Which! wage war on too-hard packaging

20 August 2013

scissorsWe like Which! They campaign on consumer matters, something we applaud. But sometimes we do wonder if they have a little too much time on their hands.

Which!’s latest report is a study into packaging, wittily titled “Wrap Rage”, although there’s no cling film in sight. Instead, Which! investigators have tackled various packaged items to see who comes of best in a fight between human and packet. And it seems the packet is winning.

Take this packet of scissors. Which! researchers were unable to open it because it required a pair of scissors to cut the plastic tag. We don’t know how long they spent puzzling over this paradox.


Or this innocent-looking bag of bread products. Apparently the Which! panel was left “red-faced with exertion” trying to get a bit of crumpet. Other items their trained researchers were unable to deal with included a tin of beans, strawberry jam and a carton of soup.crumpets

But apparently this is not an issue confined to Mr Muscle-style puny-limbed work experience chaps an “expert panel” in the Which! office. According to their research 40% of people have hurt themselves while trying to open packaging over the last two years. To put that into context, they are suggesting 25 million people in the UK come off worst in a struggle with packaging.

But it is not necessarily the packaging itself causing the injuries. Which! found a number of implements were being used to fight the good fight, including scissors (89%), knives (66%), Stanley knives (8%) and screwdrivers (6%). Some even use razor blades (4%) and hammers (2%) to get to their goods. Anyone call for a Darwin adjustment?

Moulded plastic 'clam-shell' packaging is the leading cause of frustration, followed by shrink wrapping and peel-off coverings.

So next time you see a Which! researcher, be sure to offer to open their bag of crisps for them.

TOPICS:   Advertising


  • Inspector G.
    But manufacturers don't intentionally alienate customers. Packaging has to look nice and offer protection on the long voyage from China. Would Which prefer the scissors to be just dumped higgledy piggledy on the floor, broken and each pair individually wrapped in clingfilm?
  • Bastard
    Blister packs (the cardboard backed ones i.e batteries) aren't a problem, it's when they encase them in the plastic, now that shit is a recipe for genocidal rage.
  • Dumbo
    In the above picture, you have to buy two packs of scissors and open one of them by peeling back the plastic from the board, then use one to cut the cable tie on the other.. I hate blister packs, I've actually sliced my hand once due to a fit of rage trying to open one once. So now I use scissors to open them bastards..
  • Baloney
    Welded clamshell packaging. I bought some garden shears once and its plastic clamshell was so thick I had to saw it off.
  • Mike
    Just use a can opener on the packaging. Problem no more.
  • Ped
    Isn't it Which? ?
  • JonB
    Packaging around SD cards is the worst. It's almost impossible to open it. Amazon offer "frustration free packaging" for a number of products now.
  • Chewbie
    Larry David
  • hotmail r.
    Oh my god, if you morons can't open shit then starve and do the rest of us a favour.

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