• This episode’s packaging image courtesy of Wellman Packaging.
    This episode’s packaging image courtesy of Wellman Packaging.
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PKN talks... Poetry, with an Ode to Packaging, presented by Lindy Hughson.

In this short episode, Ode to Packaging, a lighthearted poem presented by PKN publisher Lindy Hughson, examines the genesis of a piece of packaging and its journey to the retail shelf, with packaging itself taking the voice of the narrator.

Ode to Packaging by Lindy Hughson

It's a tough gig
being a piece
of packaging
these days…

Life starts quite simply
[as it does for you guys]
I’m a twinkle in the eye
of the designer,
an espresso-fuelled
sketch-in-play
on a paper napkin
in some hipster café

With a gush of inspiration
I take shape on screen
my curves are drawn
I ease into my first form

The maternity ward
is a 3D printer
I’m a prototype
just a beginner

In my birthday suit
drawing ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from most
I’m passed from marketing pillar
to consumer group post

Until at last
every test is passed
and it’s time to accede
to my material need

Virgin or recycled?
Paper, glass, or plastic?
[Check the specs
for I must be fantastic]

They shape me
or mould me
choose my barriers and seals,
my layers and coatings
[it’s a very big deal]
Next, they’ll question
Their parenting skills…
Am I light enough?
green enough?
strong enough?
protected enough?
[Such pressure
on the young,
it’s pretty tough]

Stripped bare,
washed clean
I'm pushed
through a machine
cameras on watch
keep my act clean
[One wrong move
and I’m a has-been]

Jostled along
my conveyor commute
neck tall and mouth gaping
I wait in line down the chute
to be nozzle-fed
my measured dose
the rest of my kin
following me close

Belly filled up
I’m hustled on by
yet another discreet
but beady eye
to don my cap
and receive with grace
my tamper-evident
necklace
get my bottom tattooed
for track and trace
and finally yield
to the mechanical embrace
of robotic arms lifting me
to the next resting place.

Now, nested in
the shipping case
my cohorts and me
firmly put in our place
are off to the shrink
to get the [w]rap for the ride
next stop: the shelf
easy street, outside?

I've done the hard yards
I'm ready to stand
priced and poised
proud for my brand

Tucked up tight
in my shelf-ready case
my best face forward
the tension picks up pace

Down the aisle
comes my shopper
harried and hurried
smartphone in hand
now I'm getting worried

It's the moment of truth
[I've got seconds I'm told]
to make her pick me
to have and to hold

But my shiny new label
does not do the trick
she's chosen my neighbour
whose branding is slick

His contents the same
only packaged up smarter
she can scan him and go places
and I'm left trailing after...

So, it's time to take stock
and revamp myself
because it doesn’t feel good
to be left on the shelf.

You can listen via the link above or follow on your own podcast platform:

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To find out more about sponsoring The PKN Podcast, contact Sharon Amos.

This episode’s packaging image courtesy of Wellman Packaging.

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The PKN Podcast is produced by Southern Skies Media on behalf of PKN Packaging News, owned and published by Yaffa Media.

The views of the people featured on this podcast do not necessarily represent the views of PKN Packaging News, Yaffa Media, or the guest’s employer. The contents are copyright by Yaffa Media.

If you wish to use any of this podcast’s audio, please contact PKN Packaging News via their website www.packagingnews.com.au or send an email to editor@packagingnews.com.au.

MC: Grant McHerron
Host: Lindy Hughson
Producer: Steve Visscher

PKN Packaging News - © 2021

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