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May 26, 2010


Adult Proof Packaging

There is not one person I know who hates opening consumer packaging more than my fiancée – and I hear about it. “What the F! Why won’t this thing…? Seriously, who designed this? AHHH! Can you open this for me?”  Then I get the look, like I am the one who made it that hard to open. I always say that it wasn’t me who designed it. I wouldn’t have made it that difficult to open.

But, the truth is, I would – and I have.

There was once a day when you could open packaging, effortlessly. Just flip, pop, twist, or remove and there was your prize. But somewhere in consumerism people changed and so did the packaging. People decided to put poisons in foods and drugs and place them back on the shelf. Someone open vacuumed sealed food to see what was inside, then only to leave it to rot or spoil. What about people that steal items from a box and close it back up and hope no one notices.

Now, you buy a pack of gum and it’s double sealed, bagged, boxed, glue-tabbed and even shrink-wrapped. All this because someone decided to steal a single-stick of gum instead of paying 50 cents for it. It is always some assholes who ruins it all for everyone else.

There are many different types and methods to sealing a package. I like to classify them into two categories. First is Childproof Packaging: Yes, the same kind that your friends, who are adults, can not open. Then you make fun of them and call them a child. It’s a classic that never gets old, (implied sarcasm). Second is Adult Proof Packaging. Same as the earlier type, we also make fun of our friends for not being able to open them – then they hand it to you. So you make sure you get it open the first time by going above and beyond what is really necessary. Like pulling out a blowtorch to open that fully encased  plastic Playstation accessory. No matter what the type is, it’s usually a pain in the ass to open.

Childproof: There is a lot of thought behind childproof packaging. These types are designed to make it as difficult as possible to open. Well, the truth is, childproof packaging was not created for the children’s safety, but to avoid lawsuits. If that was not the case, then why didn’t they do that from the beginning? If you have a bunch of scientists and doctors sitting around creating drugs, you would think someone would say, “Hey, we need to make sure that children can’t get into this stuff at home.” But, then again, these are the types of people who gave us asbestos insulation and radioactive chocolate bars.

Thankfully, enough people complained that something needed to be done. There are a lot of rules and regulations that we must follow when creating consumer packaging. Without these regulations there would be many injuries or even deaths. As much as I curse about these rules, they are necessary. I tend to think more about how the end product will look on the shelf, and not how it will be used or stored in the home. Because ultimately, my job is to make you, the consumer, buy my product.

At the end of the day, when I am sitting at home, I’m glad that these guidelines are in place. All these safety regulations keep our children safe from the dangers that lay inside of all consumer packaging.

Adult Proof: This type of package will most likely causes you to inflict bodily harm when trying to opening it. This is the type that you throw across the room because you are so frustrated – which in return actually opens the package. There is nothing more annoying than opening four safety seals just to get at a product I purchased. What about  buying a Snapple and driving all the way home and then realizing the safety top was popped. So now I’m paranoid that it is was poisoned – so I don’t’ drink it and I have to settle for water. I’m sure as hell not gonna bother going all the way back to the store just to switch it out. And, I know I’m not gonna remember to bring it the next time, let a lone remember the receipt.

I know, I should have looked at the Snapple cap before I left the store. But come on, really? It’s such a pain in the ass. I feel like I need to inspect every product I pick up off the shelf. Why can’t I just grab that shit and toss it in the cart? Consumer packaged goods are getting to the point were there is going to be a lock with a combination that gets emailed to you after you buy it.

I know that these precautions are in place for a reason — well two reasons. The first is to prevent “shopworn” merchandise. No one want’s to buy something that looks like it has been opened. The harder it is to open, the less likely it will be tampered with. If I can create something that has a longer shelf-life, I’m gonna do it.

The second is to protect the consumer. When someone tampers with the adult-proof packaging it’s usually very obvious. You are not going to buy a product that is missing the safety seal. These precautions alert the consumer that something might be wrong with the merchandise.

At the end of the day, I will still sit here like the rest of you and complain about how difficult it has become to open consumer packaging. I will still bitch and moan about the clamshell packaging that almost broke my scissors, but remember, it is there for my own good and I am thankful.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. May 26 2010

    Sadly, the things that we eat regularly are not that hard to tamper with: eggs, butter, milk, produce, bread. And yes, a pickle jar is still a pickle jar that I cannot open for the life of me without using the blunt end of a kitchen knife!
    I will agree that in the 16 years since I became a parent it has become increasingly harder to open toys. Of course this tamper-proof packaging is what you ultimately pay for.
    Check out the local Dollar General. Those toys are just thrown into a plastic package and shipped out. Same toys, less packaging and cheaper price.
    Imagine what our grandkids will have to deal with!

    • SPS
      May 26 2010

      I totally agree. And for Dollar General, you should read You do get what you pay for. Although some products that are sold at these discount stores are the same items in cheaper packaging, there are things to watch out for.

    • Dec 29 2011

      That’s the best answer by far! Thanks for cntoriubting.


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