5 tips for opening plastic packaging safely

The dreaded “wrap rage.” We’ve all been there. We purchase a new product that we’re excited about, only to find that it’s heavily protected by sturdy, cumbersome plastic packaging. You’ve tried prying it open with your fingers. You’ve even tried cutting it with scissors, but even your sharpest pair isn’t up to the task at hand. 

Now, it’s easy to injure yourself when attempting to slice through tough plastic packaging, especially if you don’t have the proper tools at your disposal. That’s why you should invest in box cutters, ones that are primarily geared toward your safety while still keeping an effective edge. Even if you have safe box cutters, you still need to know how to handle them correctly and safely open plastic packaging. 

Let’s dive into five tips to open your packages without a lot of trouble and how to do so fit this without hurting yourself. Your sanity will thank us later. 

5 tips for opening plastic packaging safely

Get safe box cutters

First and foremost, you need box cutters to cut plastic packaging. Box cutters are perfect for nipping that wrap rage in the bud. But the trick here is to ensure that your box cutters are safe and up to the task. For example, you don’t want to employ an old box cutter with a rusty, dull blade. 

Box cutters like these that have blades that are composed of zirconium oxide are really safe and durable. Zirconium oxide is an advanced ceramic that is harder than steel yet safe to the touch. Not only that, but it can slice through a wide variety of tough materials, including plastic packaging. 

Secondly, seek out box cutters with a durable, lightweight handle. Glass-filled nylon is a fantastic material that sits comfortably in your hand, curtailing repetitive muscle strain from using an awkward-to-hold box cutter. 

Thirdly, look for box cutters with a “J-hook” handle. The shape of said handle will shield your fingers from potential exposure to the blade while you cut. Keep your eyes peeled for handles that are ergonomic. 

5 tips for opening plastic packaging safely

Safety comes first 

Regardless of how you approach cutting plastic packaging, always bear in mind that safety takes precedence over everything else. Not just yours, but those around you. If you have them, put on a pair of gloves to protect your fingers. 

In addition, if you’re in close proximity to other people, move away from them. The last thing you want is to inadvertently injure someone if you fall prey to a bout of wrap rage. 

Always cut away from yourself when you’ve got a box cutter in hand. That’s a common cutting rule that applies here as well. Never hold a plastic-packaged item between your legs for stability. That’s just opening the floodgates for potential lacerations. 

Check for perforation  

Some manufacturers have included perforations or slits in their packaging as a starting point for consumers. So, check the back of your plastic package for a perforated line. You can also check the sides for pull tabs that can be easily pulled apart. 

If you do find a perforated line on the back of the package, you can simply begin the opening process from there without resorting to sharp tools. 

5 tips for opening plastic packaging safely

If you can, avoid clamshell packaging 

Clamshell packaging tends to elicit wrap rage the most. It’s also a common culprit for injuries and should be avoided if possible. Some online retailers are abandoning clamshell packaging altogether. For example, Amazon has “Amazon Certified Frustration-Free Packaging.” 

An alternative form of packaging that you may wish to consider is blister packing. This is a type of plastic packaging for products such as vitamins and supplements, but it can also be used for things like fruits, vegetables, and even toothbrushes, so it’s very versatile. Blister pack manufacturers produce plastic, cardboard, or paper packages that are sealed with a thin layer of plastic film. The film is usually heat-sealed and is designed to cover the contents of the package and protect them from dirt, moisture, and other contaminants.

In brick-and-mortar stores, you can clearly see how items are displayed and avoid clamshell packaged items. Figuring this out online will be more of a task unless the product description highlights this detail.

While your goal may be more focused on opening the package to retrieve whatever item is inside, supporting eco-friendly companies is an added perk. The less trouble the packaging is, the easier the purchasing experience is. Additionally, companies that use recyclable materials (like the one mentioned above) help the environment!

Of course, if you must buy products with clamshell packaging, having a trusty box cutter on hand will help alleviate your wrap rage and make the opening process significantly easier. 

Never cut down the middle of the package

If the product packaging doesn’t have pull tabs or a perforated line, you’ll have to open it the old-fashioned way by slicing it open. Never cut down the middle of your package. You not only run the risk of potentially damaging what’s inside or cutting through vital instructions, but you’re opening yourself up to unnecessary injuries. 

Instead, start on the edges. Remember, scissors won’t usually cut it here, so safe box cutters are the way to go. Start on the right side of the package if you’re right-handed. Left for the lefties. Then, cut up and around the perimeter. 

Final thoughts

If you keep these five tips in mind, you’ll find that your plastic-package-cutting experience will be easy and breezy. With safe box cutters, never cut down the middle of plastic packaging; check for perforated lines; avoid clamshell packaging if possible; always cut away from your body; and keep your distance from others while using sharp objects. Say goodbye to wrap rage and hello to safety!

One comment

  1. Box cutters are a great idea. And I can always do with a reminder to look for an opening perforation before trying to take a package apart the hard way!

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