Globalisation is the name of the game today. Economies that have traditionally been strong are struggling, while emerging markets in areas such as Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Latin America are developing fast. Many countries in these regions exhibit growth rates close to or above two digits, in terms of both general economics and packaging.
This means that there is tremendous potential for packaging to satisfy the consumption and convenience needs of a growing market. Along with the need to harness market potential, packaging suppliers also have to face another challenge: fierce global competition.
For the benefit of mankind, the WPO's mission is to, ‘improve the quality of life through better packaging'. To achieve high-value packaging, expert knowledge must be developed, transferred and implemented through innovative solutions.
WPO distributes packaging knowledge around the globe, with the ultimate goal of pooling information to improve standards on a global basis. We also intend to raise the profile of the packaging sector among the general public, so that the industry is seen as a chief contributor to the wealth and sustainability of society.
The WPO actively supports innovation in a global context. At the May 2004 WorldStar ceremony held in Basel, Switzerland, a jury selected 143 nominations for WorldStar awards from the following product categories: beverages, electronics, food, health and beauty, household, and pharmaceutical and medical. The 2004 winners confirm the fact that packaging is an area in which there is still plenty of room for innovative product and service breakthroughs.
The WorldStar competition seeks to reward innovation, and to establish one positive standard for packages representing differing cultures and economies around the world. WorldStars were awarded by the WPO to companies in more than 30 countries around the world (including developing countries).
The following products stood out as being of particular merit:
Tetra Recart is the first retortable carton system on the market. It can stand 100 per cent humidity at 130°C, for more than two hours. Consumers benefit from greater convenience and safety advantages. Retailers get an efficient and communicative solution to distribute food. Food producers get a cost- and capacity-efficient alternative to the metal food can, which is excellent for product differention and brand revitalisation.
For the first time, an aseptic carton package shape can be variable and tailor-made. The combibloc is an inline production system, which can aseptically fill cartons. The machine has a capacity of 10,000 packages per hour. It allows for two fewer steps in the production of packaging material. The filling machine and final packaging components have a uniform operating concept.
The Procter & Gamble Actonel 35mg Dosepak is a friendly compliance package. The Dosepak design, patented by MeadWestvaco, includes a unique locking mechanism, which provides the highest level of child resistance.
The Dosepak combines a blister card with an outer carton: these lock together to create child resistance. Consumers can easily open the Dosepak by depressing the push tab on the outer carton, which releases the inner card. The Dosepak is uniquely identified by the ASTM as a recloseable, child-resistant blister package. Once a tablet is dispensed, the inner card is re-inserted back to a child-resistant locked position.
The Actonel Dosepak also incorporates an innovative pocket, which has been designed to house a patient information leaflet. The next annual WorldStar competition will be held in October 2004, in Mumbai, India. The WPO is also sponsoring training programmes for the packaging industry, which will be held in Sri Lanka and Tunisia in autumn 2004.