A complex world puts a premium on packaging security

Packaging security—the business of getting a product to its intended user or consumer without uninvited interference—is a global issue.

The threat of bioterrorism in the United States and counterfeiting in Asia and South America loom as big factors. But even shoplifting at the retailer down on Main Street, USA, is driving packaged goods companies to look at their total packaging approach.

That’s the picture that emerges from Packaging World’s interviews with a wide range of packagers, suppliers, and consultants for whom packaging security is a key responsibility. What stands out is the belief that no “magic bullet” exists to improve packaging security across the board. The focus needs to be on a total systems approach rather than some kind of quick

fix that can be slapped onto the side of a package.

“What’s important is for brand owners to look at the entire supply chain and then develop security systems that include packaging to protect products,” says Myles Culbertson of The Product Surety Center, a New Mexico State University organization that has worked closely with the Food and Drug Administration on security issues for food and drugs.

This special section analyzes some of today’s most important packaging security issues and provides an overview of emerging technologies aimed at improving packaging security. We can think of no other topic more deserving of the packaging community’s time and attention.

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