For their latest eco-friendly packaging design concept AYA, Sidel has been awarded with the prestigious World Food Innovation Award (WFIA) in the category “Best Drink Packaging Design”. With the prizewinning AYA design, Sidel has developed a comprehensive innovative “End to End” packaging alternative for still water, covering all angles from 100% recycled PET (rPET) primary to carton secondary and on to tertiary packaging alternatives – all optimised for local distribution methods. The result is an overall cost-effective and sustainable packaging concept which is tailor-fit to match circular economy requirements, while improving environmental impact and industrial production efficiency.
For six years now, the World Food Innovation Awards have been recognising and celebrating concept excellence and innovation across every category of the global food industry. Chosen by a judging panel of 14 seasoned industry experts, the awards honour some of the most ambitious new products and developments of the year from established brands as well as start-ups. The awarding ceremony in association with FoodBev Media took place at HRC (London ExCel, UK) on March 5, 2020: “To us this award means a great recognition from the judging panel on how AYA meets sustainability requirements,” comments Laurent Lepoitevin, Packaging Design Engineer in Sidel. “We are honoured that, with this distinction, the WFIA appreciates how much our AYA concept contributes in terms of designing and valuing a sustainable packaging solution as a whole – optimally combining primary and secondary packaging using less packaging material in order to save on resources.”
Distinguished dedication to optimal packaging concepts
Improving recyclability by reducing packaging waste is one of the foremost challenges in the food and beverage industry. Benefitting from more than 40 years of experience in packaging and complete line solutions, Sidel works in close partnership with its customers and packaging manufacturers with the aim to develop ever more sustainable primary and secondary packaging. Thus, Sidel’s new eco-packaging concept AYA was born, reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainability. The name refers to a deity of ancient Mesopotamia, also known as Ea or Enki, who – among other things – was considered the master of groundwater. This choice makes perfect sense considering the intention behind this new concept: to provide people with safe drinking water, who do not have a secure access to it naturally. For instance, the AYA bottle can be easily used when humanitarian aid is needed to provide the right amount of water for concerned people.
Recognition for an innovative 100%-rPET V-shape bottle
In detail, AYA is a 220 ml water bottle, featuring a V-shape. With its targeted extreme light weight of 5 g it is designed to radically reduce raw materials right at the source: The bottle is blown from 100% rPET preforms in order to bring a truly circular economy into reality, offering a new life to every bottle. AYA also comes with a snap-on tethered cap, aiming to additionally reduce plastic pollution. Furthermore, brand names, logos and legally required information may be engraved in relief onto the bottle, thus eliminating the need of a label to reduce waste and facilitate PET bottle sorting and recycling even more.
The eco-friendly AYA marks the first bottle concept released by Sidel to the industry which has been designed with an articulated shoulder featuring three stable positions; a Sidel patented packaging solution named Swing™ shoulder. After the blow moulding process, the bottle shoulder remains in an intermediary deployed position. After filling and capping, a mechanical pressure is applied on the shoulder to move it down and create the final AYA’s iconic V-shape. Thus slightly pressurised, the bottle bulk is reduced, while at the same time its resistance throughout the supply chain is significantly enhanced. A deployed shoulder position is possible to enlarge the volume and avoid any droppage when opening. AYA also features a specific deep base design to allow to stack the bottles, reducing the height to improve the whole storage volume.
Secondary packaging reduced to a minimum
Engineered within the Sidel “End to End” approach to better leverage packaging as a whole through the supply chain, the AYA bottles’ distinguished V-shape offers two innovative packaging alternatives in terms of compactness and reduction of secondary and tertiary packaging materials well-suited to optimise logistics. Firstly, it offers the possibility to stack the bottles in layers on top of each other, making them nested together due to their specific deep base shape connecting the low bottle neck and the top bottle base. The BOSS base shape perfectly accommodates another bottle’s cap, ensuring stability during pallet storage and transport. In this layout, each layer of bottles is being held together with a perforated cardboard separator that fits over the necks. Furthermore, the size of the separator can be adapted to form individual custom packs which can meet any space and storage constraints at the points-of-sale. Then, the second alternative is leveraging the bottles’ V-shape’s space saving attributes even more efficiently: seeing as they can be placed top-to-tail, in a staggered fashion, to make the best use of secondary packaging space and place as many bottles as possible in a volume, suited to distribution needs. Thus, the bottles can be arranged to optimise any storage volume, making for compact cases that can be easily transported.
“With sustainability constantly on our minds, we look at packaging and equipment from a 360-degree perspective,” Laurent Lepoitevin concludes. “Naturally, we applied this ‘End to End’ approach also to the AYA concept: Not only do we always take primary, secondary and tertiary packaging as well as their interaction with the equipment in the factory into account when designing new concepts. We also consider all the impacts they create upstream and downstream in the entire value chain – always aiming to deliver the most sustainable packaging solutions onto the shelves and to the consumers.”