A new cohort of sustainable packaging innovators recognised at university challenge

By Hayley Webb  June 25th, 2024

Wagga Wagga recently hosted more than just a competition at the Charles Sturt University Sustainable Packaging Innovation Challenge — it was a vibrant forum for forward-thinking and eco-conscious innovation.

The innovation challenge aimed to address a significant environmental issue faced by the wine and fresh food sectors – packaging. Hosted by the CSU's Agrisciences Research and Business Park (AgriPark) and The Growth Drivers, the event kicked off with an introduction by Hon. Michael McCormack MP, followed by an engaging Q&A with Shae Courtney of Coles Liquor.

Out of 150 applications, just eight finalists were selected. Planet Ark’s Deputy CEO, Adam Culley sat on the judging panel responsible for assessing the finalists in three key areas: minimising carbon footprint, capturing packaging value and novel sustainable products.

“Packaging makes up a large part of the waste profile, so innovation in this area is pressing," Adam said.

"Antiquated technologies are used in every industry and this event was about showcasing new technologies that drive the transition to a circular economy as we work towards living within the planetary boundaries. This event saw the meeting of some very exciting minds and it was so encouraging to witness the next cohort of innovators in this space.”

The evening saw joint winners Packamama and Pack2Earth share $75,000 in funding. Alex Adda, from Packamama, was delighted with the win.

“This recognition fuels our motivation to drive impactful change in the wine industry," Alex said.

"Our team is ready to continue pushing the agenda for sustainable packaging, ensuring that our innovations not only meet but exceed industry standards for sustainability.”

Nick Pagett, Executive Director of AgriPark, sharing his excitement about the innovative outcomes of the challenge.

“The showcase event is not just a celebration of months of hard work and creativity but a testament to the power of collaboration between academia, industry, and government," he said.

"We are excited to see the groundbreaking solutions our teams have developed, which will undoubtedly contribute to a more sustainable future for the wine and fresh food industries.”

This year's Sustainable Packaging Innovation Challenge set a new benchmark for what's possible in industry-wide sustainability efforts, demonstrating that through collaboration and innovative thinking, significant strides can be made towards more eco-friendly and efficient packaging solutions.

Find out more about the Sustainable Packaging Challenge.

Hayley Webb

After 6 years leading and developing marketing teams Hayley’s learning journey into sustainability and climate change education began and she was hooked! Being in boardrooms where sustainability wasn’t on the agenda built her passion for making sustainable business accessible for all with education that simplifys the science. When she’s not at Planet Ark Hayley is delivering Carbon Literacy Training, making Instagram reels, sourcing preloved outfits and hanging out in nature with her young family.

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