Wrapper Rage Making Consumers Crazy

"Wrapper Rage" is the anger that builds up as you try and open that sealed heavy plastic packaging. (TreeHugger called it "Wrap Rage" two years ago) Michael Wilson tells the Ottawa Citizen about cutting his hand: "I first tried my best to open it with my bare hands, but it wasn't humanly possible," he says. "It was sealed so well in plastic, it couldn't be opened without scissors, which slid off of the impenetrable plastic casing and cut my finger."

Even though consumers have been complaining about it for years, manufacturers are not eager to change.According to the Citizen, Daniel Howard, chair of the marketing department at the Cox School of business surveyed households about packaging. Nearly 80 per cent of the respondents "expressed anger, frustration or outright rage" with plastic packaging materials.

Howard says manufacturers know consumers are frustrated. But he says they make packaging difficult to open largely because they are afraid of lawsuits that could result if a product had been tampered with, and because they are afraid of "shrinkage," the retail euphemism for theft.

However two trends are causing them to rethink and redesign: companies like Wal-Mart (and their customers) are demanding more environmentally friendly packaging, and the aging boomers are having more trouble opening the stuff without hurting themselves. ::Regina Leader Post

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