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Paper or Plastic with a chainsaw

Paper or Plastic with a chainsaw?
Sometimes good ideas turn out to be bad ideas in practice. Let’s take the latest innovations in product packaging for example. Plastic has come a long way and has made it possible to ship delicate or fragile goods long distanced with no damage. It has also made it more difficult to tamper with or steal the valuable goods inside. But as we are all finding out getting those goods out of the package now requires a skilled technician, various sharp objects, even a chainsaw or in my case loss of blood.

I have read all of the tricks proposed on social media regarding opening these fortresses and some are useful like using a can opener to cut the plastic but this still requires serious work and again often some blood before your goods are freed from their bonds. Clamshell packaging has been a great invention to ship apples that arrive looking beautiful and if they have simple snap locks then they do not require any super human strength to navigate but whoever decided that the package must be welded shut needs to be doomed to opening these packages at a Walmart demonstration center for eternity.

I have even tried reading the directions that come with some of these encased gadgets. “Use a sharp scissors and cut around the outer edge to remove item” While this may free the item one must take care not to cut yourself on the lovely, now very razor sharp, plastic edges. More bloodletting…..

With more and more goods being shipped via mail and express delivery services one can expect more and more secure but human unfriendly packaging.

The popular grocery chain Whole foods have the right idea allowing more bulk purchases to be made in the store. There you can scoop all of the tasty raisins into a bag that fits the quantity you need in a package you can open without a degree in un-packaging.

I wonder where this is all going because there appears to be no end to the creative packaging that we can expect to see in the future. There are many valid reasons to applaud this trend. Items can be shipped long distances with no risk of contamination, tampering or mechanical damage. Items need less protection so they can be shipped in smaller boxes saving freight and maximizing profits. The crystal clear packaging allows the consumer to see the product to confirm its quality. Finally the packages can have colorful images printed on them, contain a bar code and be stacked, stored and shipped safely.

Once you have successfully wrestled the product out of the package and applied bandages to all of your cuts, now you have a one or more pieces of plastic to discard. As we read in the news nearly every day plastic is forever and is turning up everywhere. I heard a quote that says; “every piece of plastic ever made still exist”. Plastic islands are clogging up our oceans and plastic of all types are being found in the stomachs of dead whales and fish.

We have seen packaging in Floral evolve and I hope that someday we will not see a single rose entombed in an impenetrable package that says. “Open only in the case of a floral emergency”

Williee Armellini

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