Sunday, August 17, 2008

Packaging Sometimes A Real Pain

Writen by Michael Russell

Obviously, when you package a product you want to protect it from the environment and make sure that the contents in the package don't get damaged and don't get out. But sometimes packaging companies just go a little bit too far. Think not? Well, let's take a look at some of the worst packaging jobs out in the marketplace.

Back in the old days when you used to buy the latest Rolling Stones record, the shrink-wrap on the albums was pretty loose. And even when it wasn't, it was pretty easy to open up the albums. Just take a sharp edge and run it across the open side of the album and your shrink-wrap was open. Today, it's not quite that easy. On some CDs, the cellophane is so tight that the only way you're getting those things open is to crack them open. Heaven forbid somebody with arthritis tried to open up one of these things. Even young kids have problems with them.

And if you think CDs are hard to open, have you ever tried opening a DVD? You know, the thin little boxes that contain these things that used to be on nice easy to open video tape boxes. DVD manufacturers must really be the most sadistic people on this planet. Go on. Try to find an edge of a DVD to open. You'll be searching for 30 minutes before you even get one-tenth of a way through getting the DVD out of the box.

Oh, but it gets worse. And this kind of packaging really applies to a number of things so we'll just use one example. Most of the portable electronic devices made today are pretty small so the packages don't have to be on bulky boxes anymore. So today, they put things like portable CD players in those hard plastic molded packages where the plastic is molded to the actual item. Same shape and size. No room between the plastic and the item itself. Well, that's not the worst part. See, if you try to open these things you will find that the plastic is so tightly glued to the cardboard backing behind it that you can't get your finger in between the backing and the plastic. So there is no way to get the item out unless you either take a knife and cut through the plastic or literally rip the whole package to shreds.

Another good one is when you order items in the mail like CDs. The cardboard boxes that these things are packed in are so strong that you can neither rip them open nor cut them open. The cardboard itself must be at least an eighth of an inch thick, maybe more. The only way to get these boxes open is to get a very strong man to pull them apart.

There are plenty more painful packages that we're going to cover in the last part of this two part series. The worst is yet to come.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Packaging

No comments: