Winning design that turns peanut waste into packaging
The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) entered seven Monash student teams into the global WorldStar Student Awards. Of the seven submissions all were recognised with one team winning a Silver in the Sustainable Packaging Design category.
The winning silver team of Caterina Palma, Sherlyn Marvella and Tamanna Kibrea were from the New Frontiers Program at Monash Food Innovation (MFI). They partnered with energy ball food company Camel and developed a sustainable packaging from peanut shells/hulls — a major by-product in its peanut manufacturing process. This by-product, or waste, traditionally headed straight to landfill or was burnt, adding to atmospheric CO2.
Using 30% peanut husks in the production of fibreboard food packaging, the students saw this as a means of valorising food waste and aligning the compostable packaging with the food, which is organic, vegan, no added sugar or preservatives.
“We are very pleased to receive the silver award for sustainability. 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,” Palma said.
“This award means that new innovative sustainable product packaging is being recognised now. We are excited to see our peanut by-product fibreboard concept potentially being introduced and used in the future of sustainable packaging.”
The MFI 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’s 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 Australian Institute of Packaging (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.”