This year's winner in the aluminium tube category was The POREfessional tube by Benefit Cosmetics, which belongs to the luxury group LVMH. The well-known Californian cosmetics brand relies on aluminium tubes for the relaunch of this fast-smoothing pore mask. These tubes are produced by Alltub France from more than 95% post-consumer recycled (PCR) aluminium. For their fantastic look, the tubes have been coated with a matt, transparent lacquer that shows off the tube's brushed aluminium to excellent effect. A specially developed press tooling reduces the intensity of the extrusion marks along the entire length of the tube, giving the brushed effect an even better look. Another challenge lies in the printing of this tube, achieving the eye-catching turquoise matt and gloss effect on the front face and obtaining the quality of print registration required at the circular matt/gloss interfaces on the tube. A truly shining example of the fascinating design possibilities of an aluminium tube.
In the plastic tubes category, a tube from Payot for its new Essential hair care range won the race. The tubes come from the French manufacturer Albéa and are produced in one of its competence centres for extruded plastic tubes based in Germany. At first glance, the winning tubes impress with their wonderful, matt colouring and a clear, elegantly reduced design. The tubes are produced with Albéa's Thin Wall PCR MAX technology. For the closure, a matt PP Slight Cap was chosen, which is one of the lightest on the market thanks to its flat design. The shape and colour of the cap perfectly match the proportions and design of the tube, thus ensuring an absolutely harmonious appearance. This perfect combination of Thin Wall PCR MAX and the PP Slight Cap enables the brand to launch a very light tube with a high post- consumer recycled (PCR) material content.
The winner in the laminate tube category was the Silky Comfort Argan and Jojoba tube from Magdis Cosmetics, the largest cosmetics manufacturer on the Croatian market and a supplier of sophisticated natural cosmetics. The tubes of BIOBAZA Body Lotion, produced by the Slovenian manufacturer KimPai Tuba, have taken the market by storm with their exceptional appearance. With its convincing printed image and minimalist, understated design, the simple elegance of the tube represents the brand's commitment to sustainability, eco-friendliness and sophistication. The tube's low profile cap and shoulder minimize plastic use by a staggering 60%, adding to its impressive eco-friendly credentials. The manufacturer's unique and lustrous MLL material not only makes the tube conspicuous and eye-catching, but it is also recognised by the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) as a recyclable material. All components of the tubes are made of polyethylene making it a mono-material and recyclable product. As a final touch of finesse, compostable inks are used for the digital printing of the tube, thus enhancing the product’s overall appeal.
First place in the sustainability category went to an aluminium tube from the Japanese consumer goods company Kao as part of the reconfiguration of the packaging of its well-known product Goldwell TOPCHIC Permanent Hair Color. The tubes are produced by the German manufacturer Linhardt. The aim of the joint development with Kao was to use post-consumer recyclate (PCR) in the entire packaging to significantly reduce the carbon footprint. Both components of the packaging - and thus both types of material - are now produced with PCR material: the tube made of 100% PCR aluminium, the closure made of 100% PCR plastic. With the use of PCR aluminum slugs, the carbon footprint decreases by 92% (cradle-to-gate). The manufacturer’s PCR packaging contains 100% post-consumer recyclate made from end-of-life aluminum scrap like cable wires or lithographic plates. This way, the resource intensive effort of collecting, sorting and cleansing needed for packaging-to-packaging recycling can be significantly reduced. In addition, these sources of PCR are characterized by a high material availability and thus supply reliability. The supply chain is transparent and traceable. The 100% PCR plastic for the closure comes from the “yellow bag” system in Europe. A closed material cycle, which also ensures CO2 savings with its short transport routes.
Finally, in the prototype category, the jury chose a range of aluminium tubes from Alltub Italia as the winner of the competition. With its winning innovation, the tube producer reacted to the increasing popularity of aluminium tubes on the market for high-end cosmetics. The attention and customer wishes are increasingly focusing on a design-oriented, extraordinary and unmistakable appearance of the tubes. With the introduction of its in-line over-varnishing application technique, Alltub Italia has developed an innovation that makes the aluminium tube even more attractive. With this new technology, aluminium tubes can in future be equipped and designed with a wide variety of unique and refined external coating finishes, which provide the very special look of the tube. The following effects, for example, can be realised from a range of possibilities: Soft Touch, Pearl Glaze, Iridescent Glaze or Multi-Glitter. This variety in choice of coating effects offers companies and brands attractive possibilities to add value to their products and gain new markets.
etma Secretary General Gregor Spengler is satisfied with the high number of participants and the outstanding quality level of this year's competition. "But what makes me particularly happy," says Spengler in his review of etma’s competition, "is the extremely lively participation in the prototype category. Here alone, a third of all submitted tubes went to the start. I see this as a very positive signal and a convincing indication of the continuing innovative spirit of our member companies. Our industry is obviously well positioned for the further development of the flexible tube as a packaging material of the future.”