Accessible Packaging

Arthritis New Zealand is in the process of developing guidelines to use for accessible packaging. We would like to see businesses and government support the inclusion of accessibility guidelines into existing voluntary guidelines. Accessible packaging is an ongoing challenge for people with arthritis, and others.

In 2015, Dr Shane Reti MP led a campaign “Can you 51 it?” highlighting the challenges in tear-open packaging. For this, students at Kamo High School undertook a research project to test the strength of different kinds of packaging. And, a survey by Catalyst Research found that in 2013, 53% of consumers have suffered an injury when trying to open packaging.

“With my ability, find some packaging very hard to open and ask for help which has been difficult. There are easier ways of packaging, such as easy-tear strips. I do not purchase much packaged food. Fresh is best but frozen and prepackaged food is fabulous when both hands are a problem and there is no one to help – easy opening of packaging is necessary for independence.”

Particular difficulties are reported with tear-open packaging, milk containers, medication and tight lids on jars.


Campaign to make food packaging easier to open starts in Whangarei:

Tear it off campaign:

School lifts lid on tricky packaging:

Accessible design and why it’s important:

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