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This Packing Tape Innovation Takes The Hassle Out Of Unboxing

The Rip Cord
Courtesy of Quirky.com
The Rip Cord

Our "Weekly Innovation" blog series explores an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

Trying to open tightly sealed boxes can be particularly annoying without the right tools around. How many of us walk around with razor blades at the ready? And if you try the task with your fingernails, the injuries can be pretty painful. (Believe me, I've been there. I used to work at Gap, unpacking boxes of denim.)

So this week's innovation pick is the Rip Cord. It's a cord embedded into packing tape that makes the tape easier to pull off a box, and subsequently makes boxes easier to break down. The Rip Cord's string is stuck to tape in such a way that the cord rests in the gap of a box's flaps. To open a box, pull on the cord, and it easily rips the tape at the box's seam.

The Rip Cord is currently in development and isn't available for sale, yet.
/ Courtesy of Quirky.com
Courtesy of Quirky.com
The Rip Cord is currently in development and isn't available for sale, yet.

This is not unlike the seals of those cardboard FedEx or UPS envelopes, which have a tab you can pull to easily rip open the letter package.

An Ohio-based man, Jay Andress, came up with the box-opening idea and pitched it on Quirky, a site where you can submit your invention idea and the community decides whether it should actually be made.

The creator's planet-loving pitch kept recycling at its core. Businesses get lots of packages and if they can't be easily flattened, they may not get recycled. So Andress hopes that making it easy to take boxes apart will make recycling much easier, too.

The Rip Cord is now in development but not yet available for sale. It's expected to sell for about $10 a roll, whenever it comes out.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Elise Hu is a host-at-large based at NPR West in Culver City, Calif. Previously, she explored the future with her video series, Future You with Elise Hu, and served as the founding bureau chief and International Correspondent for NPR's Seoul office. She was based in Seoul for nearly four years, responsible for the network's coverage of both Koreas and Japan, and filed from a dozen countries across Asia.
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