Conestoga news

August 7, 2021 12:42 PM

Packaging engineering student receives industry award

Lea Belo, a final-year student in Conestoga’s Packaging Engineering Technician program, has placed third in the 2021 Student AmeriStar Package Award Competition.  

Conestoga College_L. Belo kraft bubble mailer design.jpg
Packaging Engineering Technician student Lea Belo placed third in the 2021 Student AmeriStar Package Award Competition with a recyclable kraft bubble mailer design.

Hosted annually by the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP), the AmeriStar Package Awards is one of the most exclusive competitions in the industry, recognizing package design excellence in multiple categories. The student award category honours the most innovative designs developed by post-secondary students from accredited institutions.

“We can always count on receiving some great and innovative entries from our students,” said Jim George, director of education at IoPP, during the virtual awards presentation. “This year’s student AmeriStar winners once again bring confidence that the future of packaging is in good hands with the next generation of packaging professionals.”

Belo’s winning design entry was a recyclable kraft bubble mailer. A staple in e-commerce, bubble mailers are favoured for being low cost, flexible and durable, however, are typically not recycled due to the mix of packaging materials. Belo’s design maintains original features while addressing adverse environmental impacts. The bubble material is partially glued to the kraft paper, and perforations along the width of the envelope allow consumers to easily separate components for recycling and reuse.

A panel of judges pulled from various sectors across the packaging industry scored submissions in 17 categories, including innovation, product protection, economics, package performance and environmental impact. Winning entries receive industry-wide recognition.

A full list of AmeriStar Package Awards Competition winners is available online.

With more than 3,000 members, IoPP is the leading individual membership organization serving the educational and networking needs of the packaging community. The association supports industry development through programs and events which address packaging-related business and technology.

Conestoga’s Packaging Engineering Technician program provides training in the structural design of packaging materials. Through hands-on delivery and optional co-op, the program focuses on the product protection, durability and sustainability of packaging that utilizes materials such as metal, glass, plastic, paper and corrugated.