The 21st DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation

Fact Sheet

History and Goals:

  • The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation is the packaging industry’s longest running, independently judged, global innovation awards program. 

  • The first awards program was in 1986. The competition has recognized environmental achievements since 1989.

  • This year’s competition honors materials, processing, technology and service achievements that demonstrate progress toward sustainability while also meeting important market requirements for enhanced performance such as improved freshness, convenience and shelf appeal.
Judging Criteria:
  • Entrants do not need to use DuPont materials in their products, processes or programs. 

  • Jurors evaluated seven innovation factors: clean production; effective recovery; community/social benefit; enhanced performance; cost effective economics; responsible sourcing; and resource and energy optimization.
Leadership in Recognizing Sustainable Packaging Achievements:
Over the years, the Awards completion has honored many sustainability achievements. Some of the most significant firsts are: 

1989Commercial bottles and egg cartons made from 100% recycled PET
1990Plastic bag recycling programs
1991Brick-packs for source reduction and consumer convenience
1992Foamed food trays using ½ the amount of plastic as rigid trays
1992First food packaging with post-consumer recycled PET
1993Source reduction through introduction of concentrated/refill product
1995Package redesign to eliminate components, reducing materials use by more than 50%
1997100% recyclable PET container for juice drinks
2004Compostable packaging made from renewable materials (PLA)
2008  Redesigning packaging to cut weight and improve transport efficiency
Innovations That Changed The Way We Eat:
Over the years, the Awards competition has honored many breakthroughs that contribute to consumer convenience, health and safety. Some of the firsts that are now part of our culture are:

1986   First plastic can for retorted foods; first all-plastic microwavable, reheatable food packaging, first pre-packaged, fully-cooked meat available in the supermarket
1989 First breathable packaging for fresh produce
1991 First oven-safe bake-in-the-bag for turkeys
1995 100% natural fruit juices in single-portion flexible pouches
2001 Easy-open vacuum-sealed pouch for tuna replacing metal cans
2002 Enhanced freshness for refrigerated prepared pasta; soup on-the-go in sippable cups
2003 Tear-open, zipper-packed shredded cheeses
2004 Ready-to-drink, reclosable nutritional supplements
2006 Reclosable, resealable cookie packs
21st DuPont Awards Announcement:
  • The call for entries was announced on September 2008, at the Sustainable Packaging Forum in Denver Colorado.

  • Over 120 entries were received from the Americas, Europe and Asia
21st DuPont Awards Judging & Jurors:
The entries were reviewed and judged in Wilmington, DE in March 2009, by a prestigious panel of international jurors.
  • John A. Bernardo, Manager, Sustainable Innovations LLC
  • Tony Burns, Associate Director, Sustainability – Global Packaging and Device Development, The Procter and Gamble Company
  • Julian Carroll, Managing Director, European Organization for Packaging and the Environment
  • Ron Cotterman, Executive Director of Sustainability, Sealed Air Corporation
  • Sara Hartwell, Environmental Specialist, U.S. EPA Office of Solid Waste
    Masanobu Ishikawa, Ph.D., Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University
  • Anne Johnson, Director – Sustainable Packaging Coalition
  • Kim Lymn, Packaging Manager, Target Corporation
  • Mike Richmond, President and CEO, PTIS LLC

The DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation is the industry’s longest running, independently judged global awards program honoring packaging materials, processes, technology and service innovations.  The 21st DuPont Awards has a special focus on recognizing innovations that demonstrate breakthrough achievements in sustainability.  

DuPont - one of the first companies to publicly establish environmental goals 18 years ago - has broadened its sustainability commitments beyond internal footprint reduction to include market-driven targets for both revenue and research and development investment. The goals are tied directly to business growth, specifically to the development of safer and environmentally improved new products for key global markets.

For more information about DuPont Packaging and the Awards competition, visit:

For more information about DuPont sustainable packaging products, visit:

For more information about DuPont renewably sourced materials, visit:

DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 70 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food, building and construction, communications, and transportation.