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GWP win Gold, Silver and Best in Show at UK Starpack Awards

Matt Dobson: Last Updated 16th February 2024
Posted In: Awards | Company News xx 31179

GWP Packaging sweep the board at Starpack

Gold, Silver, Greenstar Sustainability and Best in Show prizes at packaging awards

GWP Packaging is proud to announce that two packs that entered the Starpack competition have won several awards.

Packaging designed for the James Dyson Foundation won a Gold and Greenstar Sustainability Award in the B2B Transit, Industrial and Distribution category, alongside the “Best in Show” award.

Packaging designed for Haberdashery also won a Silver award in the Consumer and home delivery category.

The final results were announced at the glittering awards ceremony held in London on 22nd February 2018.

The Starpack Industry Awards are now in their 59th year and are the UK’s undisputed premier annual awards scheme.

The Awards recognise excellence in packaging innovation, design and development whilst also focusing on personal contributions.

David Mason, Bill Chapman, Mike Poynter, Jay Daggar and Matt Dobson of GWP collect the 2018 Starpack sustainability Award
Members of the GWP team collect the Starpack "Packaging Sustainability" award at the 2018 event.

What are the Starpack Awards?

The Starpack Awards was an industry programme recognising excellence in packaging innovation, design and development. The industry awards launched in 1959, running for 59 years until the last event in 2018. A design manufactured by GWP for Dyson won the final “best in show” award. A student competition remains an annual event, however.

Winning a Starpack Award, as well as providing recognition for a company’s designers, also offers potential global recognition through entry into the Worldstar Awards.

Starpack awards

In essence, the objectives of the Starpack Award scheme are to promote best practices amongst packaging designers and companies, focus on innovation in design, materials and construction, and maintain solid environmental credentials.

Perhaps most importantly, it also aims to highlight and promote the needs of the consumer and end user, with functionality and usability throughout its lifecycle (including disposal) key factors.

However, the latest Awards saw restructuring not only to recognise the critical pillars of excellence in packaging innovation, design and development but also to offer a refreshed focus on personal contributions.

As such, a thorough judging process considers all elements of an entry’s evolution – from project brief to materials used, techniques developed to pack creation, the engineering required, and the team involved.

By winning these Starpack Awards – the UK packaging industry’s most prestigious and long-standing awards scheme – GWP Packaging has reinforced its hard-earned reputation for design excellence, innovation and customer satisfaction through attention to detail and manufacturing excellence.

Starpack Awards 2018

As mentioned, there were some significant changes to the format and judging criteria for the latest Starpack Awards.

As a result, it was clear from the outset that the judges wanted to hear about the people involved, not just the companies.

Successful innovation is often the result of collaboration between skilled individuals and is the outcome of combined skills and how these work together to complete a project that delivers real innovation.

This approach sits well with GWP Packaging’s focus on developing staff and maintaining a large design team relative to the company’s size and industry competitors.

The competition now aims to recognise these individuals in its Starpack competition. As a result, changes were made to the entry format to enable companies to highlight these skills in their organisation alongside promoting their innovation focus at a corporate level.

However, the focus on innovation remains from previous incarnations of the awards.

The importance of innovation is crucial in the approach to a design challenge, how materials are used, the processes developed to create the packaging, or the engineering required to assemble, fill or handle the pack.

As such, judges considered not only the packs’ attractiveness but also the challenges overcome in their creation.

Starpack Categories

So what are the categories and criteria for entry?

Well, the complete list of categories that businesses can enter packaging into are as follows:

B2C (Business to Consumer)

  • Food and Drink, including Pet Food
  • Personal Care, including Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
  • Non-Food
  • Home Delivery

B2B (Business to Business)

  • Shelf Ready/Merchandising Packs/Point of Sale
  • Transit/Industrial/Distribution


  • Engineering Innovation
  • Production Line Innovation (Development/Internal/Interaction)


  • Inclusive Design Award
  • Greenstar Sustainability Award
  • Shooting Star Award
  • Packaging Development Team / Person of the Year Award

Categories GWP entered

GWP entered 2 categories – B2C: Home Delivery and B2B: Transit / Industrial / Distribution.

The B2C: Home Delivery category covers any packaging intended to safely deliver any product to personal consumers by home delivery services.

This category is aimed primarily at internet retailers but includes delivery packs used by conventional retailers.

As the name suggests, the B2B: Transit / Industrial / Distribution category covers any and all B2B packaging.

However, the category also applies to consumer goods or industrial products. Entrants may be packaging designed to move components and sub-assemblies from one manufacturer to another, different locations in a business, or end users of the packaged products.

More about GWP Packaging’s successful entries

Two of three packs entered by GWP Packaging were successful in being shortlisted – and ultimately winning – an award.

