Graphic Packaging International (GPI), a provider of paper-based packaging solutions for food, beverage, foodservice and other consumer products, earned a number of awards at the 2020 Paperboard Packaging Council's carton competition, including the top honor, Paperboard Package of the Year, in addition to the Innovation, Sustainability and Folding Carton of the Year awards.

The company’s KeelClip won two accolades: Paperboard Package of the Year and the Innovation award. This paperboard design replaces plastic rings, top clips and shrink wrap multipacks for cans as well as offering merchandising benefits that similar beverage packaging does not. The concept combines an efficient paperboard clip with the benefits of a stabilizing “keel” structure to strengthen the top panel and optimize clip performance. KeelClip works with a wide range of cans and multi-count configurations and reportedly at the speeds required by large beverage operations, allowing brand owners to present a premium and sustainable image with a billboard for branding and can orientation.

The company’s PaperSeal took home the Sustainability award. This barrier-lined paperboard tray, designed for meat, cheese, seafood, fruits and vegetables, and other prepared foods, can eliminate up to 90% of plastic. With a continuous sealing flange, the tray's barrier lining can be easily removed from the paperboard for recycling. It aims to elevate catching the consumer’s eye because the paperboard can be printed in full color on both sides, allowing consumers to quickly locate and select brands and products.

GPI's curved carton design for Stella Artois was named Folding Carton of the Year. The primary design objective of this bottle multipack was to create a distinct package that differentiates the brand on shelf, grabbing consumers' attention while shopping. Customer experience was also top-of-mind, so the design includes a comfortable flex handle and a zipper-like opening feature for easy dispensing.

"With the plastic reduction and substitution agenda gathering pace around the globe, our innovation and design and business development teams are constantly seeking ways to substitute plastic in every market in which have a presence," says Mike Doss, president and CEO of Graphic Packaging International. "When I think about what these awards mean to our team, it reinforces what we have believed all along, that our products address real consumer needs and have the ability to make a positive difference in our world. At the same time, design cannot be sacrificed because consumers are looking for beautiful, functional products that check all their boxes. We're thrilled to have received these awards."

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