A student-led team from Monash University has taken out a silver award at the global WorldStar Student Awards for its packaging design made from peanut husks.
The team was one of seven entered by the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) into the awards for the first time. They were competing against more than 300 submissions from around the world. All Australian teams were recognised, with the silver being awarded in the Sustainable Packaging Design category.
The winning team was Caterina Palma, Sherlyn Marvella and Tamanna Kibrea. Palma said the award category shows that innovative sustainable product packaging is now being recognised.
“To have our concept judged and recognised on the global stage makes all of our hard work and ambitions for packaging in the future worth it.
“We are excited to see our peanut by-product fibreboard concept potentially being introduced and used in the future of sustainable packaging.”
The team partnered with energy ball company, Camel and developed sustainable packaging from peanut shells/hulls – a major by-product in Camel’s peanut manufacturing process.
This waste normally heads straight to landfill or is burnt, adding to atmospheric CO2. The student team began to think about ways to add value to husks by turning it into something useful.
By using 30 per cent peanut husks in the production of the fibreboard food packaging, they not only valorised a food waste, they designed a packaging that aligned with the food, which is organic, vegan, no added sugar or preservatives. The packaging is also 100 per cent compostable.
All the teams were made up of students in the industry focused, student-led New Frontiers Program at Monash Food Innovation (MFI).
The program sees SMEs partnered with a dedicated student team for 10-12 weeks working on a business challenge in food, beverages, market analysis, new product development and packaging.
Over the duration of the program participants learn MFI innovation methodologies to explore value propositions, markets, knowledge mapping, product mapping and ideation to provide leading innovative solutions for their partnered SME.
MFI design manager Adam Norris said the program helps students to partner with industry to develop real-world outcomes outside of their studies and propels them into employment.
"Through the AIP and the WorldStar Student Awards, our students have a unique opportunity to have their industry partnered work displayed and recognised on a global platform.
“Critically this provides recognition beyond their immediate studies, bolsters their professional development and allows students to reach out to prospective employers and showcase the real-world solutions devised during their industrial immersion.”
The World Packaging Organisation WorldStar Student Awards is an international packaging design competition for students – undergraduate or graduate. The Awards are designed to encourage and show the talents of students as well as new and innovative ideas and thinking in the field of packaging.