Child resistant (CR) packaging, which must be difficult for children ages 5 and under to open but easy for most adults, has existed to protect children from inadvertently ingesting harmful substances since the 1970s, and the number of accidental poisonings of children has dramatically decreased in the years since its introduction.
Probably the most easily recognizable type of CR packaging is the bottle with a lid that requires two unlike and simultaneous motions to be opened – e.g., pushing down and twisting counterclockwise at the same time. While this is an example of child resistant primary packaging, some products require their secondary packaging (folding cartons) to be child resistant, either in addition to or instead of the primary packaging. This is especially true in the emerging industry of cannabis products: as many edible products must be primarily wrapped in paper or foil, the burden of compliance with CR regulations for marijuana packaging falls to the secondary packaging processes.
For a packaging system to be considered child resistant, it must pass federal tests demonstrating that a set number of children ages 4 and 5 are unable to open the package within a given timeframe, as well as tests showing that it can consistently be opened by most adults, including seniors.
Current CR Secondary Packaging Options
Many child resistant, secondary packaging solutions exist on the market today, but options are limited to designs that often detract from the packaging’s aesthetic appeal and offer an unrefined user experience. Folding cartons can be made child resistant in any number of ways, but a popular solution is by adding tabs or buttons that must be pushed or otherwise engaged for the carton to open, allowing access to its contents. CR secondary packaging solutions on the market today:
- Have tabs/buttons that are located on the front panel which can interfere with overall branding and takes away prime real estate for messaging and product information
- Have tabs/buttons that protrude beyond the outer perimeter of the carton, resulting in an awkward and off-balance appearance
- Use plastic trays that are less environmentally safe, may not conform/fit the product, and limit the amount of additional messaging that could be printed on internal components
- Are too hard for adults to open and sometimes results in ‘muscling’ breaking the carton rendering it incapable of being re-sealed (which is a requirement for multi-serving products)
- Are generic and utilitarian in appearance and offer little custom decoration that conveys a premium brand or product
At JohnsByrne, we don’t believe that packaging should get in the way; we think it should be used to express it. Child resistant packaging solutions that are customized for elegance, include additional elements that serve an aesthetic rather than purely functional purpose, and are innovatively designed to stand out from the crowd are possible, and we are here to help.
We see packaging as an art form, and nothing pleases us more than working with a client to develop a packaging solution that not only meets all functional requirements, but also embodies the brand’s image and message for fast recognition and a familiar consumer experience. Making your packaging child resistant doesn’t have to detract from its appearance: work with our team to develop a solution that will keep kids safe and consumers coming back.
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