The three terms in the title are often used interchangeably, and wrongfully so. Tamper-proof, tamper-resistant and tamper-evident are indicative of three different categories of technology that allow businesses to safeguard their product before it reaches the customer.  

    Let’s go over what exactly can be defined as the above-mentioned technologies to avoid any false expectations.   

  • France bans plastic packaging for most fruits and vegetables


    France has banned the use of plastics to package most fruit and vegetables.

    The ban came into effect on Saturday under new regulations that French President Emmanuel Macron’s government says are meant to phase out single-use plastics as pollution worsens globally.

    Under the new rules, leeks and carrots, tomatoes and potatoes, apples and pears and about 30 other items can no longer be sold in plastic. Instead, they should be wrapped in recyclable materials.

    Plastic will still be allowed for more fragile fruits such as berries and peaches, but is to be gradually phased out in the coming years.

    Magazines and other publications will also need to be shipped without plastic wrapping, and fast-food restaurants will no longer be allowed to offer free plastic toys to children.

    Later this year, public spaces will also be made to introduce water fountains to reduce the use of plastic bottles.

    The government says the new regulation is expected to eliminate about 1 billion items of plastic waste a year.

    “It’s a bit schizophrenic because on the one hand, the French are very much aware of the need to reduce plastic use. There is broad support for not using so much plastic. At the same time, once you buy vegetables yourself, you realise that nothing has been done to find new ways of wrapping that stops the produce from decomposing too fast,” she said.

    “The other thing is that this comes right in the time of COVID. And quite frankly, people were just happy not to have others pawing their vegetables, trying them and smelling them and buying or not buying them,” she said. “People do not know how exactly to take it. There’s pluses and minuses on this.”

    France’s packaging industry meanwhile said it was dismayed by the new rules, particularly a ban on the use of recycled plastics.

    “We were never consulted,” complained Laurent Grandin, head of the fruit and vegetable sector’s Interfel association.

    He told the AFP news agency that the costs were “insurmountable” for small companies who would have to keep using plastic to protect exports, notably to the United Kingdom, a major client for French apples.

    Elipso, an association that represents manufacturers, said in a statement that it has client firms “who will have to stop their fruit and vegetable packing activity, even though they have been working on alternatives using less plastic or recycled plastic for several years”.

    Elipso and Polyvia, a union of 3,500 firms making packaging, have appealed to France’s State Council, which has jurisdiction over administrative disputes, against what they say is a distortion of European markets as the ban applies solely to France.

    But Armand Chaigne, director of industrial markets at packaging firm DS Smith, sees the benefits, notably for cardboard manufacturers.

    “It is estimated that in Europe, out of the eight million tonnes of plastic produced per year for single-use packaging, 1.5 million tonnes could already be removed,” he said.

    “That represents about 70 billion units of single-use plastic packaging”, or “about seven billion euros ($7.9bn) of additional turnover potential for cardboard.”

  • Canadian company builds a better box of chocolates using braille


    A move by a Canadian chocolate maker to produce packaging for blind and partially sighted people is one of several campaigns this year by companies trying to make their products more accessible to people with disabilities (PWD).

    Purdys Chcolatier created a holiday box of chocolates this Christmas with both a braille label and a braille legend for the chocolates inside.

    "When it first launched online and in select shops, it sold out within a matter of hours," Julia Cho, the brand's marketing manager, said from its Vancouver factory.

    "I know the box is not perfect and we have so much to learn, but to me, it encourages me that this is a step in the right direction."

    The company, which has 80 stores across Canada, rushed to produce more braille boxes, and Cho says another run will come in the new year.

    'There is a lot of work to be done'
    Some big-name companies put a spotlight on inclusive products and packages in 2021, says Christina Mallon, the head of inclusive design and accessibility at Wunderman Thompson, a creative agency in New York City.

    "There is a trend towards inclusive product design, and I see that in 2022, it's going to get even larger," said Mallon, whose clients include the fashion label Tommy Hilfiger, tech giant Microsoft and consumer goods brand Unilever.

    Still, Mallon, who is disabled, says the movement is painfully small, compared to the needs of the PWD community.

    How the Nike Go FlyEase upended the world of adaptive fashion
    "There is a lot of work to be done," she said.

