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European Metal Packaging extends deadline for student competition Empac Challenge

Winner will be announced during Interpack 2011

European Metal Packaging (Empac), the association bringing together European producers of rigid metal packaging, announces it has extended the deadline for the student competition Empac Challenge – The Next 200 Years to coincide with Empac’s participation at Interpack in May 2011, the world’s most important trade fair for the packaging industry.

Empac extended the deadline after participating students said they needed more time to develop their design entries. The competition calls on students throughout Europe to create sustainable innovations for the manufacturing, sales, marketing, storage and transport, and recycling of the metal can, such as creative design ideas, new uses for recycled cans, or a creative communications or marketing campaign that can help raise awareness about the unique properties of metal packaging. Empac will offer prize money of €10,000 to the winning student or team of students.

The new final date for applications is midnight on 5 May, 2011, and the winner will be announced by Empac during next year’s Interpack exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany. Empac will be represented during Interpack at the Metal Packaging Plaza exhibit, which will be a meeting point for the international metal packaging industry and its suppliers during the trade fair.

The Empac Challenge was launched earlier this year in celebration of the 200 year anniversary of the invention and patenting of the metal can. For the last two centuries, metal packaging has been in continuous evolution to improve the way it preserves and protects the nutrition value and freshness of food while helping to prevent food wastage. Through this competition, Empac challenges students from across Europe to participate in providing a direction for the future evolution of the metal can, or an entirely new and ‘out of the box’ strategy for how to communicate around the sustainability of metal packaging in the future.

"After evolving for 200 years, the metal can is a very well constructed product, but there can still be done more in the lifecycle of the can to reduce carbon emissions, whether this be by reinventing closing mechanisms, or coming up with a new use with food, paint or aerosols launching cans in other markets. The winner could also do something as simple, yet helpful, as coming up with a sales, marketing or PR strategy that can help the industry more effectively communicate the sustainability of the can and its unique features," said Gordon Shade, Empac CEO.

The challenge for students will be to find new and creative ways to raise the sustainability profile of metal packaging while benefiting consumers and manufacturers.

"We are appealing to students to come up with simple and clever ways of approaching the production and promotion of the metal can in order to highlight its unique characteristics and increase sustainability. Students can easily participate by filling in our application form and supplying supporting documentation. No prototypes are required," added Shade.

Empac is tasked with defending and promoting the rigid metal packaging industry in Europe by communicating on the sustainability and the many unique advantages of metal packaging. The organisation provides information and support to its members and regulatory bodies in the European Union and disseminates best manufacturing practice and guidelines through technical committees comprising acknowledged experts in their field.

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