As the holiday season approaches, parents around the globe are surely dreading the inevitable return of a phenomenon that shadows the giving of gifts of many shapes and sizes, but especially toys. Leaving in its wake a trail of victims with puncture wounds, bruises and lacerations—or simply in tears, Wrap Rage results from the virtually impenetrable packaging often used in shipping new products.
Fortunately, this year Amazon aims to do something about it. Thanks to a new, multi-year global initiative announced yesterday, Amazon is working with manufacturers to eliminate the causes of Wrap Rage while also minimizing the impact of packaging on the environment. The effort is focusing first on two kinds of items: those enclosed in hard plastic cases known as “clamshells” and those secured with plastic-coated wire ties, commonly used in toy packaging. As a result, 19 best-selling products are now available through Amazon in the US packaged in smaller, easy-to-open and recyclable cardboard boxes that protect the products within just as well, the company says. New, eco-iconic packaging on the Fisher-Price Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship, for example, eliminates 36 inches of plastic-coated wire ties, 1,576.5 square inches of printed corrugated package inserts, 36.1 square inches of printed folding carton materials, 175.25 square inches of PVC blisters, 3.5 square inches of ABS molded styrene and two molded plastic fasteners. Along with Fisher-Price, Mattel, Microsoft and electronics manufacturer Transcend are among the companies Amazon worked with on this first batch of products, and many more will follow in the years to come, it says. The project will expand across Amazon’s international sites beginning next year. In the meantime, Amazon has also put together a “Gallery of Wrap Rage” featuring videos and photos of the phenomenon, and customers are invited to upload their own.
Eco-minded initiatives are all very well, but when they also eliminate a major source of customer frustration? Then they become a no-brainer. Manufacturers around the world: follow this example!