Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wrap Rage

This isn't a post about those delicious sandwiches wrapped up in a tortilla, it's about the sorry state of packaging these days. Remember the days when you would buy something and be able to open it without an advanced degree in Astrophysics and/or the Jaws of Life? I do, and it was a glorious time.
Packages today are more secure than some airports and you can't get into them to save your life. What ever happened to the Japanese concept of easy open, multiple stage packaging? I love buying Japanese goods (made for the Japanese market) because they're so easy to open that even that guy from My Left Foot could do it by himself. Here in the US we're so concerned about if it will be stolen that in addition to the plastic-can't-open-without-damaging-the-product packaging, we also have price stickers that won't come off without using hydrochloric acid to remove them and little magnetic strips embedded everywhere so if you walk into a store with one of your earlier purchases those little anti-steal devices freak out on you. All this is leading to a phenomenon that the BBC has called wrap rage. I think that it's pretty easy to figure out. You get enraged by the packaging, then freak out. Heaven help the people who are around a wrap rage induced postal worker.
I agree that we do need some sort of anti-theft measures. The question is how well are these impenetrable packages preventing it. A determined thief, with his box cutter in hand, will easily defeat the packaging and he'll abscond with the product anyway. Perhaps small time thieves, those who were doing it on a lark, will be stopped, but I think the mag strips alone could do that, and in this day and age of the UPC, you don't need to worry about people swapping price tags on products. It'll still scan right. Help out us and the handicapped and aged and give us something that we can open without all the utensils, rage, and bodily harm that you usually get from these packages.

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