Press Releases

Paperboard Packaging Alliance Announces 2016 Student Design Challenge Winners

CONTACT: Katharine Eaton
(202) 463-2436,

WASHINGTON – The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) announced the winners of its 2016 Student Design Challenge at a luncheon on Nov. 7 at PACKEXPO in Chicago.

Participants were asked to design an unconventional, innovative premium package for dry goods food packaging that contains a structural component that enhances its function and stands out on upscale grocery store shelves. All submitted designs can be viewed at

“Congratulations to the 2016 Student Design Challenge winners,” said American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman. “Their paperboard packages stood out among designs from 16 schools – the highest participation rate since the challenge’s inception.”

“The participating designers showed great skill and promise,” said Paperboard Packaging Council President Ben Markens. “We hope their Student Design Challenge experience will make them consider a career in the paperboard packaging industry.”

2016 PPA Student Design Challenge Winners

1st  Place: University of Florida-Gainesville (UFL)
Entry Name: InHarvest
Team: Kyle Yerdon, Wilson Lam, Michelle Pollard, Kimberly Hafner, Austin Pluskot
Professor:  Bruce Welt

2nd Place: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Entry name: L’orto
Team: Wentian Chen, Nathan Gamson, Grace Milton, Marina Solis
Professor: Bill Wynkoop

3rd Place: Virginia Tech (VT)
Team: Vina Le, Loc Pham, Anthony Tran, Miguel Comparativo
Professor: Robert Bush

Winning student teams received a cash prize to share among their team members and their respective schools received a cash award to support their academic program. First place: $5,500 to the team, $5,000 to the school; second place: $3,000 to the team, $3,000 to the school; and third place: $1,500 to the team, $1,500 to the school. Winners were chosen by a team of paperboard packaging industry professionals who rated submissions based on their response to the competition scenario, innovative structural and graphic design, functionality, and quality of the finished product.

For more information about the PPA Student Design Challenge, like the Paperboard Packaging Alliance on Facebook and visit

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About the Paperboard Packaging Alliance

The 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 American Forest & Paper Association

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

About the Paperboard Packaging Council

PPC is the leading industry association serving suppliers and converters of all forms of paperboard packaging. PPC works to grow, promote, and protect the paperboard packaging industry while providing its members with resources and tools to compete effectively and successfully in the marketplace. For more information, call 413.686.9191 or visit