deSter Packathon: the Sustainable Packaging Challenge!



Last month, the first deSter Packathon was organized. This thrilling event brought sustainable thinkers and creative minds from all fields together to revolutionize the future of food packaging. The competition aimed to accelerate the shaping of a greener tomorrow. With the deSter Packathon Grand Finale being a great success, it certainly did!

Check out the aftermovie!

The challenge

Shifting from single-use packaging to reusable packaging is not only about the product design. It requires an holistic approach with an answer on the collection, reverse logistics, and incentivizing people. We asked participants to submit an innovative idea that would answer those requirements for food packaging in one or more of the following segments: events, take-out, home delivery and retail. Every idea was judged on its desirability, feasibility and viability.

Who could participate?

We extended a warm invitation to all sustainability enthusiasts, experts, students, and visionary business minds. Whether a participant was a seasoned professional or an aspiring student, we believed that diverse perspectives foster groundbreaking solutions.

The Grand Finale

On 27th February 2024, deSter invited those who submitted the top five ideas to our state-of-the-art office in Hoogstraten, Belgium. This exclusive full day event was an opportunity for the finalists to collaborate with our expert designers, product managers, and engineers. They had access to our resources and expertise throughout the day to further refine, develop and prototype your ideas. In the afternoon, each team pinched their polished proposals to a distinguished panel of judges. The presentations were followed by a Q&A session, providing a platform for constructive feedback, and a closing ceremony to get to know the other teams and employees of deSter. An intensive, constructive but most of all fun day! 

Who was shortlisted?

  • Restobox: the reusable takeout box
  • The Hungry Bee: reusable packaging that serves both food and drinks
  • Way To Go: addition to the regular yellow waste bin to fit seamlessy into the already-existing waste collection
  • WasteWise: reusable packaging system around university campus
  • EcoMarket: solution for single-use packaging of fruit and vegetables without loss of branding

Which concepts won?

1. RestoBox

“Let’s say bye to the waste of the fry”: this funny and memorable tagline summarizes the winning concept RestoBox very well.

Tobías van Oudheusden and Seppe De Poorter (University of Antwerp)  invented a reusable box that can be used to dine in-store and for take- away, eg,  fries restaurants.

2. WasteWise

Alex Blyweert, Azira Deryckere and Eline Praille (University of Antwerp)  aimed to help university students with reducing their waste and showing environental responsibility. They invented a reusable packaging system around university campus, linked to a reward system.

“Scan, earn, cycle, repeat!”

3. EcoMarket

Borre Van Herck and Casper Oeyen (University of Antwerp) wanted to rethink our way of shopping, to reduce the waste in supermarkets. They created an interactive and appetizing solution for single-use packaging of fruit and vegetables (which will be forbidden), with attention for the branding of those products. 

What did the participants think?

I learned more today than during a full year at school”

“A great and fun experience!”

“It is great to work on something that’s much more than just a concept. You know it could be realized, and working in a professional environment immediately makes it more  tangible”

I learned a lot, not only how to make a concept better, but especially how I pitch an idea and how to prepare for it. It was the first time that I had to present for such an audience.”

“This Packathon confirms once again that it’s not only about designing a product, but even more important: designing a whole concept and lifecycle of a product” 

Thanks a lot for your submissions!

We are grateful for your contribution and the effort you put into it. We received many great ideas and are looking forward to a second edition.

If you have any questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to us at