Among the most necessary characteristics of packaging materials, tamper-resistance is at the fore-front carrying the responsibility of maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the packaged items. The FDA defines tamper-evident packaging as "one having one or more indicators or barriers to entry which, if breached or missing, can reasonably be expected to provide visible evidence to consumers that tampering has occurred."
What are the benefits of tamper-evident packaging?
Tamper-evident packaging not only prevents the products from contamination but also from damaging. From over-the-counter pain killers to blister packs used in the pharmaceutical industry to induction seal liners, these packaging options assure product safety and alert consumers if the package is being tampered with.
Some of the examples of tamper-evident packaging are:
- Shrink bands are majorly used for securing ice-cream lids or for products having a lid or cap.
- Jarred foods feature a button-top lid that creates a pop sound when opened for the first time. If there is no pop sound, it indicates that the product has been tampered with.
- Tamper-evident industrial tapes are generally used for securing envelopes, boxes, pallets, and envelopes.
- Certain labels include security and TEP functions that feature RFID technology allowing users to trace the products through the supply chain.
What are the drawbacks?
While designing tamper-evident packaging for products, consumer convenience must also be kept in mind. Companies that use protective packaging are the ones those have mastered to observe the fine line between safety and consumer-friendliness. Today's consumers even tend to avoid certain brands or products if they feel that the packaging is difficult to open.
What is the environmental impact?
Tamper-evident packaging like blister packs used for over-the-counter pharmaceuticals are difficult to recycle. Usually, these kinds of packages are made from at least two types of materials that are inseparable from each other which prevent them from disposing off easily and thus end up in landfills or into the ocean.
However, some companies such as PLACON, a company out of Madison, WI have seriously considered the environmental hazard of the tamper-evident packaging and designed packaging that are made from environment-friendly materials with minimum risk of choking hazards. These products virtually eliminate the need for additional labeling or shrink bands. Considering safety as a major concern, such a packaging ensures high tamper resistance while also alerting the customers in case the products are found to be compromised. However, these recyclable, tamper-evident packaging options are slightly costlier than their non-recyclable counterparts.