong growth sector. By 2013 up to half of our shopping will be done over the web. As products bought will have to be delivered by post, online retailers have a specific requirement that packaging is both strong and robust to ensure goods reach customers safely.

“We are seeking talented young designers who will bring exciting and innovative ideas this competitive consumer sector. We look forward to receiving some graphically attractive, functional and cost-effective designs from students UK-wide in response to this brief.”

Entrants must be a part or full time student at a college of art, college or university in the UK or overseas. They can be studying for a wide range of courses, including those with graphics emphasis, structural / product design, as well as those from materials and technology courses.

The deadline for ‘Durable Internet Shopping Pack’ Award entries is 25 February 2009. The judging panel will include guest judge Mark Lyall, Process Operations Manager at Amazon, Philip Pearson, Business Development Director for Smurfit Kappa UK plus Phil Husband UK Packaging Development Manager. Winners will be announced at the annual Packaging Industry Dinner in London on 21st May 2009. The student Award winner will receive £300 and the runner-up £200.

The Smurfit Kappa ‘Durable Internet Shopping Pack’ is one of twelve specific awards within the Student Starpack Awards 2009, which have been specifically designed by the Packaging Society for potential professional designers, (IOP). In the past the awards have led directly to a number of employment opportunities for successful entrants.