    According to Statistics Canada, 6.2 million people, or roughly one in five Canadians, have a disability. About 1.5 million of them identify as having sight loss.

    Purdys designed its braille box and legend in consultation with members of the blind and partially sighted community. The National Federation of the Blind in the United States estimates that only one in 10 blind people can read braille.

    "This is rare to find braille on a product," said John Rae, a retired Toronto man who has been blind for most of his adult life. He says he was happy to be able to buy a braille box.

    "Many products or services are not constructed or built with blind people in mind."

    An online video from the company features emotional reactions from members of the community to the box.

    Companies adopting inclusive design
    When it comes to packaging, creating more inclusive or accessible designs has several elements.

    "It's ensuring that you can easily open the packaging. And then it's ensuring that you can easily manipulate the product to make it work," Mallon explained. "And that's ensuring that easy grip, easy tear, open, perforated edges; ensuring that someone with a visual impairment can actually identify the product."

    Mallon, who has paralysis in both arms, has struggled as a consumer with packaging and difficult-to-handle products, as well as with clothing.

    Her personal experiences helped her guide Unilever through creating a more accessible design for its deodorant brand Degree.

    TV for all: how a Canadian company is making TV better for people with visual impairments
    An open letter to beauty companies on how to level up when it comes to inclusion
    Earlier this year, a new container for Degree was tested with 200 Americans who have disabilities.

    Online videos from the company show athletic people with disabilities using the product. A more informational video shows the container's hook-shaped cap, ergonomic bottom grip, braille labelling and large applicator.

    A team of experts, including Mallon, and others with disabilities were part of the design process.

    Unilever has not announced when the product will be launched, but Procter & Gamble is selling Oil of Olay face creams with an "easy open lid" online.

    The company also did not patent the design and published it on the internet so other manufacturers could use it.

    Some beauty brands have been providing forms of accessible packaging for years.

    L'Occitane started putting braille on its packages in 1997.

    Canadian social media influencer Molly Burke, who is blind, has critiqued the packaging of a number of beauty products in online videos.

    Much more work needed to create change
    There are signs of progress in packaging design in other industries, too.

    Kellogg's tested a more accessible QR code design this year to help partially sighted customers identify products and get information about them.

    Microsoft created easy-to-open packaging for its Xbox Adaptive Controller.

    Mallon celebrates these high-profile efforts but says people with disabilities are still all too often low-priority customers.

    "I've been doing this for about seven years," she said. "And I can name all the accessible products and the mainstream brands on both of my hands."

    People with disabilities are a huge market
    Mallon points out that people with disabilities are a huge market.

    According to the World Health Organization, roughly 15 per cent of the world's population, or about 1.1 billion people, identify as having some form of disability. WHO says this makes people with disabilities the world's largest minority group.

    Return on Disability, a Canadian research and advocacy firm, found that the number of people with disabilities around the world represents an emerging market the size of China plus the European Union, with $1.9 trillion in disposable income every year.

    Disability in demand: People with autism offer employers a broader talent pool
    Add to that estimate an aging population in many counties, which will mean more consumers with disabilities in the future.

    Yet Mallon says she still encounters company executives with doubts about the value of this market.

    "I think some brands are still hesitant because they believe that it's still a niche market that doesn't have the money," she said.

    Peter Athanasopoulos​ agrees that doubting the disabled shopper is a mistake.

    He suffered a spinal cord injury in a diving accident as a teenager and has limited use of his fingers.

    Today he's the director of public policy for Spinal Cord Injury Ontario and lives independently in Bluewater, Ont.

    Driverless cars, talking ATMs: Disabilities are transforming big business
    He says people with disabilities are excellent customers for companies that make their products and packages easier for them to use.

    "I become super loyal when I see a company doing that. When I find something that works, I stick to it," Athanasopoulos said. "So there's a value for that company."

    He also thinks that it's time for companies to pick up the pace of change. "Are they getting better fast enough? I would say not."  

    Young designers being taught inclusivity   
    At design schools across the country, the product and packaging designers of the future are being taught to bring the values of inclusivity and accessibility into their work, says Donna Saccutelli.

    Saccutelli, a graphic design professor at Seneca College in Toronto, helped the school launch a targeted Inclusive Design for Business program just six months ago.

    The 120 spots in it filled up quickly.

    Saccutelli said that "there's been a lack of awareness in companies with decision-makers" about accessible design.

