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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Could Blister Packaging Bring Environmental Fines?

example of blister packed products in cardboard display As more and more retailers demand their own personalize packaging, and more co-branding strategies bundle products together and everyone races to protect smaller products from theft with bulky packages that are more difficult to conceal during shop lifting and pilferage exercises, the pendulum is starting to swing back against blister packaging and other forms of potentially excessive packaging.

Many consumer advocates are starting to complain that all this packaging is bad for the environment.  Blister packages do not recycle well if at all, and they create bulky problems at land fills.  All the extra card board has environmentalists very concerned about the price of packaging in terms of loss of trees.

Plus, many consumers are getting increasingly frustrated with the time required to open an item, and all the extra work required to dispose of the Sam's Club/Costco/BJ's and other club packaging that seems to dominate the bigger is better marketing campaign of clubs and those stores trying to emulate or compete with clubs.

All that extra packaging turns into extra garbage, which creates some very real and dramatic anger by consumers when they are trying to help their children get that Christmas toy out of the box and then again, when they have to haul all those extra pounds of garbage to the curb.

In Great Brittain, there is even talk of turning excessive packaging into be investigate for potential environmental fines to local councils at the request of the Environment Minister.  The United States typically does not respond to the environmental issues directly, but there are many consumers that are getting increasingly annoyed with the hassle of all that trash.

Plus, marketers are starting to emulate the less is better approach made cool by Apple with its iPod packaging.  More and more blister packs are seen as both uncool and often times cheap, decreasing the potential value of the product.  Vendors and Retailers might end up sacrificing margin and curtailing a products life expectancy if its packaged in a blister pack.