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Curing parental "wrap rage" one toy at a time

We’ve all been there. A son, daughter, niece or nephew opens a birthday present and suddenly something odd happens. The joy of getting a new toy turns to unimaginable frustration at the product’s packaging. It has a name – “wrap rage”.
Read on to find out how British retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S), together with Billerud, are putting a stop to this common affliction.

Removing plastic and metal cable ties from toy packaging can be maddening. Yet it isn’t intended to be a sadistic joke. All those ties are there for a reason. They give added security and protection and allow consumers to get more of a product experience on the shelf.

Leading British retailer, M&S, understood their customers’ frustration and set out to find another way to keep things secure and display just as much of the product, but without all the hassle.

“Getting toys out of their packaging can be highly frustrating for consumers – it is something that I personally find to be a real pain – and we’ve been working hard over the last 18 months to find a solution.”
Paula Chin, Senior Packaging Technologist, General Merchandise, Marks & Spencer

The challenge was to find a material that was easy to remove and offered strength similar to traditional cable ties. They also saw this as an opportunity to make the packaging more environmentally sound. Together with a team at Design Futures, part of Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, they discovered FibreForm from Billerud and shortly after developed the initial ‘Paper Ties’ idea.

“Our main focus is innovation so it is particularly thrilling to be recognised for it by the industry in this way. FibreForm from Billerud is a paper with exceptional strength. We have worked over the last three years to showcase the paper by producing innovative designs that you previously couldn’t make from paper. Working with a new material is always very exciting. It really allows designers to push boundaries and create truly innovative new designs.”
John Kirkby, Creative Director, Design Futures

FibreForm is strong because it’s made of the purest primary fibres. And its unique construction gives it a degree of elasticity. These two factors combined make it stable enough to be tightened around products with little risk of tearing.

“No more accidents trying to cut plastic and metal cable ties on birthdays, and no more frustrated children waiting to play with their new toy.”
Roger Wright, Head of Technical Packaging, General Merchandise, Marks & Spencer


It’s no coincidence that M&S and Billerud found each other. The people at M&S had the foresight and determination to challenge the accepted standard; to find a solution that makes things easier for their customers and the environment. A bright idea and an ideology that aligns perfectly with the mission of Billerud to challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future.

See also

Formable Paper

With our revolutionary 3D-formable BillerudKorsnäs FibreForm paper, we offer a formed paper packaging alternative to 100% plastic containers.

Communication through packaging

At design bureau NINE, which is part of the Billerud group, packaging is taken very seriously.