Amazon Leads Charge Against Clamshell Packaging

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2008 4:05 PM CST
An electronics store.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Stories of angry and even injured customers have inspired companies to ditch sealed clamshell packaging for easy-to-open alternatives, the New York Times reports. Amazon leads the pack, working with suppliers to ship products in plain cardboard boxes ahead of the holidays. Even some offline companies, which rely on clamshells to guard against theft, are seeking out alternatives.

Statistics have been mounting against the hermetically sealed packages. About 6,000 Americans go to ER annually with injuries suffered trying to stab and pry open clamshells. One annual report lists the hardest-to-open, and timed an Oral-B toothbrush at more than eight minutes. But companies originally liked the clear plastic for displaying items. “None of us intentionally tried to make this a hassle for consumers,” one Sony executive said.