CBS Detroit recently discussed the importance of vigilant shopping, especially when it comes to counterfeit goods. As Bill Cummings, vice president of marketing and communication, Thinfilm, has discussed with Label & Narrow Web, there can be certain health and safety risks at stake when dealing with false merchandise.
While there might not be an inherent risk with a counterfeit stuffed animal from the latest Disney movie, health and beauty products, as well as those dealing with electronics, could pose a problem. According to Consumer Reports, a good number of customers are inclined to check for the safety seal that Underwriters Laboratories places on over 22 billion products each year.
However, “Fraudsters create knockoff labels for appliances and electronics, particularly low-cost items such as power strips and extension cords, as well as mobile-phone chargers and batteries,” says John Drengenberg, UL’s consumer safety director.
This could lead to electrical fires, and in the case of makeup, potential skin hazards.
Chief Customs and Border Protection has seized 23,000 counterfeit goods in Michigan during 2015, which is a jump from the 11,000 the previous year.
While smart packaging has not been universally accepted yet, it could help remedy many of these issues in the years to come, especially around holiday season where family members could unknowingly buy a counterfeit gift. Thinfilm’s OpenSense technology not only alerts users to the open and closed state of the product through NFC technology, it also verifies and authenticates applicable goods.
The potential is there to ensure a safe and happy holiday, especially as smart packaging becomes more widely accepted.