    Now, she's training designers to think about inclusivity as being just as important as environmental sustainability.

    "Where the world is today, we need to be doing that."

  • Danish consortium launches bottle made from local household recycled plastic waste


    The companies say this is a first-of-its-kind collaboration in Denmark, bringing together leading players from across the recycled plastics value chain with the aim with increasing the use of plastic waste from Danish households and closing the loop on plastic packaging. The most recent development builds on the initiative from the Danish Technological Institute to prevent plastic waste from being downcycled.

    The partnership began with a request from Nopa Nordic for packaging with recycled material from domestic Danish household-sorted waste. The company is one of the Nordic region’s leading private label manufacturers of detergents, cleaning, and personal care products.

    Damifos’ role in the project is to collect and sort the plastics from household waste from local municipalities in Denmark. The company intends to prove that valuable products can be made from plastic waste by using sorting technology at Damifo’s Danish plant, with the company allegedly handling over 300,000 tonnes of waste from private households and businesses nationwide.

    Meanwhile, Aage Vestergaard Larsen is the manufacturer of the plastic raw material. It is currently developing a new reprocessing technology with the aim of cleaning and melting household plastic waste made from PE for use in recycled, high-quality plastics. The company claims that it has invested “significantly” in the project and has seen an increase in its production capacity, which it adds shows an increased demand for recycled plastics.

    Schela Plast is responsible for producing the recycled plastic packaging, apparently offering its knowledge of blow moulded packaging made from imported household-sorted plastic waste to the project.

    According to the companies, consumer demand for sustainable packaging solutions was also a key driver of the collaboration. The collaborators are expecting the production of local recycled plastics from Denmark to increase over the course of the project.

    Recent research suggests that consumers seek convenience when engaging with recycling schemes even as demand for recycled products remains high. Denmark’s deposit return scheme (DRS) – an initiative aimed at collecting all materials, including glass, plastic, and aluminium using a variable fee for different containers that can then be returned by consumers – has been hailed as one of the most successful iterations of the scheme so far in Europe, which suggests engagement with household recycling is high in the country.

  • Pune food vendors to increase prices after FDA bans newspaper use in packaging


    Pune: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Maharashtra issued orders instructing food vendors to not use newspaper for wrapping of food items as it is harmful for customers due to the ink used, city-based food stalls, snacks centres and sweet shop owners have decided to use blank white paper for wrapping and it will increase the cost of food items.

    FDA issued the order for Pune on December 22 and launched random checking of food stall and snack centres across the city.

    “Despite hike in fuel prices causing rise in cost of oil and other raw materials, we did not change the cost of food items. However, the latest FDA order has left us with no alternative but to increase price by 10 per cent to 15 per cent as plain white paper costs around ₹60 per kg. We have decided to increase the food item rates from January 1, 2022 at our shop,” said Sagar Galande, owner of a sweet mart shop on Shivaji road.

    Mahesh Chavan, secretary of small-scale food vendors association in Pune, said, “There are more than 2,000 small food vendors which include shops, street vendors, hawkers and other food item stalls that daily use newspapers for food wrapping. And some of the food items like bhel, vada pav and chaat items are given only in newspapers for wrapping and parcel delivery. Using white paper leaves us no option other than increase the food rates.”

    Currently on average the cost of food items sold and packed in newspapers costs around ₹10 to ₹40 depending of items like bhel, vada pav, samosa and kachori, sweet items, bakery items and other things. As old newspapers are sold at cheap rates from scrap dealers, shop owners find it affordable. Using white papers or thin plastic bags for packaging will lead to rise in cost of snacks for customers.

    Talking about the harmful effects of newspaper ink, Dr Kailash Mistry said, “The ink used to print newspapers are made of chemicals and it contaminates the food which is wrapped inside it. It causes many people to suffer of stomach issues or vomiting. Also, stomach infection can be caused after consuming such harmful food items packed in newspapers.”


  • Radico Khaitan brings cheer with the “Celebration Pack” for Morpheus Brandy this New Year

    Radico Khaitan Limited, India’s largest IMFL company, kicked off the new year festivities by launching a special edition “Celebration Pack” for Morpheus - India’s largest selling premium brandy. The limited-edition celebration pack will be available across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Pondicherry and Karnataka in the first week of 2022. With its glorious appearance and arty packaging, the pack is sure to shine among consumers. The celebration pack is also a tribute to the art and crafts community marking a decade of godly craftsmanship of the blend.

