Over-packaging is a serious problem, but it’s highlighted in a funny way at the beginning of this sketch from popular comedian Michael McIntyre. He describes in a way only he can the frustrations of wanting to open the packaging surrounding a new pair new scissors. After several fruitless seconds, he realises they are so over packaged, he needs scissors to open his scissors!
It’s an amusing sketch, but it touches on a growing international problem.
Over-packaging is the term used to describe products that are wrapped in more packaging material than is either needed or warranted. Think about when you last bought one of those cheerful little yellow pens. It was planted squarely in the middle of a disproportionately large piece of cardboard, and the whole thing was shrinkwrapped in plastic. When you finally got that off, you discovered the pen itself was also tightly enrobed in yet more plastic.
Or perhaps you ordered a flash stick, or other small electronic item online. It arrived in shoebox-sized packaging filled with so much plastic and polystyrene peanuts it took you a full three minutes to locate the actual item you ordered.
Is All Packaging Bad?
Don’t get us wrong – we’re in the packaging industry, and we firmly believe in the value of reasonable packaging. Retail packaging provides two very important functions: it protects the product being sold and offers a marketing opportunity for the manufacturer to make the product as attractive as possible. This second function, however, is where overpackaging can become a real problem.
In an increasingly competitive market, everyone is vying for consumer attention. The brighter and more attractive the packaging, the more chance there is of drawing the customer’s eye. The huge problem with over-packaging is that most of it is made of plastic – much of which can’t even be recycled. So it just ends up in our already over-burdened landfills.
The Case For Modified Atmosphere Packaging
Many people ask why, in the case of fruit and vegetables, which already come in their own natural packaging (their skins), do we need to add additional packaging? The truth is, unwrapped fresh produce begins losing moisture within hours after it’s picked. The right packaging can considerably prolong the shelf life of this produce.
An unwrapped cucumber, for example, loses so much moisture that it becomes unsellable after just three days. Whereas wrapping it in as little as 1.5 grams of plastic can keep it fresh for up to two weeks. Produce that has been correctly packaged using modified atmosphere packaging is far less likely to spoil and be wasted than unpackaged produce.
Maplex is a leader in the supply of a variety of Modified Atmosphere Packaging. To find out more about how you can take advantage of our game-changing packaging for your fresh produce, chat to us today.