UNSW Industrial Design Student, Dominic See, has taken out the top place in the Cormack Packaging Innovation Awards.

Students were briefed to produce packaging designs for people with accessibility constraints. Dominic’s submission was nominated by judges as the most outstanding solution for solving a common packaging accessibility problem.

Culled from a list of 150 entries, Dominic’s creation involved a plastic sliding key mechanism, designed to make opening tuna cans a far easier task for those who may have difficulty opening conventional pull-back tab mechanisms.

Dominic believes that opening packaging should be effortless, for everyone, which was his motivation behind his creation.

“By making it easier to open, I hope it helps to take away the negative emotions people feel when they are unable to open something as basic as food packaging, which really should be effortless,” he said.

See's solution also brings to light common issues with the traditional packaging method, which can be difficult for children, the elderly or those with disabilities and expose dangerously sharp edges. By replacing the conventional pull-back metal tab with a plastic sliding key, Dominic’s solution could potentially even prevent injury.

“I think what makes the tuna can unique is that it took a different perspective on a type of packaging we've all accepted as normal, even though it's actually an every-day struggle for people, even without accessibility constraints.”

A perfect solution for tuna enthusiasts of all ages and all abilities, the plastic sliding key also doubles as a fork substitute for ‘on-the-go’ consumption.

As winner of the prestigious award, Dominic is invited to commence an internship with Cormack Packaging, offering experience within the packaging industry as well as a cash prize.

“This internship will be a great opportunity and I hope it leads to more great things. To me, it means an invaluable learning experience which I know not everyone is offered, so I am very grateful and excited,” said Dominic.

Congratulations to UNSW Industrial Design students, Raymond Tinyow, Phunthita Vimoplatranon, Christina Le and Jan Gerardino who also made it through to the finals.

Due to the outstanding calibre of its entrants, UNSW was named the winner of the Cormack Packaging Perpetual Trophy.