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Safe and secure: The rise of tamper evident

tapes and packaging As the risk of counterfeiting continues to grow, companies are adopting tamper evident packaging in an effort to defend the integrity of their brands, says Essentra

behind a holographic effect after the label has been removed. These types of labels give the consumer a visual indicator that the product has been tampered with, but the consumer’s impression of the brand will not be tarnished. Also, the upscale look of the hologram will help consumers identify that the seal and associated remaining image on the original packaging were intended to protect them – giving them confidence in the authenticity of the product.

Tamper evident solutions provide the end user with confidence by empowering the consumer to personally confirm

that the product they are opening has not been altered or interfered with, thereby communicating a brand’s authenticity. With offices and production facilities worldwide, manufacturer and supplier of packaging and security solutions, Essentra, caters to a diverse customer base in over 100 countries; its packaging and securing solutions division offers a range of tapes, labels, bags, seals and specialist packaging. The company is also a supplier of identity solutions and authentication technologies. Speaking exclusively to Converter, Ian Lemon, global category manager health and personal care at Essentra, says that in many cases such features have been implemented as a proactive measure; however, in certain industries, such as food packaging, pharmaceuticals or cosmetics, it has already - or will - become mandatory. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, the Falsified Medicines Directive in 2011 required tamper verification in Article 54: “…a device allowing verification of whether the outer packaging has been tampered with.”

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Tamper evident solutions are available in a number of forms, such as labels which are destroyed when the product is opened, glued cartons where destruction or tampering is visible, sealed overwrap with tear tape, and cargo shipments security seals.

Unsightly adhesive residue In the case of labels, tamper verification can be provided with varying levels of sophistication. At entry level, simple labels with permanent adhesive provide a clear visual indicator that the pack has been opened; namely that a ripped package could not be reused without notice, as parts of the pack would be missing. However, from a consumer’s perspective, the packaging may be difficult to open, or may leave behind an unsightly mess. As a result, this experience could be misinterpreted, as consumers may view the untidy image as a negative reflection of the brand rather than appreciate the tamper verification that has been provided. A more sophisticated solution could be a label that leaves behind a visual cue on the original packaging upon removal. This could be a basic void release type label or more complex hidden hologram that leaves

Built-in package security Tamper evidence can also be built into the design of cartons, such as the reverse tuck end with glued flaps or dagger locks. The side-walled glued skillet with scored top opening and the standard sidewall glue skillet with zip-tear opening provide additional solutions. All of these ‘built-in’ features entail the destruction of the original carton. In these cases, providing consumers with easy opening features will help to eliminate frustrating product experiences. Overwrap with tear tape protects against tampering and allows layers of security to be cost effectively added via the tear tape itself (for example, when combined with Essentra’s taggant technology). This solution is the most elegant from a consumer standpoint; however, for some brand owners, this can be excessive if they are not already using overwrap. Finally, mechanical devices, such as security seals, are used to seal or lock cargo shipments. These items are for single use only and they provide a visual indication that a sealed shipment has been potentially interfered with and/or compromised. There is no doubt that tamper evidence solutions are effective in preventing counterfeiting, but ultimately, to achieve the highest level of protection, Essentra advocates integrating a variety of security measures within a brand’s product packaging in addition, including track-and- trace solutions such as serialisation.

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