Adult-proof packaging perplexes


By Sue Curtis



There are a few things that have routinely been difficult for me to open. I never had any problems opening 45 or LP records or 8-track tapes. Cassette tapes were a little tricky, until I discovered that a nail file would slide easily between the two flaps of plastic. Then CDs came along.

These things are wrapped so tightly that neither a nail file nor a knife slides easily into the wrapping. More often than not, using such an implement resulted in a deep scrape on the cover of the CD — with the plastic still intact.

Once I am finally able to wrestle the plastic wrap from the CD and into the trash, there’s a new problem. The makers put a sleeve of sticky plastic along one side, so the CD cover will crack open, but is stuck tight at the top. This plastic sticky strip doesn’t peel off easily, like the plastic tab on an apple or onion. No, it’s on there with the glue that keeps rocket ships together. Out comes my knife or nail file again, and when I finally rip the thing off to get to the CD, the cover breaks apart entirely.

Bottle caps often befuddle me. Sometimes I scrape the inside of fingers and palm trying to unscrew a top that requires an opener. Other times, I’m sure the lid does screw off, but the bottle is so flimsy — like some water bottles — that to hold it firmly enough to unscrew the cap means that the water shoots up like Old Faithful. It’s a mess.

Recently, I discovered another common household item that causes me fits when I try to open: medication bottles. I appreciate that these are “child-proof.” We don’t want children getting into any medication, which is why the top shelves of cupboards exist. I can’t reach mine, nor can any child of my acquaintance.

I was frustrated the other day when trying to open my bottle of medication for “arthritis pain.” If I’m taking that, you can bet my joints are not what they used to be. So trying to push down, twist, and pull up simultaneously is no easy task. Not that many small children are hanging around me on a regular basis, but I guess people can’t be trusted to secure pills from small ones. The makers added this impossible cap, so now the pills are safe from everybody.

I finally wrenched the thing off, only to find the plastic seal on top of the bottle under the lid. It has a filmy plastic flap that theoretically a person can grasp to pull the entire seal from the bottle. My joints did not permit this. I had to use my teeth. Again, they used the rocket-ship glue for this seal.

By the time I got that seal removed, I really needed a pill, since I was headed to the grocery to get produce. You know how those produce bags just slip apart and open so easily!

Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.

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By Sue Curtis

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.

Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at the Hospice store (For All Seasons) in Troy and teaches part-time at Urbana University. She keeps busy taking care of husband, house, and pets. She and her husband have an adult son who lives in Troy.