Plastic peril

· rants ·

If you'll indulge me for a moment, I want to vent a little spleen over a particular kind of vicious plastic packaging. I'm sure you've also seen the type I mean; they are rigid, flat-ish boxes made of clear plastic, designed to allow you to see the goodies within, but also to allow the package to be hung on a metal rail or stood on a shelf. Several years ago, similar packaging tended to be designed in two distinct halves like a clam shell, which were held together by plastic 'blisters'. When you gently pulled the two halves apart, the 'blisters' would separate and you would get access to whatever was inside. Easy.

Easy is not a word I could ever bring myself to apply to the new kind of packaging. This breed requires some kind of bolt cutter (or other fearsomely sharp tool which can exert tremendous force), heavy leather gloves and a safety net or mattress. They look deceptively like the old kind, but are welded shut with a rigid plastic seam close to the edge. Because this narrow seam forms a right angle with the rest of the pack, it makes it fiendishly difficult to cut with even a stout pair of scissors. As you cut further, the thin strip of excess plastic gouges great gashes in your hand, unless you keep stopping to cut the excess strip off every time it gets long enough to damage your hands. That's what the leather gloves are for, though they make a fiddly job even harder.

I'm tired of waiting for manufacturers to regain their sanity and just put the damn stuff in a cardboard box with a bit of sellotape sealing it shut, so if anyone has any great plastic-package-opening tips or tools, I'm all ears (and shredded hands).