Thoughts and News on High Visibility Packaging

NEWS FROM INTERPACK: Hands off, kids

19 May 2014

The vast majority of all pharmaceutical drugs are put on the market in carton boxes containing blister strips. The only safeguard against children ingesting the contents has been to keep the packs out of sight and out of the reach of children.

Ecobliss, a producer of blister and high visibility packaging solutions, is the first to have successfully developed a simple, inexpensive and mass-producible carton box satisfying all stringent requirements that are imposed for child resistant packaging.
Its packaging concept, Locked4Kids, is one of the 10 finalists in the Gouden Noot 2014 Packaging Innovation Contest and was on show at interpack.

PKN stopped by the stand and spoke to Peter Bruggeman, senior business development manager at Ecobliss. He said that the reclosable carton box, in combination with a PET blister tray, enables drug manufacturers to package their products in a child resistant manner.

Locked4Kids meets the strict European (EN 8317) and American (UN16 CRF 1700.20) standards for reclosable child resistant packaging. The system was extensively tested and certified by the Belgian Packaging Institute.

Bruggeman explained how it works: The Locked4Kids packaging comprises a carton box containing a PET blister tray. The box has openings on the sides in which the blister tray is automatically locked when it is pushed all the way into the box. For this, hooks are attached to the edge of the blister tray. In order to be able to open the packaging, both hooks have to be pushed simultaneously, while pulling the blister tray out of the box. This is very difficult for small children. The hooks are placed diagonally to one another at a distance that cannot be spanned by the hand of a small child, but which is no problem for adults. The carton box is coated with a tear resistant laminate so as to prevent children from ripping it apart.

Here Bruggeman demonstrates the way it’s opened.

Locked4Kids will be officially launched in October of this year during the CPhI pharmaceutical trade fair in Paris. The winner of the Gouden Noot 2014 will be announced in September 30th.

In a separate statement, Ron Linssen, managing director of Ecobliss, said,

“We designed Locked4Kids with just one objective in mind: protecting small children from accidental poisoning. The laboratory of the Belgian Packaging Institute, an ISO 17025 accredited testing institute for materials and packaging, has certified Locked4Kids. The standards for such certification are very strict. Less than 15% of the test group of children between three and a half and four years and three months in age are able to open the packaging in under 5 minutes. And even after seeing a demonstration of how to open it, fewer than 20% of the same test group are able to open the packaging within another period of 5 minutes. At the same time, of course, opening and closing has to be easy for adults and seniors. We hope that Locked4Kids becomes the new standard for packaging drugs and other products that are potentially dangerous for small children.”

The pack is available in three sizes. The pack has yet to be commercialised and the company is currently inviting expressions of interest from licensees.