The sustainable packaging community celebrates achievements

By Lisa McTigue Pierce in Sustainable Packaging on April 25, 2017

The best in sustainability—people, packaging, partnerships and processes—sparkled on Monday night, April 24, at the 2017 SPC Innovator Awards celebration. Organized by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the competition recognizes outstanding ideas, efforts and achievements in sustainability and packaging.

The winners of this year’s contest received their awards on the first night of the SustPack 2017 conference, jointly produced by SPC and Smithers Pira, and with Packaging Digest serving as the media partner.

This is the third year of the competition, renamed from the previously known Trashies Awards. As Steve Mahler, design manager and sustainable package development manager at Caraustar Industries—an SPC member and the originator of the competition—explained at the award presentation ceremony, “After two years of having this event, we realized that everyone in this room is not just a packaging person—you’re an innovator. So we decided it was time to call this award what it really is: an innovator’s award. Without innovation, we can’t progress, we can’t come up with the new ideas to shape everything.”

SPC awarded one winner in each of the competition’s four categories: Outstanding Person; Packaging Innovation; Outcome of a Partnership; and Breakthrough Process.

The winners are:

Page 1. Outstanding Person: Chad Kreye, senior packaging engineer, Target

Page 2. Packaging Innovation: CleanFlake Solution from Avery Dennison

Page 3. Outcome of a Partnership: Hefty Energy Bag program partnership between The Dow Chemical Co., Reynolds Consumer Products, First Star Recycling, ConAgra Brands, Recyclebank and Systech Environmental Corp.

Page 4. Breakthrough Process: Keurig Green Mountain materials recovery facility (MRF) Flow Study Methodology



Look at his smile! Chad Kreye, Target’s senior packaging engineer, owned brands packaging, shows his appreciation for winning the 2017 SPC Innovators Award in the People category.


1. Outstanding Person: Chad Kreye, senior packaging engineer, Target

With passion, tenacity, technical expertise and “memorable warmth,” Kreye has made the daunting task of adding the How2Recycle label to thousands of products over years’ time look easy. He initiated a custom work flow process that has allowed the retailer to apply the How2Recycle label to a “wildly diverse and voluminous array of packaging types, with the highest level of efficiency and quality,” according to the entry.

As leader of Target’s How2Recycle team, Kreye has spurred the passion of the entire group, inspiring them to achieve a remarkable feat. No other How2Recycle member company has added the label to as many packaging types as Target. As of today, more than 1,700 Target items use the How2Recycle label.

But the real kicker is that it’s not just Target that benefits from Kreye’s energetic work ethic. “Since Chad has driven Target’s implementation of How2Recycle in the label program’s early days, the operational insights and solutions Chad has helped not only uncover and solve—but also proactively predict—will benefit all future How2Recycle member companies.”

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
500 characters remaining