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The Art of Deception

I was opening a box of Cheerios last night, and I had to apply so much pressure to open the tough, plastic liner, that cereal flew all over the kitchen. The liner is now useless and I was cussing all the while I was sweeping up the cereal. This is not by any means, the only incident where I have had to deal with the problems with packaging wrap. I think there is a contest (or even a conspiracy) among the various manufacturers to see who can make opening products the most challenging, frustrating and stressful for the consumer.

It is completely over-the-top to use indestructible plastic to “seal” a simple candy bar, or small bag of chips. I really feel sorry for older people who have to carry around scissors, or knives just to open anything wrapped in plastic. Most of them would have a heart attack from the frustration level alone. And don’t even get me started with blister packs and bubblewrap.

I do understand the need for products to maintain freshness, but I don’t see the need for protecting the contents from the purchaser?  I am guessing that we have reached or passed the point, where in some cases, the packaging has exceeded the cost of the product. Plastic is not as cheap as paper.

It is simply ridiculous and extremely inconvenient for normal human beings to have to deal with this out of control wrapping, sealing, and packaging of which the only intent and purpose is to “contain” a consumable product, from the store to the home.

Now you can buy a can opener, specifically designed to easily open canned goods, but where is the device to open plastic wrap? I can’t even envision what a device would look like, or how it would operate, that could open a thick bubble wrapped package. It would take a strong, very sharp knife, and the risk of cutting something other than the plastic, is very likely. The idea this is protecting the product from theft, is just plain stupid.

Canned goods are sealed for the purpose of long shelf life. Bottled products and other containers of liquid contents, that used to be made of glass, are now some form of plastic. Although this is “safer” there is a distinct, noticeable “flavor” from plastic containers, that I never experienced with glass! But have you noticed these plastic containers have been getting thinner and less rigid over the past few years? I don’t think this is imaginary. I really believe the manufacturers of the packaging are trying their best to reduce the amount of materials it takes to contain the products, so this results in “tougher” plastic to compensate for thicker, sturdier containers . . . and . . . the primary driving factor, to make more money by cutting back on quality.

I wish I could go back to 1970 and get a package of potato chips, to let you compare with a bag of potato chips today. Cellophane worked just great! It was easy enough for a child to open and the chips were FRESHER and wonderful, and there was a lot more of them in the bag, instead of a few “micro-chips” and a vacuum of air, which is NOT good for freshness.

You know exactly what I mean. And it is the truth. Sure the plastic is getting tougher, but not to keep things fresh for the consumer, but to make more money for the manufacturer of the package, and the seller of the product.

On to #2. Go in to a toy store and buy any toy. I guarantee, when you get it home you will have to use a bowie knife, hack saw, or chainsaw to open the package and still not be sure you don’t mangle or effectively destroy the use of the toy inside. Go to a music store, buy any Audio CD, take it home and try to tear off the plastic. And when you do you will also find indestructible plastic tape on the edges so you can’t open the case.

Really? Is this just to keep a thief from opening the small case to take out the plastic CD to slip in his coat pocket? If I was going to steal music, it’s much easier to download it from pirate bay.

Look at the real problem here. You have pissed off the consumer to no end with this packaging nightmare, and it serves no real purpose other than that. Your only saving grace is the fact that most people have become so domesticated, clueless, and gutless that they won’t resist or fight back against this gigantic industry, assuming they won’t win.

#3. I can still remember when I could go down to the local hardware store to buy a few screws, or nails or lots of other hardware items, and they were NOT packaged at all. They were separated in small bins, loose for the taking. AND, I didn’t have to buy a sealed, mounted on cardboard, iron plastic, box of 4, if I only need 3.

And today this is “progress”? Aside from the obvious overkill, the packaging is now adding unnecessary waste to the planet and increasing the cost to a product that the consumer must bear.

#4 My screws did not go in a small paper bag but in a large, plastic bag that will probably never decompose in a hundred years.

#5 “Golden Cocoons” - look this up and see if this is something you have experienced? This is particularly practiced by the candy companies, but not limited only to them. The dedicated plastic cocoons replace the antiquated paper cups that allowed far too much value for the price. So lets keep the same size box and take out about 2/3 the number of pieces. That will fool them.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/12/packaging-gotchas/index.htm


-G.


“Profit is sweet, even if it comes from deception.” (Quote by - Sophocles)

 

Message to the Packaging Industry . . . Stop It!