Packaging has to look good on the shelf in order to sell, yet it has to do more than that. Packaging has to deal with certain safety issues, too. Food packaging, for instance, has to preserve the product inside, while products containing harmful chemicals have to be child proof. Not to mention the transport safety requirements modern day products have to meet.
Packaging safety became an issue in the 20th century
Safety became a real issue in the packaging industry in the 20th century. Brands, terrified of being sued by injured customers invested millions upon millions in safety. It goes without saying that packaging can’t be ignored in this regard, as it plays a pivotal role in making a product safe for handling.
Packaging can have an impact on product safety in numerous ways, but we’ll restrict ourselves to three of the most pressing safety concerns in the packaging industry: food preservation, child safety and transport safety.
Food packaging safety
Food packaging serves two main functions: attracting customers and preventing food from going bad before they’re bought. In order to guarantee high quality products, food packaging has to meet certain standards. Whether it be vacuum or cold chain packaging, packaging designers have to come up with the right solution for each product.
As products these days often have to travel half the globe before ending up in a shopping cart, packaging has to make sure the items get there intact. Cushioning materials and cases have to be light-weight, take as little space in trucks as possible and be firm. ReBoard© case materials are among the most notable innovative solutions the industry has devised in recent years to tackle these concerns.
Childproof packaging is of the utmost importance for a wide range of products like cleaning products, sharp kitchenware and products with small parts, for example.
As far as medicine and drugs are concerned, child-safe bottles seem like the obvious way to go. That is, as long as adults and elderly people – who require medicine the most – can open the packaging without too much trouble. While this may seem evident, in reality there are a lot of pharmaceutical products that are nearly impossible to open, even for grown-ups.
Another issue is the packaging itself. Small children tend to put things in their mouths and packaging is no exception. This is ok when the packaging material is non-toxic and too big to swallow but when a toddler accidentally swallows a piece of plastic wrapper, that’s when things really start getting out of hand.
Safety is an important part of packaging and, therefore, should always be treated with care. Consequently continued investments are necessary!