That’s a Wrap: The Best and Worst Packaging of 2020

The results have been tallied from our annual ‘That’s a Wrap’ campaign and we are excited to announce the winners.

Worst Packaging of 2020

As usual, the ‘Worst Packaging’ category continues to be the most popular nomination category of the campaign, where stories of wielding knives and having loved ones or pharmacist help open wrap-rage inducing packaging horrified but did not shock us. The worst offenders of 2020 were:

5. Clamshell packaging

4. Ring-pull tin cans

3. Milk bottles – with twist lids and the half-moon seals, which also won the Worst Packaging in 2017

2. Medicine packaging – Push through tablet trays, also known as blister packs

1. Medicine packaging – Push down and turn child-resistant bottles

‘Worst Packaging’ category winner

This year we are excited to announce that the Therapeutic Good Administration (TGA) has allowed us to have medicine packaging join our Easy to Open certification program. This means we will be testing medication packaging and certifying those that are accessible to the arthritis community – hopefully making access to your medications a little less enraging!

Best Packaging of 2020

Although we appreciate nominations that include “better than” a horrible alternative, we do investigate nominations and sadly this year none of the nominations met our minimum standards to be crowned the ‘Best Packaging’. Yes, our standards might be considered high, but our consumers deserve packaging that doesn’t produce pain, frustration or discomfort.

We did receive two nominations which we are giving the title of ‘Honourable Mention’, although they still need further improvement to not cause discomfort:

  • Chemist Own paracetamol packaging – which was described as having a more flexible plastic tray and thinner foil to allow you to apply minimal pressure to push the medication out

  • Mi battery branded clamshell packaging – which its nominator noted that it didn’t require any tools to open the two halves.

We hope 2021 brings many more ‘Best’ category worthy packaging nominations!

For those interested in our 2020 nomination and voting rules that we use to tally the results, please see below.

About That’s a Wrap: the Best and Worst Packaging of 2020

The annual social media campaign is designed to highlight types of packaging consumers have struggled with or found easy-to-open in the past 12 months. Your insights will assist our Accessible Design Division in identifying if particular packaging is becoming easier or harder-to-open over time. Your responses will also be used to educate the packaging industry about your experiences with packaging and hopefully reduce incidences of wrap-rage in the future.

Making a nomination

You can describe a general packaging format like glass jars with metal lids e.g. jam jar, or opening features like an induction seal commonly found on tomato sauce bottles.

ORYou can go into more detail by naming a specific product.

We will then tally the results, and announce the best and worst performers on Facebook in January 2021.

The rules

What does the ‘worst packaging’ mean?

Packaging that counts as the worst:

  • you couldn’t open it at all
  • you opened it after a struggle
  • caused you pain
  • hurt your self-opening it
  • had to use a tool, like a knife or scissors, to open it
  • had to ask someone else to open it for you
  • caused you to damage or spill the contents
  • caused a brief moment of hesitation, anxiety or fear about opening it due to previous negative experiences.

What does the ‘best packaging’ mean?

We are looking for packaging that is genuinely easy-to-open, not just slightly better then a really bad alternative. We may decide to disqualify and exclude packaging from the final tally, if:

  • Packaging still needs a tool to open it, including knives, scissors, grip matts or other creative tools
  • Packaging that consumers commonly hurt themselves opening
  • Nominations that seem to be not genuine e.g. sarcastic responses or if nominations appear to be made by employees of particular manufacturers or brand owners if its believe they are trying to influence the result.
  • You shouldn’t have to struggle with any packaging, but until that happens we want to know what packaging consistently makes your life easier. We may also buy samples of nominations to confirm that they are in fact reasonably accessible.

Other criteria

  • You can make nominations through our online form, as well as our social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as long as we are tagged in it and can see the response. If you prefer, you can call or write to us. Your experiences are what counts!
    • Tag us:
      • Use the hashtag: #bestandworstwrap
      • Twitter@ArthritisAust
      • Facebook: @ArthritisAustralia
      • Instagram: @ArthritisAustralia
  • Each Facebook ‘like’ or ‘comment’ agreeing with a nomination will be accepted as a vote towards that nomination. When nominations are made as descriptions rather then specific product names, we will group the nominations and votes as best as possible when tallying the final results.
  • You can nominate multiple products, but only one vote per person will be counted per nomination. In other words you can’t ‘vote’ for your own nomination. Here’s how it works:
    • Amy on Facebook nominates a product, which is then counted as one vote towards Product X
    • Bob comments on Amy’s post in support of that nomination, this will be counted as a vote towards the same Product X
    • Melissa then ‘likes’ both Amy’s nomination and Bob’s comment on Facebook, only one of these reactions will be counted, so one additional vote would go towards Product X
    • Max nominates Product X through the online form, this is counted as one vote towards that product
    • A total of four votes would be tallied for Product X.
  • If you specifically name a product and brand/manufacturer in the campaign we will try our best to contact them to let them know a nomination was made regarding their product. If you provide more details through our online form and provide an email address, we can follow up with any additional details needed to make a complaint. We will also ask your permission to share your contact details with the manufacturer so they can contact you directly about your experience. The more they know about the issues the more likely they are to make changes.
  • We love to hear stories about your experiences, both good and bad, as we use these to educate the packaging industry about your needs. If you have photos or videos then that’s even better, please upload them and tag us so they can be counted as a nomination. Alternatively you can send the file directly to us at [email protected]
  • Nominations will be open for all of December 2020 and the top responses will be announced on social media in late January.
  • This is a survey about Australian packaging, so please only participate if you have been opening packaging bought in Australia. If you’re in New Zealand, let us know and we can pass your responses onto our New Zealand counterparts, who are also trying to improve packaging for consumers.