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The EU PACKAGE project

Carus, D. and Doyle, M.J. (2003) The EU PACKAGE project. In: Faraday Packaging Partnership Conference, 2002-04-01.

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Abstract

PACKAGE is a three-year project funded by the European Commission's Information Society Technologies (IST) Programme, currently at its mid-stage. It is concerned with improving the manner in which disabled and elderly people open packages used for consumer products and access the information on their labels to promote the concepts of an inclusive society. The application area is consumer packaging, typically used by supermarkets for the sale of food, drink and detergents. Modern packaging methods have provided enormous benefit for the purchase, transport and storage of foodstuffs. However, there is an increasing body of empirical evidence that suggests elderly and even mildly disabled people encounter problems with packaging in a number of areas. For instance, people with vision impairments are disadvantaged because the font size used on food labels is usually small. This disadvantage is compounded because increased age is also associated with diseases for which diet is thought to be important. People with impaired hand function experience difficulties opening packages. People with food intolerances have difficulty understanding food labels.