  • Somerset cheese maker Wyke Farms gets a brand refresh across its packaging


    The UK’s largest independent cheese producer has this week revealed new branding for its core range of cheddar; Mature, Extra Mature and Vintage, including the 550g family size pack.

    Somerset-based Wyke Farms, whose products are consumed in around 165 countries worldwide, said the refresh has achieved a reduction of 35% less packaging being used and allowed room for Wyke Farms’ “unique provenance and sustainability USP’s”.

    The logo now refers to the Clothier family’s special heritage and reads: “Family Cheesemakers Since 1861”, a change from “Somerset Farming Since 1861”. The sustainability has been given significant space on the new packs with the ‘Made using 100% Green Energy’ logo located in the eye catching top-right position.

    A sketched Somerset landscape provides the backdrop for the new packs and the Wyke Farms’ provenance and product quality assurance are also highlighted with the Red Tractor logo and the “Lovingly made in Somerset with British Milk” statement on front of pack. Consumers will now also be able to see the cheddar with an addition of a window just behind the text of the logo.

    Rich Clothier, managing director and third generation family member at Wyke Farms, established in 1861 by his grandmother Ivy Clothier, said: “Our new packs communicate the work being carried out here on the farm in Somerset; green energy, family farming, British milk and quality cheddar production are what makes us unique.”

  • Silver surfers ride the online shopping wave in Central Europe

    Annual Mondi consumer trend research shows year-on-year growth in online shopping by consumers in Germany and Poland
    Silver Surfers (age 55+) are a growing eCommerce consumer segment: nine out of ten shopped online in 2021; 49% bought more online than last year and 5% shopped online for the first time
    Demand for sustainable packaging highlighted, with more than three quarters of online shoppers preferring eCommerce packaging that is reusable for returns or easily recyclable
    Positive ‘unboxing’ experience inspires repeat purchases 

  • This Is the Pinnacle of Product Packaging


    Rise Above
    The photograph of the AirPods on the box lid is embossed, which is a technique that (we believe) Apple first introduced on the iPhone 6 ’s packaging as a ghosted outline of that product. On the AirPods’ packaging, it’s hardly noticeable until one runs their hand across the otherwise unobstructed white surface. Apple has raised the surface just the right amount, to give it a characteristic that puts the product forward. You can tell what it is by touch alone.

    Premium Stock
    The unboxing experience starts with the outer shrink-wrap barrier, which is placed so that the clear plastic seam wraps perfectly around the center of the box. For maximum satisfaction when excavating your new AirPods (or any Apple product), run a knife or razor blade along the four gaps where the lid and bottom of the box meet, then peel away the wrap piece by perfect piece. Underneath the plastic, you’ll find Apple doesn’t skimp on the sustainable box stock, either, on which, it appears, the brand has switched to a new satin finish. The custom typeface is Apple ’s newest, San Francisco, and is foil stamped in silver.

    Never Loses (Perfect) Suction
    Ever notice that the lids and bottoms of many product packages don’t separate easily and need a shake or tug to open? That ’s largely due to a small vacuum inside the box. Apple studies this vacuum and, rumor has it, has precisely timed how long it takes for the bottom half of the packaging to ease out and separate under its own weight when the box is held by the lid. This performs double duty: it both builds anticipation and prevents a product from falling out abruptly. If you drop your gadget later, that’s on you. But while you’re with the packaging, Apple still wants complete control of the experience.

    Bare Essentials
    Apple doubles down on the minimalist aesthetic inside. No twist ties (paper fastener instead), no more shrink wrap, no tape. Only the necessities, all formed and textured beautifully.

    Intentional Order
    With Apple, there are no coincidences. The contents within the packaging are presented in a logical fashion: you have to unpackage everything in a sequence that builds anticipation as you go. Flip back Apple ’s requisite “Designed by Apple in California” lid, which contains the manual, to finally reveal the AirPods. They’re held by a molded cradle made of sustainably harvested bamboo fiber and bagasse, a byproduct of sugarcane manufacturing. To complete the experience, resting underneath the AirPods is their Lightning cable, not that you’ll need them right away — Apple knows you want your device to ship fully charged.


