ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG – News) and Constar International (NASDAQ:CNST – News), were clear winners for the World Packaging Organization’s 2008 WorldStar Award, the international packaging industry’s most prestigious honor. The two companies were recognized for ConAgra Foods’ 46-ounce Hunt’s Ketchup bottle made using Constar’s DiamondClear PET technology.

This is not the first honor the Constar-produced Hunt’s Ketchup bottle has received. In 2007, the Institute of Packaging Professionals’ Ameristar Awards recognized it as the top sustainable package of 2007. The package also won a second AmeriStar Award in the Food category.

“At ConAgra Foods, we’re focused and committed to utilizing new and better packaging materials that are environmentally friendly and designed for better recyclability,” says Gail Tavill, vice president of sustainability and channel development, ConAgra Foods. “We’re proud to receive this prestigious WorldStar Award for our Hunt’s Ketchup bottle.”

Commenting on the WorldStar Award, Constar CEO and President Mike Hoffman says, “Being one of only five packages from the United States to be recognized by the global packaging industry as among the best in the world is very gratifying.”

The competition for the 2008 WorldStar Award drew nearly 300 entries from around the world, with winners selected as international standards of packaging excellence from which others may learn. The lightweight Hunt’s Ketchup PET bottle employs Constar’s DiamondClear technology that delivers clarity, barrier performance, and sustainability. It is a high-performance alternative to glass and other plastic containers for a wide range of beverages and foods.

By using Constar’s DiamondClear PET technology, ConAgra Foods was able to reduce the weight of its 46-ounce ketchup bottle by nearly 12 percent, a significant sustainability gain. In addition, DiamondClear provides glass-like clarity, a real breakthrough for an oxygen scavenging material that is blended directly into PET. Its exceptional barrier performance preserves the vibrant red color and flavor of Hunt’s Ketchup, while delivering optimum presentation on the shelf. Once the product is gone, consumers can place the empty bottle in a curbside-recycling bin.