I know I’m getting older, but I’m certainly not a wimp! In fact, I take great pride in being more self-sufficient than most. But I’ve reached my limit and am waging war with manufacturers who seem to think that their customers have nothing better to do than figure out how to unwrap their precious products.
It was bad enough when they started bottling our medications with child-proof caps. It got so bad that when I needed an aspirin I had to wait until my four-year-old grandson came to visit. Finally, I got smart and requested the pharmacist to package my prescriptions without the child-proof caps. After all, I don’t have children to worry about and my cats really aren’t at all interested in getting into bottles. They much prefer to wait until I open their food. And, so far, their cans still open with a can opener.
But prescription bottles aren’t the only culprits.
The obsession with packaging has really gotten out of control.
The packaging for foods – especially frozen vegetable and salad packages designed to be opened and resealed to keep in freshness – is horrible. No, actually the idea is great! But does it really have to be so complicated? The design and instructions for use are so complex that I finally simply use my new handy-dandy kitchen sheers to open the package and remove unused foods into a Tupperware. Yes, I know there’s a secret and it’s probably really quite simple. But I’ve found it impossible to unlock the code to operate the mechanism properly. And when I’m preparing a meal, I just don’t have the patience to futz with it.
Have you tried opening a bottle of salad dressing or mayonnaise lately? Simple twist-off bottle caps aren’t enough. They’re all sealed and require a knife or other sharp tool to crack the seal, just below the lid, if you want to enjoy the contents. And, if that isn’t enough, I discovered that a pipe wrench is pretty good at twisting those lids off.
I bought one of those handy-dandy throw-away cell phones recently. I could see that getting into that package wasn’t going to be easy. So instead of taking the unopened package home and fighting with it, I asked the store clerk to open it for me. She pulled out a utility knife. “Oh, that’s what I need, a utility knife,” I thought. And, I rushed over to the hardware store to get one for the next item I buy. It’s an amazingly versatile tool…I now use it instead of my butcher knives to open the seals on jars.
My daughter gave me a gift recently. It was one of those lovely aromatherapy bottles room fresheners that hold bamboo sticks I love it! But had to get into the plastic container first. I was prepared! I pulled out my utility knife and hacked away. But wait! The bottle was firmly glued to a plastic pedestal. And that defied any effort to separate it from the bottle. I tried everything. But nothing worked…until I got hold of a hacksaw. I broke through the glob of plastic glue-like substance, I still had to remove it from the bottom of the bottle. I couldn’t put the bottle down without it sticking to, and staining, the counter.
What to do? Well, I tried everything I could think of with no success until… of course! Nail polish remover!! It worked!! Actually, I’ve discovered that nail polish is an absolute must for dealing with all kinds of adhesives. Soap and hot water just don’t do the job anymore for the new-fangled glues.
I must admit I’m getting pretty proud of myself for outsmarting those packaging companies. But, can anyone tell me is this obsession with tamper-proof plastic wrapping really necessary? I thought we’d decided that plastic isn’t good for the environment because it just doesn’t decompose and it’s a glut on our landfills.
I have solved my challenges with packaging for now. But I’ve decided that I have a better solution. Wherever possible I’m no longer buying anything that is packaged in plastic of any kind.