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White knight in bid to help elderly

The Faraday Packaging Partnership has launched a new project looking at the opinions of the elderly when designing packaging.

According to a DTI study over £70M every year is spent by the NHS on injuries relating to packaging. Accidents relate to the inappropriate use of tools and utensils when opening packaging. The elderly are most at risk since they are likely to use tools to open packaging.

The study aims to develop a more detailed understanding of the issues affecting the design and use of packaging and, in particular, the problems associated with opening and closing of packaged goods.

Using a leaflet, data will be collected from up to 15 000 elderly people on packaging materials and closures that lead to injuries and accidents. Results from the survey will be distributed in the form of a report that will be supplied through the Faraday Packaging Partnership.

Dr Belinda Winder, leading the project at the Industrial Psychology Research Group at the University of Sheffield says: “The results of this research will be used to make positive changes to packaging.

“It is not simply an academic exercise. We will be working with companies to ensure that, in future, the consumer will actually enjoy opening packaging and not worry about whether they are going to end up in hospital.”

Corporate sponsors are invited to join the project and in return they will receive data for product development.

Further information is available from Faraday Packaging Partnership marketing and account manager Pauline King on 0113 343 4954 or email p.m.king@adm.leed.ac.uk