UNBOXING – Sustainable Packaging Symposium

Sharing and discussing new materials and processes for more sustainable packaging design with companies, technologists and green minded entrepreneurs.

Symposium + Exhibition

Packaging can be a great help to protect items during transportation, providing information and showcasing its content. On the other hand, due to their relatively short lifespan, they are a growing problem due to their use of resources and waste, often with difficulties to dispose or recycle. How do we deal with this?

During this public sustainable packaging symposium at Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle we are bringing together manufacturers of sustainable packaging alternatives, a technology expert, a sustainable entrepreneur and zero waste store representative, to discuss the current status and future outlook of more sustainable packaging design.

Besides sharing existing solutions and discussing new developments with the public, we also hope to inspire our students for a three-day packaging prototyping workshop which will take place after the symposium at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle in collaboration with its startup center Designhaus Halle.


Program 24 February 2020

  • From 16:00 – 18.00
  • Material Market: Exhibition of sustainable packaging materials
  • Room: Burg Material Collection (1st floor, Library)
  • 18.00 – 19.30
  • Symposium: Lectures (English) followed by Q&A with the audience
  • Speakers: Krown – Jan Berbee, PaperFoam – Jasper Groefsema, Zelfo Technology – Richard Hurding, DYCLE – Ayumi Matsuzaka, Zero Waste Store – tbd, Moderation – Michael Antons and Prof. Aart van Bezooijen
  • Room: Seminar Room (ground floor, Library)
  • Location: Burg Library Building, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design, Neuwerk 7, 06108 Halle (Saale)
  • Registration: Admission is free, no registration required.
  • More information: burg-halle.de/unboxing


Exhibitors and Speakers

Krown is a biotech company that makes products with Mycelium and organic waste. Krown’s primary markets are interiors, packaging and building materials. With Krown’s mycelium composites, many plastics can be replaced with fully natural and home compostable alternatives. Krown is located in Hilversum with production facilities in Hedel, The Netherlands.

PaperFoam can be described as a foamed, injection molded paper. It is an industrial starch based product with an extremely low carbon footprint. PaperFoam is both home and industrial compostable and also recyclable with paper, making the impact on the environment as small as possible. PaperFoam is based in The Netherlands with production facilities in Asia, North America and Europe.

Zelfo Technology
Zelfo Technology is a pioneer in cellulosic material science. They are focused on re-engineering natural cellulose fibers to enhance performance properties, like material strength. They can use any source of natural fibers, including agricultural, industrial and post-consumer waste, encouraging the use of renewable and biodegradable materials as an alternative to plastic based solutions. Zelfo is based in Joachimsthal, Germany.

NaKu uses a corn-based starch compound to produce breathable fresh-storage bags and beverage bottles. NaKu bottles use a starch-based Polylactic acid (PLA) as raw material based on cornstarch. NaKu processes its compounds with injection molding, film blowing, extrusion and thermoforming. NaKu is based in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

DYCLE is building communities around parents and babies, offering a bio-based, fully compostable, diaper inlay. This is a fundamentally new way of how baby diapers are produced, used and recycled, or rather up-cycled, when they are no longer a waste but a nutrient for plants, transformed into fertile soil. DYCLE is based in Berlin, Germany.

Zero Waste Store (tbd)
Zero waste stores enable the purchase of loose goods in order to avoid packaging waste. Customers can bring their own containers to purchase the loose assortment, which are filled independently in the store.


Organization and Moderation
This project is a collaboration between the Designhaus Halle / Burgshop (Michael Antons) and Burg Material Collection (Prof. Aart van Bezooijen). The material experiments are supported by Platform MAKE. (David Oelschlägel and Lorenz Ebersbach).

Designhaus Halle burg-halle.de/designhaushalle

Platform MAKE. burg-halle.de/make

More Information
Burg Material Collection
Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design