  • Apple’s Distribution Chain The Real Winner Of Less iPhone 12 Packaging


    Like most Apple announcements, there was mention of a faster chip, a more detailed camera, and a tougher screen.

    But the most significant change was the announcement that the new iPhone 12 wouldn't come with AirPods or a charger, and less packaging as a result - 50% less, to be exact. 

    Apple's marketing department says: 

    93% of the packaging is fibre-based, due to our work to use less plastic in packaging
    100% of the wood fibre comes from recycled and responsible sources
    72% recycled content in fibre packaging 

    Apple says it's part of their goal to 'eliminate plastics, increase recycled content, and use less packaging overall'.

    While Apple has pledged that all its products will be carbon neutral by 2030, the company does have a turbulent history of greenwashing. 

    After sitting down and analysing Apple's new packaging with Packhelp's supply chain expert and packaging engineer, Artur Obolenski, we discovered that the latest Apple packaging has wide-reaching benefits for the tech-giant - mainly their supply chain.

    "What can't be argued is that Apple is a trendsetter, and many brands will follow in Apple's footsteps," stated Oboleński. "And less packaging can only be good for the environment."

    Apple has claimed that the omission of the accessories is a win for the environment, as iPhones now have less packaging.

    But like all things' eco', it's not as black and white as it initially seems. 

    Apple packaging for the iPhone 12: Less is best?
    Apple's reasoning for dropping the charger is the idea that there are so many chargers and powered USB ports already, that it doesn't make sense to include the typical 'wall wart' anymore.

    People also prefer to use aftermarket headphones, meaning many of the included AirPods don't get used. 

    This reasoning is sound and is a rare example of Apple acknowledging aftermarket products and competitors.

    And it's this reasoning that led to a 50% reduction in Apple packaging on the new iPhone.

    'The most basic fundamental rule of packaging design is that packaging follows the product - there's no need for excess packaging.' 

    'Less packaging is always good. 50% less packaging is great, but the product to packaging ratio still needs to be taken into account', says Oboleński.

    Interestingly, French retailers will still have to sell the iPhone 12 with a hands-free device thanks to laws about electromagnetic radiation concerning small children.

    Apple provides French stockists with an iPhone in the standard packaging that doesn't have the AirPods but puts that package inside yet another box that contains AirPods.

    "A single packaging unit is better than two smaller ones. However, the solution for the French market shows the new Apple packaging in a new light,' explains Oboleński.

    It's unclear why Apple decided to manufacture a large box to hold two already packaged Apple products, rather than a single box to hold the unboxed iPhone and AirPods.

    Packaging made for the French regulations would have eliminated the need for two packed items to be placed into another box, and been the best ecological solution, too. 

    "If you have to sell two items, the planet will be better off if you apply the most basic economic design principles - sell them in one optimised box instead of two individual ones."

    Similar to packaging for a limited edition product, a single packaging solution for the French market would be the most environmentally and economically friendly solution.  

    Winner: Apple's long-haul distribution chain
    Apple has made a massively eco-friendly move, but not in a traditional manner.

    In slashing packaging use in half, Apple has simultaneously lowered it's distribution chain's carbon footprint as well as operational costs.

    Many brands consider sustainable or eco-friendly packaging alternatives to be those that implement cutting-edge materials technology, such as Ikea's use of mushroom-based packaging or biodegradable solutions.

    But the easiest and most significant way to lower your packaging's carbon footprint is to use as little packaging as possible. 

    "Switching to a circular economy built on reusing materials, and implementing volume-reduced packaging will deliver the most savings to brand, consumer and environment alike”. 

    "This new form of Apple packaging is exactly that,' says Oboleński

    When looking at the environmental impact of packaging, reducing the overall volume of packaging used is a potent way of lowering carbon emissions during transport. 

    Smaller packaging means not only less raw material used to create the packaging, but more products fit onto a pallet. Apple states 'the reduction in packaging means 70% more phones can fit on a pallet'. 

    The reduction in Apple's iPhone packaging means fewer carbon emissions are released during shipping from the Chinese manufacturer to a local distributor.

    With both the air and sea shipping industry responsible for staggering amounts of emissions, more products on the same number of pallets mean fewer journeys; a plus for Apple's environmental policy and the environment. 

