Monday, March 10, 2014

To open push here

... or 'To Open Press Here', 'Push Up With Thumbs' - among the instructions to open containers that frustrate me.

For the packages with 'Push here' indicating where to open, usually thick card boxes, I normally end up stabbing them with a sharp knife, as much to vent my frustration as to actually access the product inside.

The packaging that most annoys me, and sometimes almost defeats me, is that thick heat wrapped plastic, with or without a perforated strip. This type of packaging is frequently used on makeup, directly on the container as I guess that is cheaper than putting them in a bubble wrap card - not much easier to open. Surely someone could come up with something a little easier to remove? Though that does defeat the purpose which is to prevent them being opened in the store, prior to purchase.

I do understand the packaging is required by the FDA to prevent tampering, their guidelines (here) state:


Cosmetic liquid oral hygiene products, e.g., mouthwashes and breath fresheners, and any kind of vaginal product introduced into interstate commerce after February 6, 1984, must be packaged in tamper-resistant packages if intended to be accessible to the public while held for retail sale - 21 CFR 700.25...."

I recently spent the best part of 20 minutes removing the plastic from a blemish concealer pen (not intended for internal use), there was no perforated strip, I did search carefully with a magnifying glass, though the perforation rarely helps much . So I got a small, sharp scissors and, after the said 20 minutes, I finally got in. If safes were wrapped in this stuff it would totally defeat any safe cracker, the police would have ample time to reach the scene of the crime.

ready to remove plastic

At least the plastic didn't cling to my hands the way the stuff my embroidery thread is wrapped in does. I guess the thread is wrapped to prevent it from getting dirty or frayed, but a simple strip of thin plastic wrap with scotch tape would suffice, after all I don't think the FDA cares about anyone tampering with embroidery thread, I am sure there are no guidelines anywhere that prescribe thread should be so heavily guarded.

The plastic on the thread is a little easier to remove and I am working on a few ideas to prevent it clinging to my hands with such determination. I have considered using the disposable rubber gloves which I use in the kitchen when preparing food, but I think if I did that I would have to remove the plastic from all of my threads in one sitting, it would give my husband way too much amusement if I put on disposable gloves every time I started embroidery. He already thinks that I am a germaphobe.

First I remove the cap at the top by
cutting into it above the thread line

Once I have managed to get rid of the cap, I peel the rest off,
it doesn't always co-operate as well as this picture shows.
Frequently it comes off in small pieces as the concealer did,
each piece clinging to my fingers, almost impossible to shake off.

Of course, there are more issues with embroidery thread than just getting inside the packaging. That label on the top of the spool is important, the number indicates the color/shade of the thread, and all embroidery patterns list the numbers of the colors required to complete the pattern. You can use whatever color you wish, but it is still important to know the number, without that, if you need to order replacement thread, it isn't always easy to match the color.

The problem is that in order to use the thread it has to be put on the spool pin, which either pops the label off, or pierces it making the number almost impossible to read.

I did consider writing the number below each spool on the thread rack, but I knew that I wouldn't always replace them in the same spot, and what if the rack were to got knocked over? there would be no way to put them back in the correct order.

I got around that issue by using a fine Sharpie paint pen (using the standard Sharpie won't work as the ink wipes off), then after I have finished fighting with the plastic, I remove the label and write the number on the base of the spool, so far that is working really well (thanks to my husband who is my ideas man).

He bought me these nifty grips to use for opening stubborn jars. I had actually used similar to remove the oil filter on my car when doing an oil change, but it never occurred to me to apply them in the kitchen. They really do work well.

There are so many other types of packaging and instructions to open which do not work, it makes me wonder how they come up with them and do they ever actually test their theories to be sure they work? And clearly, for the makeup, they have no idea how to remove the plastic seal and therefore no suggestions are supplied, at least none that I could see.

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