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The winners of the Unpackit 2011 Packaging Awards have been announced

The Best Packaging Award has been won by Potatopak.

The Worst Packaging Award has been won by Sunsweet Ones.

The public really got behind the people’s choice Unpackit awards, with nearly 9,000 votes deciding the winners.

Potatopak was a deserving Best Award winner with their take-away containers which are made from a commercial waste stream; the potato starch which is left in the water when potato chips are cut up. Even better the take-away containers are not destined to land up in the landfill – they can be composted, fed to birds, pigs or fish, or even eaten by humans (although it’s not recommended taste-wise, at least without copious amounts of tomato sauce).

Sunsweet Ones had some close competition from Brother Ink Cartridges, which many people felt strongly about because they were forced to buy the product despite disliking the packaging. However, the essential ridiculousness of individually wrapped prunes in the end won the Worst Award for Sunsweet Ones, especially given that the packet states a serving size is four prunes.

On the UK Sunsweet site, it states that individually wrapped prunes are not sold in the UK. Given the feedback we’ve had from the public during the Unpackit Roadtrip of Joy, we wonder why they’re on sale here?

Runners up for the Best Awards were the swap-a-crate from Speights (bottles refilled at the factory), and the humble egg-carton (reusable, recyclable and made from recycled cardboard). The runners up show that good packaging doesn’t need to cost more or even always need to be innovative, it just takes some thought.

Runners up for the Worst Awards were Brother Ink Cartridges (excessive, non-recyclable packaging) and Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate (a composite “tin” made from foil and cardboard which can’t be recycled).

Wanaka Wastebusters ran the awards as part of the Demystifying Packaging Choices project, for which we received financial support from the Waste Minimisation Fund, which is administered by the Ministry for the Environment. The Ministry for the Environment does not necessarily endorse or support the content of this press release or the website.