Amazon offers 'frustration-free' packaging on top products


blister-pack.jpgWe’ve all been there – that headphone cable that takes two pairs of scissors, a kitchen knife and a bulldog clip to get out of its packet, but still manages to nearly take off your finger. Well, if Amazon gets its way, that experience will be no more – it’s announced a ‘frustration-free packaging’ and launches today on 19 of Amazon’s best-selling products.

The goal is to make it easier for customers to get to the stuff they’ve paid for, and it also has the side-benefit of reducing use of plastic, which sticks about for bazillions of years once discarded. Amazon are initially focusing on two things – the aforementioned plastic bubble clamshells and those with plastic-coated wires tying them in place.

Fisher-Price, Microsoft, Mattel and Transcend are all involved with the early stages of this initiative. The example Amazon give is an “Imaginext Adventures Pirate Ship” from Fisher-Price, where the manufacturers have stripped out 36″ of plastic-coated wire ties, 1,576.5 square inches of printed carton materials, 175.25 square inches of PVC blister packs, 3.5 square inches of ABS molded styrene, and two molded plastic fasteners. Gosh. It’s a wonder there’s anything left. The new cardboard packaging is recycled.

Memory cards also plague customers, with their blister packs. Amazon are looking into shipping these in a new recyclable cardboard envelope, so that blister packs need no longer be sent. Amazon spend less on shipping, manufacturers spend less on packaging, the customer spends less time battling with acres of plastic, and the world doesn’t get another plastic wire-tie. Feel that? It’s that warm fuzzy feeling of ‘everyone wins’.

The initiative is US-only at the moment, but if it goes well then Amazon want to bring it out across the world. Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, says “It will take many years, but our vision is to offer our entire catalogue of products in frustration-free packaging.” Hear hear, Jeff.

Amazon UK (via Ars Technica)

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Duncan Geere
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