Simplicity ruled at Starpack 2009, the longest running and most prestigious UK packaging awards, which celebrated its 50TH anniversary in style with a gala dinner and award ceremony at the Birmingham NEC on September 30.

Organised by IOP: The Packaging Society, categories included Technical Innovation, Environment, Design and Marketing, Logistic Solutions and the newly introduced Machinery Excellence Award. Star turns accentuated how far the sector has come in answering some of today’s critical questions on climate change and consumer convenience.

And while simplicity was the key to many solutions, successful entrants also brought pizzazz to the occasion with some technically excellent and inspiring up-market designs.

Taking place during the PPMA Show 2009, the down turn in the economy had no effect on the innovative bent of the packaging supply chain with 64 winners of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stars, plus commended certificates, from some 200 entries across 16 categories.

Judges were excited by the quality and number of entrants and the ability of many to avoid the trap of producing “clever packs” just for the sake of it. Head judge Tony Wood, former director, Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association, said: “I was impressed by the number of entries that went back to basics. Many entrants allowed the pack to function and deliver brand requirements through good graphics and eye catching design.

“Sensibly many entrants were trying to be ‘innovative’ by using the materials and processes they have to best effect within the cost constraints that undoubtedly exist.”

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