The inaugural Packaging New Zealand Scholarship has gone to Jaco Scheepers, a packaging technologist at Synlait Milk.

The announcement of his win took place in front of 500 people during a gala awards dinner for the global packaging community at the Marriott Hotel Surfers Paradise, Queensland. The gala dinner, a joint event between the 2018 PIDA Awards and the international WorldStar Packaging Awards, welcomed packaging professionals from 30 countries.

Scheepers says he has an interest in polymer materials, additives and plastic conversion processes, especially in flexible packaging materials. He says, “During grocery shopping, and where possible elsewhere, I look at different packaging types to satisfy my natural curiosity of materials and packaging.

“I have learned that the integrity, quality or shelf-life, of a product is directly linked to correct material choice and design of the packaging configuration. I would like to broaden my knowledge across a range of different packaging materials, which will help allow me in years to come to develop with the Packaging Team at Synlait Milk great new, and hopefully award-winning, consumer packaging products that are both environmentally friendly and made from sustainable resources.”

Packaging New Zealand, in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP), run the annual scholarship programme for New Zealand to be able to offer a packaging technologist, designer or engineer, the opportunity to complete a Diploma in Packaging Technology to the value of over $9000.

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