January 26, 2009 No doubt many readers are still nursing injuries sustained on Christmas morning as they tried to free a new toy or gadget from the impenetrable fortress that is clamshell packaging. Such packaging has even spawned a device specifically designed to combat the finger slicing clear plastic and a number of big name manufacturers including Sony and Microsoft have jumped on the bandwagon to rid the Earth of this unnecessary burden. One of the best alternatives we've seen made an appearance at CES 2009, with MWV packaging showcasing the latest version of its environmentally friendly, paperboard-based Natralock security packaging solution.

Already used by such companies as SanDisk the Natralock is made from sustainably sourced laminated recyclable paperboard which is combined with a clear APET or RPET thermoform to create a visible package that uses 50 to 60 percent less plastic on average than traditional PVC clamshell and is nearly impossible to tear apart by hand. However, unlike clamshell, consumers can easily open the Natralock package with a pair of household scissors. It also features conductive ink technology that emits an audible sound or “alarm” when the package is tampered with or if the ink circuit is broken to provide security without compromising visibility.

Advantages for manufacturers include reduced warehousing, transportation and shipping costs when compared to petroleum-based packaging thanks to Natralock packaging being lighter and requiring fewer components. It also achieves superior price stability by relying less on PET and PVC plastic resins and increases production rates and efficiencies as well, sealing up to 40 to 60 percent faster on average. MWV also points out that it reduces the need for manual labor by eliminating time-consuming insert sheets altogether and can use existing sealing machinery. With the obvious disadvantages of clamshell packaging we can only hope manufacturers get on board to bring us a clamshell free Christmas next year.

For further info visit MWV.