    Oboleński explains, "Beyond doubt, using less packaging is always good. While 50% of smaller packaging mightn't equate to 50% fewer carbon emissions, it does mean less packaging being put into circulation." 

    50% less packaging, plus the omission of AirPods and wall charger means the overall package is almost 40% lighter, too. However, distribution channels are almost always measured in cubic volume, rather than weight. 

    "As we're not talking about a large, weighty object, a physically smaller unit has more financial and environmental savings than a lighter unit,' says Oboleński. 

    No cutting last-mile delivery emissions
    For Apple's overland last-mile delivery (from the warehouse to a retailer), the packaging reduction has a much smaller effect on carbon emissions.  

    "In reality, there are several factors that influence last-mile delivery to a retailer. Storage space at the end facility, as well as expected sale volumes affect a retailer's order, and therefore how densely a delivery is packed. This decision can be fully explained by cost-cutting," Oboleński says.

    "The narrative of this being done because of the environmental benefits is an overstatement, if not greenwashing."

    The good news is that innovation often flows upstream in a supply chain.

    Less packaging being used means warehouses now have more space, and that flat packaging is quicker to assemble.

    Apple is now primed to lower the amount of packaging used in other flagship products, as well as secondary packaging elsewhere in their distribution chains.

    But is making your packaging physically smaller always the best strategy?

    "As long as the packaging provides full protection of the product, you want to keep it as small as possible," explains Oboleński. "It's good for your product economy, for the environment and it's simply common sense." 

    "When taking product design, marketing needs and merchandising opportunities into consideration, one can easily see how the picture gets blurred, and the business decision-making gets complex'

    Reducing plastic in packaging 
    Companies the world over are doubling-down on their efforts to cut out reliance on single-use plastic packaging. And Apple is no different. 

    "Plastic is a great material that lets businesses offer more, at a low price," explains Oboleński.

    "The recyclability of plastic is, however, still a challenge due to leaking circular systems or no systems at all, which ultimately sees plastic packaging in landfill and waterways."

    Companies can benefit massively by some simple revisions of existing packaging designs. Removing a plastic window on a retail box does not affect sales, and may remove the use of plastic altogether. 

    Apple states "We're transitioning to plastics from renewable or recycled sources as alternatives to fossil fuel-based plastics. For the iPhone 12 mini, we use 35 per cent or more recycled plastic in eight components."

    Using less plastic is always a good thing, but Obolenski warns that consumers are quick to see through vagueness. Uncertainty breeds scepticism.

    Using recycled wood fibre
    Apple's packaging of the iPhone 12 also uses more wood fibre (or paper pulp) than the packaging for previous models, including the replacement of the plastic display protector with ones made from fibre. 

    However, using fibre in the form of cardboard and paper is only as credible as the certifications that back it up. 

    It states that all wood fibre used in Apple packaging comes from responsibly managed forests and that they have "protected or created enough responsibly-managed forests to cover all the virgin wood fibre we use in our packaging."

    However, Obolenski was unable to find any form of logo or indication of there being a certification, which is peculiar given Apple’s documentation on the topic.

    "Apple's use of both recycled and responsibly managed wood fibre is certainly a step in the right direction." 

    "It's strange for a brand to have documentation that their packaging materials were certified, but not show that on the packaging itself," Obolenski commented.

    Apple Packaging: Eco-friendly or marketing hype?
    It's important to understand that going sustainable is a journey; there's no one silver bullet solution. With Apple packaging hundreds, possibly thousands of SKUs, true sustainability is sure to be an ongoing process. 

    However, the immediate beneficiary of Apple's new packaging design is its supply chain and distribution channels, with 50% less packaging also doing less harm to the environment. 

    "Apple's new packaging is a winner for the environment, and it's back pocket, thanks to the supply chain benefits of using less packaging," concludes Oboleński. 

    "The brand isn’t revolutionising the packaging industry, so while their effort is admirable, they’re not going to win any eco-trophies for using less packaging'. 

    Ultimately, the most eco-conscious decision a business can make about their packaging is not to use any packaging at all. The second best thing is to use as little packaging as possible. 

    Artur Obolenski and his team of expert packaging engineers can help your business do just that.

    Reach out to Packhelp's team to optimise your packaging supply chain and help the environment out in the process.

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