Some Plastic Packaging Hard To Open

One of the many changes people find that creep ups on them as they age is a loss of strength, especially in their hands and fingers. While many people over 50 maintain a healthy level of activity through walking, sport and socialising, spending time at a gym doing strength training is not a favourite activity of this age group. The end result is that while they may have stamina and aerobic fitness, they suddenly find it increasingly difficult to open simple things like cereal boxes, soup packets, ring-pull cans and other products in modern packaging.

Everyone appreciates that packaging, especially food packaging must protect the integrity of the contents. There have been too many examples in recent years of mischievous and downright vindictive people tampering with food containers in supermarkets with disastrous results for consumers.

However, packaging must also be convenient for the consumer, and sometimes it seems like the industry has erred too far on the side of caution and created packaging that can only be opened after a dozen stabs with a sharp, pointed knife. While no doubt keeping children under five safe from accidental entry, it has left some sections of the consumer market, particularly the elderly or people weakened by illness, feeling useless that they can no longer open a simple packet.

Even plastic packaging now is being made from stronger plastic than ever, so the old technique of grabbing each side of the bag and tearing it open usually ends in disaster. It’s no fun dusting cake mix off the kitchen bench, the utensils, the front of the cook’s clothing and the cat.

However, the industry is recognising some of these shortcomings and inventing clever ways to use plastic packaging. Zip lock sandwich bags, for example, make school lunches a breeze and are easy for even young children to open. Thick liquids like salad dressings are purchased in plastic tubes which are simply squeezed to spread the contents, and are resealable.

As a society we have become accustomed to using plastic bags in Brisbane for a wide range of things, far removed from simply being a carrier for consumer goods or groceries. As manufacturers get more inventive at creating packaging that is also easy to tear and easy to open, its usefulness will continue to grow, especially for certain sections of the community.

As long as manufacturers continue to seek and act on consumer feedback, any issues with their products will be an incentive for them to find solutions. Plastic packaging that is difficult to open is a concern for some people, and should be addressed.