Here’s a great reason to use gift bags this Christmas.
We’ll spend the equivalent of 43 days of their lifetime – struggling to open troublesome packaging.
A study of 2,000 UK adults found they spend 19 minutes a week trying to get into tricky packaging which is secured with too much tape, cable ties or even items which are screwed into place.
And a sixth of Brits will spend more than half an hour of Christmas day trying to free their gifts of their annoying containers.
Vacuum-packed plastic wrap and stuck jars are also among the encasements many find themselves struggling to open.
But a sixth have even broken scissors or knives from being unable to get into difficult packaging, while as many as two-fifths have hurt themselves in their bid to unwrap something.
A spokesperson for DS Smith, which commissioned the research, said: “These shocking results show that problem packaging isn’t just a nuisance, it’s a real issue that’s affecting millions of people and making them feel less included at special times like Christmas.
“It’s simply not good enough that brands and online stores aren’t taking a more inclusive approach to their packaging.
“At DS Smith we are passionate about offering packaging solutions that help everyone.
“We have engineered boxes that are easier to open and typefaces that make products easier to identify.
“These not only benefit those who struggle with grip strength or sight problems, they make life a bit easier for the majority of the population.”
The study also found taped boxes, toys screwed into plastic, ring pulls and medicine bottles cause frequent annoyances for Brits.
As a result, 84 per cent feel frustrated when unable to break into packaging, with one in three getting riled up when stuck opening a product or packet.
And a fifth will even feel defeated by the containers they can’t get into.
These annoyances are caused by several challenging factors, with three in 10 complaining too much tape was used which made it hard to get into a packet.
A fifth of those polled get annoyed because they needed a screwdriver to free a product from its packaging, and a third have grown frustrated simply because it took too long to get something from its container.
And nearly a quarter have also ended up damaging or breaking the product itself.
This has led to one in four having an argument due to struggles to get into a product, with nearly two-thirds having a fallout with their partners.
And a further three in 10 have bickered with their children, according to the OnePoll research.
The same number have even been put off specific brands because of the frustrations they’ve experienced with the packaging encasing the products they’ve bought.
It also emerged businesses could be missing out on £1.5billion, as a fifth of adults have avoided ordering a particular product online over concerns about being able to open it.
More than two-fifths would be more likely to buy again from a brand which had packaging that was easy to get into, with the average Brit finding issues with one in every six products.
Nearly half have had to ask for help after failed attempts to relieve a product of its packaging confinement, giving up after just eight minutes of struggle.
This has left one in 10 feeling embarrassed and an equal percentage getting fed up, with a fifth frustrated after turning to others for assistance.
A spokesperson for DS Smith added: “The rise of e-commerce is meant to make getting what you need easier than ever – but as this research shows many brands and online shops are falling at the last hurdle: making the packaging easy to open.
“With Brits reporting issues with one in every six products it is this ignorance that is hitting them in the pocket and potentially costing them billions of pounds.”