Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) Reveals Finalists of 2023 Student Design Challenge: Sustainable Solutions for Sustainable Personal Care Packaging

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Teams from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and California Polytechnic State University Advance

WASHINGTON – The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) today announced the finalists of its 2023 Student Design Challenge.

This year's Design Challenge asked students to create sustainable paperboard packaging for personal care products typically packaged in plastic. 

The Student Design Challenge is an annual competition where university students demonstrate their talent, design skills and innovative approaches to meet real-world customer needs and marketing scenarios. 

Student design projects from the following schools were named as finalists:

  • California Polytechnic State University – SunEase
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout – Luxora Solid Shampoo Bar and Display
  • University of Wisconsin-Stout – Triangular Paperboard Lip Balm

The Student Design Challenge fosters teamwork and innovative thinking to develop sustainable, fiber-based packaging that is recyclable.

"The Student Design Challenge is a meaningful experience for students majoring in packaging design," said Heidi Brock, AF&PA President & CEO. "Each year, students forge groundbreaking packaging solutions, helping highlight our industry’s sustainability leadership. These students are the next generation of packaging thought leadership, and we’re delighted this competition gives them real-world experience.

"The 2023 Student Design Challenge serves as a magnificent platform that unveils the awe-inspiring creativity of aspiring designers in the paperboard packaging industry," said Ben Markens, President of the Paperboard Packaging Council. “It is not only a remarkable opportunity to connect with students, but also a way to discover the motivations behind their desire to join our industry.”

The 3 finalists are invited to attend the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) Fall Meeting & Leadership Conference from October 25-27 in San Diego.

During a special reception, the final placements will be announced. Each team will have the opportunity to present their submissions and showcase their prototype to industry professionals.

For more information, visit:

About the Paperboard Packaging AllianceThe Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) is a joint initiative of the American Forest & Paper Association and the Paperboard Packaging Council. The mission is to promote the benefits of paperboard packaging to influence preference for these materials in packaging design and selection. PPA is a proud supporter of collegiate packaging and design programs across the U.S. and Canada, donating thousands of dollars in scholarships, materials, and classroom resources each year. Alliance membership includes companies representing the full range of mills and converters engaged in the production of paperboard packaging. Additional information about PPA can be found at 

About the Paperboard Packaging CouncilNow in its 93rd year, PPC is the North American association for converters of paperboard packaging and their suppliers. PPC works to grow, promote, and protect the paperboard packaging industry while providing its members with resources and tools to compete successfully in the marketplace. For more information, visit

About the American Forest & Paper Association
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recyclable resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative —Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

Source: AF&PA