New CHOICE campaign calls to end frustrating packaging

Join “Pack Attack” by sharing your ‘wrap rage’ experiences

CHOICE has launched “Pack Attack”, a campaign calling on manufacturers to adopt packaging that doesn’t require knives, scissors or super-human strength to access.

“Many items are now so wrapped up that some consumers simply cannot open them.  Trying to bust out an electrical item sealed in a hard plastic container or twist open a vacuum-sealed glass jar is not only prompting ‘wrap rage’ but also leaving some people injured,” said CHOICE’s Angela McDougall.

To tackle the problem, CHOICE is calling on consumers to send in their photos and a description of examples of bad packaging. The consumer group will then make a complaint on their behalf to the Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) and report back on responses from manufacturers.

In December 2012, Readers Digest commissioned a survey of 500 people in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia on packaging problems. Sixty four percent of people who said they had injured themselves on packaging suffered deep cuts, broken or chipped teeth, bruises or broken nails.

“While packaging accessibility can affect us all, it is a particular problem for those suffering from arthritis, poor eyesight, reduced hand strength as well as some older people,” says Ms McDougall.

The serial offenders

The clamshell:  A classic cause of “wrap rage”, the clamshell does such a good job of sealing electronic goods, razors and toys in a hard seal of plastic that consumers often need scissors, razor blades and knives to open the product. Some websites even recommend a tin opener!

The glass jar: Sometimes you need the strength of a superhero to pry the lid off a sauce jar which has been tightly vacuum sealed. Banging the jar down on a bench or running hot water over the lid are popular but somewhat dangerous options.

Imprisoned toys:  Many toys often come wrapped to death in cardboard, plastic boxes and a nasty mix of sharp wires, cable ties, plastic spikes and sticky tape.  Children often lose interest or turn hysterical while hapless parents struggle to liberate the toy.

 

If you’ve had a bad experience with packaging, join the Pack Attack campaign

To be involved send a short description to packattack@choice.com.au or mail to: CHOICE Campaigns, 57 Carrington Rd, Marrickville, NSW, 2004

  • product information (brand, name and size)
  • the problems you experienced
  • photos of the offending package (bonus points for the packaging itself).

 

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Clytie Siddall
Guest

On the sealed jars: when my hands became too weak to open those jars, my daughter showed me a trick which works every time. Use a flat-bladed, non-pointed knife (the old ceramic-handled ones are ideal) and slip the end under the lid seal and wiggle it a bit. Once you find the right spot on the seal edge, the lid will ping as the seal releases. You can then untwist the lid very easily.

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