The first of these was designed and manufactured for The James Dyson Foundation, consisting of a reusable, multi-trip solution for the transit of educational kits and literature to schools and colleges.

In essence, the brief was to create a reusable, multi-trip packaging solution that allowed the James Dyson Foundation to supply a Dyson Desk-Cooler product and all supporting literature to schools and colleges nationwide via courier.

Dyson Starpack entry
The Dyson Starpack entry, which won the Gold, Sustainability and best in show awards.

The judges recognised major innovations to provide a fully recyclable transit solution that protected valuable/fragile items over multiple journeys. Being fully reusable, aiding logical packing and unpacking with lightweight internal fittings and not using foam or EPS were also highlighted. It also had to reflect the James Dyson Foundation’s (and parent company’s) “engineering ethos”.

The second successful pack was for high-end lighting brand Haberdashery, creating a pendant shipper to allow for safe transit of eCommerce orders for a fragile and expensive glass pendant product.

This brief raised three main objectives – protection, minimising environmental impact and customer experience (as the pack was to ship eCommerce orders of highly fragile and expensive – approx. £1,000 RRP – glass pendants).

Haberdashery Starpack entry
The Haberdashery Starpack entry, winner of a silver award in the 2018 competition.

Major innovations of this pack were the use (and structural design) of corrugated fittings that not only eliminate the need for foam or EPS, but also create fresh air around an exceptionally fragile/expensive glass pendant. The overall volumetric size of the pack and customer experience were both maintained.

The final pack entered, which narrowly missed out, was designed for Swannack, a manufacturer of high-quality cricket bats.

Whilst the major innovation was the integrated corrugated fitting allowing the elimination of bubble wrap (improving appearance, cost and environmental impact), the “story” of this pack was shifting the expectations of the customer (Swannack). It emphasises the critical role packaging plays in brand positioning and driving customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Swannack Starpack entry
The Swannack Starpack entry that - although missing out on a trophy - was highly commended by the judging panel.

Historical successes at GWP

GWP Packaging has a history of entering the Starpack Awards and has won awards on many occasions.

Perhaps the most successful previous pack entered was one produced for Bendicks.

This pack acted as a transit container – safely transporting the food products within – but once in retail stores, it became the “point of sale” dispenser.

By fulfilling both roles, the packaging cut down on waste and handling of the goods before sale. The packaging was also much more efficient for retailers and end users by simplifying the overall process.

Bendicks cardboard transit packaging
The Bendicks cardboard transit packaging had to protect products during shipping and act as a POS unit.

The dual purpose impressed the Starpack Award judges, resulting in the design being voted top of its category ahead of solid competition.

Other winners include an ESD-safe collapsible tote used for material handling, a Tesco Finest pack for online selling of fresh flowers, a corrugated presentation hamper for a small business and a box used for transporting high-value UV filtration systems.

These historical successes are, of course, in addition to other prizes that GWP have won, including the Innovation in Packaging Award and the Wiltshire Life Business of the Year Award.

The next step? WorldStar Awards

Having been shortlisted for a national award, GWP Packaging is eligible to enter the international equivalent of the Starpack Awards – Worldstar.

Organised by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and running for more than 40 years, WorldStar is the leading international award in packaging.

The competition aims to illustrate and promote the continued advancement of packaging design and technology, creating a “living standard” of international packaging excellence.

WorldStars are presented only to packaging that has already won an award in a recognised national or regional competition, either in the current or previous year.

Worldstar packaging awards
Having been shortlisted for a national award, GWP Packaging is eligible to enter the international equivalent of the Starpack Awards – Worldstar.

A panel of judges decide the awards, who must determine that a pack is superior in its category and market whilst also better in its class in execution or innovation than others.

The panel consists of country representatives from WPO and the International Packaging Press Organisation.

Previous awards have received an astonishing 291 entries from 35 countries worldwide.

There are also special awards for Marketing, Sustainability, Packaging that saves food and the ultimate “President’s Award”.

Please go to for further details.

Starpack student awards

Besides the industry awards, Starpack also focuses on future packaging designers through its’ student awards.

These awards were introduced in 1964 and strive to present briefs relevant to various courses. Awards could focus on courses with a graphic design emphasis, structural/product design, and even students studying materials/technology courses.

The Student Starpack Awards are intended for potential professional designers – leading in the past directly to many employment opportunities for successful entrants.

This programme aligns with GWP Groups’ focus on encouraging the next generation of packaging designers, including previous projects undertaken with Swindon College.

Ultimately, the expectation is that entrants should challenge the conventional way of thinking and not be afraid to break the rules with creativity and ideas.

Find out more

To find out more about the Starpack awards, please visit the Starpack site by clicking here.

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About the Author

Matt Dobson, GWP Group Marketing Manager

Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for over ten years, joining GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio]

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