Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Petulant Packaging

In an age where the ecomentalists expect us all to be contributing to the saving of the polar bear and the nurturing of the Black Footed Ferret, why the hell can’t many of the manufacturers out there get their packaging right?

The human race put a man on the moon, built the great pyramids and invented penicillin, but they still can’t manage to package a men’s razor. Any man reading this will know the score. You’ve run out of razor blades, but instead of paying a week’s wages to buy a replacement pack, it actually works out more effective to buy a brand new razor that is accompanied with a couple of free blades. That is of course until you get it home from the shops, because the choice of packaging shell this particular product is encased in is similar in strength to the space pod Superman’s parents sent him to earth in. Having purchased the new razor, you wake up for work the following morning and attempt to gain access to your shiny new 8 blade moisturising vibrating toy. You stand at the bathroom mirror frantically scratching at the edges of the sealed plastic coffin until your fingers bleed, but still the bugger will not budge. You try biting it, squashing it and jumping on it but still no luck. Realising your mistake in not remembering to hire a diamond cutting laser with your purchase, you eventually revert to scissors. As you begin to hack madly away at the case like a scene from Psycho, vein pulsing in your head and eye twitching, you are all too aware that you are becoming later and later for work. Finally in, you notice blood on your finger and realise that the savage cutting has also caused the case to turn into pointy plastic icicles of doom, sharp enough to cut granite. You eventually arrive late at work where a male colleague gives you a knowing man nod as he notices the number of sticky plasters wrapped around your fingertips.  Now I realise that razors are sharp and so they need to be securely packaged, but come one, there must be a better, less frustrating and more environmentally sound solution to this packaging bods.

At the other end of the packaging spectrum comes a very well-known online shopping outlet, with whom I recently purchased a new battery for my vaping device. (The battery I ordered was roughly around the same size as one of those retractable white glue sticks and probably weighed about the same). A few days after placing my order the door rang at work and I was greeted by a delivery man who said he had a parcel for me. Puzzled by the size, I signed for the order thinking the delivery was probably work related and left it on my desk. As I began to open the box I literally could not believe my twitching eyes. There was my battery, lying underneath a layer of scrunched paper at the bottom of a box that was large enough to house an old style PC monitor! Now I’m certainly no swampy, but how can such a large manufacturer think this is sensible?

Going back to the opening of this rant, the human race has indeed accomplished some wonderful things, but a microwave lasagne aint one. Not if you like your lasagne plastic free that is. You remove the cardboard sleeve and pierce the plastic in several places as instructed and then stick it in the microwave for the time written on the back of the box. As the final few seconds tick by, you prepare your plate for your quick, easy and fairly tasteless dinner. Apologies, I used the word ‘quick’ incorrectly in that description, because once your meal is cooked and you’ve managed to get the now incredibly bendy plastic container over to your plate, you must spend the next 20 minutes unpeeling the plastic film to grant you access to your ground horses face meaty dinner. What enrages me most is those manufacturers who decide to write peel here on the plastic at one of the corners. I’m f*cking peeling you d*ckhead and nothing is happening! All you’re left with is a dinner that has long thin plastic tentacles draped in to it as the plastic peels off in a thousand tiny shards.  

So there you have it. Moan over. But can it really be that difficult for manufacturers to find the right balance between functionality for the user and environmentally friendly packaging?

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