Wrapped Too Tight…

For many, it’s the most wonderful time of the year – at least until it’s time to open all that packaging.

Odds are that’s when someone in the household will contract a serious case of wrap rage, reports The Philly News.

Terminology unfamiliar? It’s the maddening frustration that builds as you work laboriously to extricate a shiny toy truck from yards of twist ties bent more ways than a Cirque du Soleil acrobat. Or when you cut, hack, and pry apart the plastic sheath sealed tighter than Sing Sing to liberate your gee-whiz gizmo.

Since 2007, Mattel says it has increased the number of toys it considers easy to open – that is, those that take 60 seconds or less and do not require a tool. Many others have fewer twist ties or other impediments to access.

Amazon’s Frustration-Free Packaging, launched last year with 19 products devoid of tie-downs and clamshells – that rigid plastic covering that often encases electronics – has grown to hundreds. The company also offers certification, in which packaging engineers evaluate merchandise and recommend modifications or give a seal of approval.

The program has the side benefits of less waste and environmental impact plus lower costs for manufacturers. Amazon noted that the frustration-free version of Fisher-Price’s Amazing Animals Sing and Go Choo-Choo eliminates, per item, 2,084.13 square inches of corrugated materials, 33.4 square inches of PVC blister materials, 12 wire ties, five printed inserts, one packer (and a partridge in a pear tree).

Photo by masterfile.com.

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