Here’s the scenario: You buy a product at a store. Let’s say it’s a pair of earbuds for your iPod. The earbuds are packaged in a clear “clamshell” package made of hard plastic that has been sealed together with machinery. It is, in fact, so tightly sealed that you cannot open it with your hands. You turn to scissors and start hacking through the shell, but the plastic is so rigid that it’s even difficult to cut through it with scissors. You end up with a jagged mess of sharp plastic pieces that have the potential of making you bleed, they are so dangerous. To add insult to injury, the earbuds are tied together with metal wire through the back of the package once you finally get that hard shell off. Pure rage overcomes you; this is not only anti-theft, it’s anti-consumer!
Retail theft is always a problem, of course, and packaging manufacturers stepped up to the challenge by offering packaging options that were nearly impossible to break into without causing a ruckus in the store. However, the unfortunate side effect has been consumer complaints and even injuries due to this type of packaging. The problem has been so commonplace, that websites are devoted to it and specialized opening products are sold to deal with the maddening blister packs.
Now for the good news: The days of wrap rage are numbered.
Newer technologies are alleviating the need for this unwieldy packaging. Products such as folding cartons and flexible packaging are replacing the blister packs for a variety of reasons, some having to do with cost, others with ecological impact. Let’s face it, reducing the amount of plastic in packaging is good for the environment. A quick look at stats provided by the Battelle Memorial Institute reveals some interesting stats:
|Type of Package||Product Weight||Package Weight||Product-to-Package Ratio||Packaging Weight per 100g product||MSW Landfill per 100g product||Energy Consumption||Emissions Kg CO²|
|Folding carton with inner poly bag||12 oz||22.68g||15:1||6.67g||4.87g||1.95||.16|
|Stand-up Flexible Pouch||24 oz||11.34g||60:1||1.66g||1.66g||1.06||.05|
As you can see, replacing big blister packs with flexible packaging is significantly better for the Earth in addition to being less expensive for manufacturers.
Trends in packaging will always evolve to reflect the current needs of retailers, manufacturers, and consumers. Rest assured, we’ll be here to keep up on the trends for you.