The Dieline Awards 2020 had some of the most amazing innovative entries but Pearl caught my attention for two main reasons – it was the plastic-free innovation winner of the year and it looked straight out of the little mermaid’s treasure box! Pearl is a paper pod packing solution by BillerudKorsnas and Syntegon who wanted to create a more sustainable fiber-based alternative with a premium aesthetic while also focusing on the portions to reduce waste.

Portion packaging is common in many industries but most widely used in the beauty industry, notorious for their waste generation, for the sample product packaging. Brands usually resort to plastic because it can easily be molded and designed to fit their image and unique experiences and because paper packaging hasn’t been accepted as ‘pretty’ just yet – Pearl is here to change that outlook. The designers combined their work on two previous projects that also revolved around replacing plastic packaging with sustainable alternatives. “Inspired by life and shapes of the sea, we then conceptualized the project named Pearl. What makes it special are the 3D-properties enabled by the FibreForm paper and manufacturing technology. Resulting in unique tactile experiences and embossed shapes of the paper shell, driving new business opportunities,” said the design team.

This paper pod aims to replace the plastic for product samples, inserts, refills, portion packs, and disposable packaging for sustainable brand owners that match their high business goals with high environmental ambitions. Pearl is a natural packaging alternative that fits within the aesthetics of the beauty industry while also reducing its negative impact on the environment. Designs like Pearl are important to showcase the malleability of eco-friendly materials to that they can be more widely accepted while still being “on brand” and I might argue that being eco-conscious in 2020 should be “on-brand” for everyone.

Designers: BillerudKorsnas and Syntegon

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