The Devil’s Packaging

This has been more than a pet peeve of mine for a long time now. It’s been a hatred. So when I saw the title of this article I clicked on it immediately. I recently cut myself trying to get into this dastardly clamshell packaging, so my bitterness is fresh.

My phone plan already bleeds me dry, I don’t need to literally bleed trying to get my phone out of the packaging!

My cut, though painful and annoying, didn’t need stitches but I was surprised to learn how common these injuries are:

“Around six thousand people a year wind up in emergency rooms with lacerations and puncture wounds caused by clamshell/oyster packaging. Some injuries are caused by the jagged edges of half-opened, hard-plastic wrappers. Others occur when the a frustrated consumers use tools such as knives, scissors or wire cutters. These implements, often taken up in anger, have a tendency to glance off the nigh-impenetrable packaging and wound the hands that wield them.”

I’m certainly not alone. This question was posted on Quora last year, ‘What is the worst piece of design ever done?’ The site’s users have given resounding support to one answer: plastic clamshell packaging. ‘

As much as I want to believe there is an evil mastermind behind the clamshell who somehow derives power with every curse word that’s yelled at it, there’s not. Just a case of easily accessible polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and no concern for customers… Oh, did I mention it’s also hard-to-recycle?  Yeah, that too.

“They” will tell you this type of packaging is supposed to make it harder to steal small products, be easier for employees to arrange on display, be impact resistant. Blah-diddy blah, it’s 2012… Work it out.

Good design should make life easier.

This is a perfect candidate for the Corporate Hating™ wave. The essence of this wave is that big business listens when people start screaming. If your product, business or service uses impenetrable PVC clamshell packaging… We implore you, please find an alternative solution.

sally

CultureWaves Blogger and Social Media Consultant Personal Twitter is: @salicious

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