Friday, November 23, 2012

Dealing with a packaging peeve - ‘wrap rage’

With the holiday shopping season underway, it’s time to discuss packaging that is difficult to open without causing injuries. On May 31st the Atlantic described how Plastic Clamshell Packaging is the Worst, and it was even the subject of a comedy sketch on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

It is a worldwide problem that made the cover of this December’s issue of Reader’s Digest Australia. There was an eight page article describing results from a survey of 500 people. About two-thirds of the people got out sharp objects, and then 75% either cut themselves, or had other injuries as shown above. (Click on these bar charts to see larger, clearer versions). You can find a .pdf file of the article by doing a Google search with the phrases "wrap rage" "Reader's Digest" "StoryCentral”.    

A variety of tools have been used to deal with clamshell packages - can openers, knives, scissors, aviation snips, etc. This Old House showed a selection of Tools to Cure Wrap Rage. A YouTube video describes the OpenIt! gizmo. I just use a combination of scissors and diagonal pliers as shown above. Scissors will cut the clear plastic parallel to the edge and inside of the weld seam. Diagonal pliers make perpendicular cuts, when the package is longer than the blade length on the scissors. That keeps the long sharp clear plastic away from my scissors hand. Diagonal pliers also can cut through plastic or wire ties inside the clamshell package. (Nail clippers would work too, but I already have this nifty Platoshear 170).  

No comments: