"Clam shell" packaging is hazardous to consumers - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/6/09

"Clam shell" packaging is hazardous to consumers

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By Kristin Beerman | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - They call it "clam shell" or "oyster shell" packaging, the heavy plastic that completely seals what you're buying.  Many customers have complained that those packages are just too hard to open, but now there may be a bigger problem than that.  Computer technician Andrew Tyner tried to open a new flash drive wrapped in the hard plastic.  Andrew Tyner couldn't find scissors that would cut it, so he used a carpenter knife. "And then all of the sudden, it sliding right on through, came through and slashed my hand right here. You can still see a little bit of the scar there," said Tyner.

Dr. James d'Etienne, and emergency physician says, "If you notice, it is very sharp. So you can easily puncture yourself or have a small cut, small laceration. And it gets worse if you get frustrated. If you get really mad at the package and you start ripping at it, you're more likely to hurt yourself!"

His injury is not unique.  One doctor's group says 6,000 people a year are injured trying to open clamshell packages with whatever knife they can find that can rip it open, but the danger is also in the plastic itself.

Once you finally cut it, the edges are as sharp as a knife. With many consumers feeling the same way, some leading electronic stores are now phasing out clamshell packaging.  Amazon.com, for example, now offers "frustration free packaging."  A new trend, away from what some are calling "rage wrap."

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