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Re-sealable Bags Perplexingly Difficult to Re-seal

» 29 August 2005 » In Everything » 4 Comments

In the past few days I have encountered several so-called re-sealable packages that boast things such as “resealable zipper,” “reclosable package,” “seal and store,” and other phrases that tell anyone living in the year 2005 that the product is enclosed in a basic storage bag with a plastic zipper that closes when you squeeze your fingers around it and slide them from one end to the other. I believe these bags were originally invented by Glad Corporation sometime in the early 1960s. So, by now I assume most of the patents are expired, and apparently everyone is now free to do what they want with the original idea.

For me, the re-sealable bag is a great idea. If I were in the meetings back in the ’60s I would probably be brainstorming with other co-workers about ways to meet the demand for a disposable container that would actually keep food fresh, how to improve on the fold over sandwich bag, or the original twist tie baggie. I imagine at some point one of the inventors in the meeting might have mentioned the need for efficiency. Think of the time that one could save while making their lunch if we didn’t have to put a twisty tie on our bags, if they would only seal themselves, or somehow stick together. Perhaps they weren’t as concerned with time then as we are now, but there was a definite reason for this wonderful zipper seal invention. The value for me is the ability to open and close my product quickly and easily.

Consider going to the kitchen, opening a cabinet, removing the bag of granola cereal, opening the convenient seal, pouring a handful of granola, and then attempting to close the “resealable bag” with a the slight disadvantage of a fist full of granola. Most people, including myself, would use the full hand to simply pinch one end of the bag between thumb and index finger, and simply slide the other hand across the top while squeezing between thumb and index finger, toss the sealed bag back into the cabinet, shut the door and walk off while simultaneously snacking on the granola.

This was my intention today when I accessed the Back to Nature—Cranberry Pecan Granola bag and could not close the zipper with this method. As I was fumbling with the seal and considering grabbing a plate, or perhaps standing there eating my granola until I could use both hands to full capacity to attempt the reseal, I thought about the Tyson—Pre-Cooked Bacon package the day before, and the Pepper-jack cheese package I had struggled with. Then I remembered the bag of Tyson Chicken that is in the freezer that I was completely unsuccessful in ever re-sealing. In that particular case, the idea of “resealable” was false advertising and I was forced to use my favorite method of folding over the top and clamping it closed with a clothespin.

So why is this packaging that should be efficient and useful, simply lacking in ability to fulfill its original purpose? Why in 2005 can we as a technology driven nation not figure out a way to duplicate the perfection of the Glad Corporation’s invention? Why do manufacturers want to piss me off with unfulfilled promises of resealability?

I’m utterly confused and frustrated by this phenomenon.

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