Removing Plastic Packaging

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 170 Posts
December 28, 2010

Plastic PackagingWhile wrapping a gift that was difficult to open, I had an idea. This particular gift was encased with that familiar hard plastic. This was a present for my young grandson. I knew he would be very excited when he saw the contents. I thought about what a pain it would be for the parents to open the package.


So I carefully opened the package around the sides and then taped it so it would not fully open while I was wrapping it. This makes it so much easier to open. But please be aware, do not allow the child to open it even if it is taped. The plastic is still hard and sharp and could slice the child.

I still do not why manufacturers still package their products like that. It is so frustrating to open these packages. I use a box cutter when opening them but I still must be very careful to prevent getting cut/sliced by the plastic.

When buying a gift that must be assembled, we usually assemble the gift and then wrap it. We save all the packaging and the receipt in case there is a problem and has to be returned/exchanged. If it a large item, I wrap it using a plastic tablecloth purchased at a dollar discount store and decorate it with stickers.

Assembling the gift makes it so much easier for the parents with young children. This is also a good idea for others, like an elderly person. Also, it is a good idea to provide any batteries if needed.


By it' from NE PA / USA

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 124 Posts
September 24, 2012

I was having trouble opening a hard plastic package containing my new emergency window hammer. Then I thought of trying to use a manual can opener. I wore some light gardening gloves to retrieve the item.

Manual can opener for clamshell packages.

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December 18, 2004

One tip I have for toys under the tree is to remove them from their packaging before wrapping them. Toys these days have so much plastic and twist ties that it can take forever to get a toy out of their packaging.

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Bronze Tip Medal for All Time! 86 Tips
December 11, 2012

Run a can opener along the edges of the plastic package to open the clam shell or blister packaging easily.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 27, 2006

What device or technique do you use to remove the sealed heavy plastic packaging used on many products? Tearing it won't work. Cutting with scissors either doesn't work or ruins the scissors. Knives and box cutters are dangerous; they slip on the smooth packaging. The packaging itself can cut skin too. I've been looking for a tool at places like Staples, but I'm getting nowhere.

Iris from Columbia, SC

Editor's Note: I know exactly what Iris is talking about. A lot of items, like DVDs or small electronics at warehouse stores, now come in really thick plastic. It's VERY difficult to cut through and you can cut yourself on the plastic edges.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 170 Posts
January 27, 20060 found this helpful

In my opinion, manufacturers should not be allowed to use this packaging. It can be dangerous. Even after you figure a way to cut it, you then have to be careful that you do not slice yourself with the cut plastic.


There has to be a remedy to this annoying problem. I hope someone has the answer.

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January 27, 20060 found this helpful

I use a seatbelt cutter, it works really good and no danger of cutting yourself

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January 27, 20060 found this helpful

I know what you mean. I bought a pr. of earrings at walmart and also a chain. It took me almost half an hour to open the stupid things. The are hard to cut open with all of the weird angles on the packages too. I am sick of this. I hope some has a solution to this and also opening Gatorade bottles has become a problem for me. I have to use vice grips to open these now. Why are they so hard to open.


Kathie, South Portland, Maine

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 791 Feedbacks
January 27, 20060 found this helpful

I have found that the scissors that come in knife blocks work the best in cutting the heavy plastic. I don't have a solution for cutting around the odd shapes, tho.

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January 27, 20060 found this helpful

Maybe heavy duty scissors or light-weight tinsnips would work. I'm going to check out the seatbelt cutter...never seen one. Tool shopping for this problem will have to be done at an automotive or hardware store.


Has anyone tried to take apart a multipiece kid's toy? You need an engineering degree and the jaws-of-life.

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By Mary (Guest Post)
January 27, 20060 found this helpful

The next thing we all need to do, is contact the manufacturers every time we run into this problem. I can manage- or make my husband do it, but what about my 80 year old neighbour? Let's let the makers know they need to come up with a better plan!

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By Leigh Ann (Guest Post)
January 27, 20060 found this helpful

You need a GOOD pair of kitchen shears. The Pampered Chef has a great pair available. I demo them by cutting through a tin can lid at every show and open all of our plastic packaging with them at home. I even snip right through all those little wires holding toys in their packages.


I can cut my lilacs with them in the spring too! Of course, as a consultant, I'd be happy to set you up with a pair. They can be viewed and ordered at www pamperedchef biz/leighann. Add the "dots" instead of spaces!

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 156 Feedbacks
January 27, 20060 found this helpful

I use wire cutters to cut the heavy plastic packaging. I feel bad for anyone that has arthritis in their hands because it would be impossible for them to open their new purchases.

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Diamond Feedback Medal for All Time! 1,317 Feedbacks
January 27, 20060 found this helpful

HGTV on I WANT THAT or some show with new gadgets showcased a new cutter for just that.
Rosie O'Donnell cut her finger I think and got a staph infection because of that hard plastic. I had
on end of plastic go up under my fingernail and OUCH.

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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 288 Posts
January 28, 20060 found this helpful

Great granny Vi here...I use a heavy duty kitchen Shears to get a start on one corner,Then use pliers and a screw driver to open those ornery plastic packages..I also use pliers on some bacon packages that have the corner to open with the two sides.My hands can't hold the plastic to open it.Most times I just cut the plastic and put the bacon in a ziplock bag.

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By Jill (Guest Post)
January 28, 20060 found this helpful

If you have purchased the product in a store, go to the service desk, and ask them to open it. (I do this most often with CDs that come in those big plastic frames to reduce theft.) You don't have to give an explanation, but if they ask for one, tell them you are concerned that you will damage the product if you try to do it at home! If the person at the desk is reluctant, ask to speak to the store manager. (That way, too, if the product does get damaged, it is not your liability.)

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January 28, 20060 found this helpful

I got heavy duty scissors at the dollar store, all metal. they work well

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January 30, 20060 found this helpful

Iris,I use the kitchen sicssiors that you use to cut open a whole chicken in half,works terrific and NO kitchen should be w/o them! They're really cheap and I have even found them at a $ store too! Jackie

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July 24, 20060 found this helpful

i dont know if it works or not but i saw an ad on tv for a package shark, it is meant to safely cut open packages. i dont know if it works but it looks like it does, it is at hope it helps or works for you, i was thinkin about trying it. but i am not sure. package shark.

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By Concerned... (Guest Post)
December 2, 20061 found this helpful


I found this gadget. (

I don't know if it works, but it sure looks like it would. I am 35 and have had severe arthritis since I was 6 and the idea of scissors, pliers, screwdrivers, etc is a no-go.

Here are some reviews at Amazon too: (Affiliate Link)

Or there's the package shark:

Or the Pyranna:

and on eBay you can find Klever Kutter which appears to be nifty.

Good luck to everyone....

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 170 Feedbacks
January 23, 20220 found this helpful

Not only is this kind of packaging annoying / frustrating and hard on the hands (for adults, at least; perhaps impossible for youngsters), it's not very environmentally friendly either.

How about we do two things: send an e-mail or online note to the company complaining about it and, secondly, return the packaging to the retailer (customer service department) with a complaint.

This problem will continue only as long as we put up with it.

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