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IMFA Student Competition

Thank you for your interest in the International Molded Fiber Association's Student Competition! The objective of this contest is to provide students with valuable knowledge, updates, and hands-on experience in molded fiber packaging materials, as well as allow students the opportunity to explore and innovate in the realm of environmentally sustainable packaging solutions.

The Challenge: 

In the past molded fiber was only used for simple products like egg cartons and corner protectors, but today molded fiber can be seen in thousands of innovative use cases worldwide, as a more sustainable alternative to plastics and other legacy packaging materials.

The market for molded fiber is growing faster than ever before, and with modern manufacturing techniques it can be used to rethink the way we package and consume goods. The student teams selected to participate in this contest will search the market for a packaged product weighing between 5 and 20 pounds that is currently made of polystyrene or another type of plastic material.

Once a product is selected, IMFA will provide up to $150.00 for its purchase, and if the product selected is food-related, the weight condition is waived. Students will then create a new packaging design using molded fiber as an alternate packaging material. Students can submit between 1 and 3 designs and must develop a presentation on the details of their molded fiber designs. All entries must be submitted online by July 1, 2024 to be judged by a group of professional molded fiber packaging designers.

This challenge is open to students enrolled in universities offering packaging engineering degrees. The winning team will be awarded $1000 and the team’s leader will receive a trip to IMFA’s 26th Annual Conference in Carlsbad, CA, September 11-13 to have the honor of presenting their design from the main stage to conference attendees.

By joining this challenge, in addition to providing students with up-to-date education material, you'll contribute to IMFA's mission of promoting environmentally sustainable packaging solutions. Your efforts will address the growing demand for molded fiber packaging in both food and non-food markets, making a tangible impact on the industry. The winning team leader and their university will also gain invaluable exposure in packaging publications and to an international audience at our Annual Conference. 

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us directly at

Pictured Above: Gage Rusch from the University of Wisconsin-Stout presents his team's winning design at the 2023 IMFA Annual Conference in Phoenix, AZ.

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