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KNUST wins Gold Award at the International Packaging Design Student Competition 2022 by WPO

Thu 13 Apr 2023 Humility Daniella Nyame and Christian Addo Sarfo
Sankofa i

KNUST Wins Save Food Gold Award at The International Packaging Design Student Competition 2022 By WPO

The World Packaging Organization (WPO) has been organizing the WorldStar awards since 1970. This is a big competition that honours the best packaging from all over the world. The competition showcases the latest advances in packaging design and technology, and sets a high standard for others to follow.

The main aim of the WorldStar awards is to show people how important packaging is in our daily lives, and to recognize the hard work of brand owners, designers, students, and branding agencies who are creating packaging for the future. The competition also encourages students from all over the world to get involved in packaging design and acknowledges the role of packaging in responding to new challenges and global trends such as sustainability, hygiene, and emerging trends.

As part of the opportunities gained from the 4th edition of the Royal Crown Packaging Limited’s Research and Innovation Challenge, the researched topics from the four universities was entered into the 2022 WPO WorldStar Student Competition.

Humility Daniella Nyame and Christian Addo Sarfo from the Department of Communication Design; and Samuella Obuama Aggrey from the Packaging Technology Department represented KNUST and Ghana in the WorldStar Student competition.


About the Project: Sankofa Red Gold Eco-Pack Stackable Composite Crate

The team entered “Sankofa Red Gold Eco-Pack Stackable Composite Crate” in the Save Food Category. The crate is made from wood plastic composite for transporting tomatoes. Approximately 440,000 tons of tomato are consumed annually, equivalent to 40 percent of household vegetable expenditure (Asselt et al. 2018). The materials for the package are environmentally friendly; the wood component is biodegradable because of the wood fiber and the plastic component is recycled plastic to help reduce plastic waste and create value out of it. The crate is to be stacked in four layers.

The Sankofa crate prototype
The Sankofa crate prototype

The crate has two inserts to reduce the compression stress which causes tomatoes to have bruises resulting in early perishability. Fresh tomatoes are being transported in big wooden crates, most of the tomatoes get bruises and damage before reaching the market as a result of the quantity in one crate. There is less risk of musculoskeletal disorders because the quantity in one crate is less as compared to the old crate. The crate can be used to store other fruits and vegetables. The name Sankofa Red Gold Eco-pack was derived from the Adinkra symbol Sankofa which means to retrieve or go back and get(literally) and this traces the package to the Ghanaian culture. Red Gold is another name given to tomato due to the revenue it generates.              

Sankofa crate prototype
The Sankofa crate prototype

The team's sustainable packaging design for tomatoes is a practical and innovative solution that addresses the significant challenge of post-harvest loss in Ghana and other developing countries. The use of locally available waste materials, such as WPC, and the integration of removable plastic sheets as inserts provide an environmentally friendly and efficient packaging design. This design can help reduce post-harvest loss, improve food security, and contribute to sustainable agricultural practices.

Out of 272 successful entries from 30 countries, Sankofa Red Gold Eco-Pack Stackable Composite Crate emerged as one of the 10 highest scoring entries which won Certificates of Merit and the highest achievement was a Gold Medal for Save Food category in the WPO 2022 WorldStar STUDENT Awards. This is the first time Ghana has won such a prestigious award in this competition.

We take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation to Royal Crown Packaging Limited, IOPG, KNUST mentors and most importantly Mr. Kofi Essuman (Packaging Expert and CEO at GS1 Ghana) for all the support.


Download the Worldstar Student 2022 Winners Brochure below.