The european tube manufacturers association – etma – runs a competition every year to award the best tubes. A top-class jury from the ranks of the member companies votes for the best tubes in each of the five categories: Aluminium Tube, Plastic Tube, Laminate Tube, Prototype and (since 2019) Sustainability.
The winners demonstrate the numerous possibilities of the tube to offer convincing packaging solutions in all kinds of end-use markets. They convincingly show the high quality standards of the tube industry and the innovativeness and creativity of etma’s member companies.
The member companies of the European Tube Manufacturers Association, etma, met in Seville, Spain, at the beginning of October for this year’s annual conference. The winners of the association’s Tube of the Year 2021 competition were chosen in five categories: Aluminium Tubes, Laminate Tubes, Plastic Tubes, Sustainability and Prototypes. Gregor Spengler, etma’s secretary general, was delighted with the high level of participation in the competition: “It clearly shows that our Tube of the Year competition has a high standing in the industry and is regarded as an acknowledged indicator of the performance of the European tube industry.”
The winner in the Aluminium Tubes category was the 5-ml sample tube for Evercalm Redness Relief Serum from Austrian tube producer Tubex Aluminium Tubes. Its client, REN Clean Skincare, is the first luxury beauty brand to offer samples in a monotube instead of hard-to-recycle sachets. The tube is produced from 100 per cent recycled material, of which 95 per cent comes from so-called post-consumer material. The monotube is completely recyclable and fitted with an intelligent aluminium closure system instead of the conventional plastic screw cap. Since the tube entirely consists of aluminium, it can be manufactured in a single production step including closure. The special aluminium alloy which was developed for the production of the tube allows to close the material loop by incorporating recycled aluminium packaging used by end-consumers. In addition, the sample tube has a protective BPA-NI inner coating.
French tubemaker Albéa took the prize in the Plastic Tubes category with its tube for Aflofarm’s Artishoq range. Aflofarm was founded in 1989 and since then has become one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the Polish market. The tube for Aflofarm’s Artishoq is made using Encore PCR resin and is 50 mm in diameter. It has a catchy design with a blue gradient over the entire tube surface which is achieved using 4-colour flexo and white screen printing that matches the blue flip-top closure superbly. Overall, the perfect combination of PCR material and the blue gradient conveys a powerful sustainability message. The successful design coupled with the excellent printing technique creates an impressive appearance at the point of sale. This not only attracts a lot of attention: it also communicates the image of the company and the brand in a highly effective manner.
The winner in the Laminate Tubes category was the Stylo pipette tube developed and produced by Hoffmann Neopac AG from Switzerland for Filorga Laboratoires of Paris. Filorga was founded in 1978 and its products have since become the leading anti-ageing care line in pharmacies and drugstores in France. The Stylo pipette tube for Skin-Unify Radiance cream is writing a new chapter in the success story of Filorga’s products. The new pipette applicator allows the cream to be applied directly to the skin in a precise, consumer-friendly and hygienic way. The aesthetic ring of the Stylo tube enables the product to be dispensed in a targeted manner and protects it perfectly. Thanks to a catchy arrow pictogram, consumers intuitively understand in which direction the ring has to be turned. The cone-shaped closure protects the applicator, and the Polyfoil barrier laminate ensures optimal protection of the formula.
There were two winners in the Sustainability category. One was a tube from the Swiss manufacturer Permapack for a hand cream from Kneipp. The cosmetics brand is celebrating its 130th birthday this year and was looking for an exclusive packaging solution for a new limited-edition hand cream for sale in its stores. Permapack developed a recyclable paper tube because Kneipp has set itself the goal of eliminating the use of plastic packaging by 2025. The winning tube is made of an innovative paper composite. It contains 71 per cent paper and cellulose, and has a remarkable paper feel and appearance. The tube uses an EVOH barrier that is usually used in the beverage sector, for example. The tube is also characterised by the digital printing technology used, which produces unique results. By using HP’s Mosaic software, it is possible to obtain a wide variety of designs with a large number of different colours based on a basic pattern.
The jury selected the Vichy Capital Soleil tube as the other winner in the Sustainability category. It was produced by Albéa France and adopts a similar approach to the other winning tube in this category: it replaces plastic with paper. L’Oréal Vichy is now using this innovation for its sun care product. The paper-based plastic tube, designed as an alternative to a wide variety of packaging solutions for cosmetic products, is a technological breakthrough in the market. It reduces the use of plastic in the tube body and tube shoulder (excluding the closure) by 45 per cent compared to existing solutions and replaces it by FSC-certified cardboard. The production process was adapted to the new technology. The paper tube is suitable for the widest possible range of end-user markets. Besides its sustainability, the tube also impresses with its interesting haptics combined with a fascinating visual appearance.
In the Prototypes category, the winner was a tube from Hoffmann Neopac AG in Switzerland: the Polyfoil mono-material barrier (MMB) tube is a high-performance tube that provides a superior barrier for pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations while being recyclable at the same time. The tube body is manufactured using a unique lamination process, in contrast to the blown or extruded films currently on the market. The advantages are improved barrier performance and more aesthetic options for the tube body. The shoulder and closure of the tube are made of low MFI high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with a minimum quantity of other materials, which only account for two per cent of the total. The tube has pharma-grade contact layers and offers excellent product compatibility and hygienic protection while maintaining the well-known aesthetic characteristics of conventional Polyfoil tubes, even in a metallised version. The tubes are the first mono-material barrier tubes in HDPE to receive full RecyClass Technology & Product Approval. When combined with HDPE screw and hinge closures, the tube can be recycled together with rigid PE packaging.
Concluding, Gregor Spengler said he was more than satisfied with this year’s competition, adding “The high number of participants and the impressive level of quality of the tubes submitted speak for themselves. Despite the difficult economic environment during the pandemic, the innovative strength and creativity of our member companies has continued unabated. This boosts the tube’s position as the packaging material of the future. Such investments in new packaging solutions will ultimately pay off in the form of increased customer and consumer sentiment and the associated market success. I am therefore looking forward with confidence to the further development of the European tube industry.”
For more information, photo and full texts in German, English and French click here: etma-press-release-11-2021