TV presenter Hilary Barry was MC at the Pride In Print Awards.

A fully recyclable shrink sleeve covering an Ajax Spray n Wipe bottle and Affco Kitchen Company’s packaging for its 10 Premium Quality Beef Burgers have won major awards at the 2021 Pride In Print Awards.

The prestigious awards are seen as the benchmarking event for the printing, packaging, signage and graphic arts industries and attract hundreds of entries from all over New Zealand each year. The awards were announced at a gala dinner in Auckland hosted by TVNZ’s presenter Hilary Barry and comedian Ben Hurley.

The Ajax shrink sleeve won the Industry Development & Creativity category and the burger packaging took home best in flexographic process.

Three years of development went into the production of the shrink sleeve, which was entered by Wellington-based Gravure Packaging Ltd under sub-category environmental print products.

Pride In Print judge Brian Landry said it was a “fantastic next step” to see a company bringing a new product to the market that potentially closed the loop in recycling. “The circular economy is much bigger than the composting one and once the Government mandates full recycling, this will be an environmental plus.”

The company said they had developed a special ink in-house in conjunction with DIC to allow the complete closure of the rPET (recycling) loop with the new sleeve, plus a new recyclable film, a tricky task with manufacturers being based offshore.

Gravure Packaging says the ink can be washed out of the sleeve and even if it leaks into normal wastewater, it is still compostable because it is fully biodegradable.

The new film used, called CrystalShrink, is fully compatible with PET containers.

“Clear PET containers are now widely recyclable but their shrink sleeves and labels are not. They are being extracted out of the PET bottle recycling process, and are typically sent to land refill. We were looking to develop a product that was compatible,” the company said on its entry.

“Specifically, the innovation is a redesign of PET chemistry and applied inks. On top of this, the film is 50% post-consumer recycled content. That’s an innovation in itself,” the company claims.

“This innovation will allow our client to annually save 35,000kgs of virgin PET Resin due to high recycled content and potentially save 70,000kgs of landfill because of the possibility of recycling everything back into the PET stream.”

Marvellous beef burger packaging

Meanwhile, in awarding Sealed Air Hamilton best flexographic process for the Affco Kitchen Company beef burger wrappers, the judges said the packaging showed a high degree of pre-press and good technical printing skills.

Judge Grant Amelung said the registration was excellent and the printer ‘did a marvellous job’ with the colours they used.

Traditionally, jobs like the Beef Burger pouches were printed using spot colours, but in this instance the web is reverse printed using four process colours and backed with a printed white, the spot colour being produced out of a combination of the process colours, he said.

“This reduces set up and change-over times. This way there were no spot colours required to match or to register to.”

Hat trick for Whittaker’s

Whittaker’s chocolate wrappers and their printer Gravure Packaging Ltd accomplished a hat trick with yet another wrapper winning best in gravure process at this year’s awards along with best in the Flexible Packaging category.

Whittaker’s chocolate wrappers took out the Best in Process Gravure now for three years in a row, and twice won the category for Flexible Packaging. It won both category and process this year for the Creamy Milk Berry Forrest 250g block wrapper – with the flavour itself a new one, having been introduced to consumers last year.

Judges were again impressed with the strikingly realistic images on the wrapper, saying the gold colour – a new formulation in this job which helped with overall appearance – would have been difficult to print over. They put the degree of difficulty at more than eight out of 10.

The 2021 Pride In Print Supreme Award this year went to Wakefield Digital, of Wellington, for a glossy, limited edition photographic book on the Christchurch Town Hall refurbishment, put together by photographer Olivia Spencer-Bower. It was titled Christchurch Town Hall: A Conservation Story.

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