Beating the bias: Challenging the idea of traditionally male industries

Rajapack was started by two women in 1954, in post-war France. This was not only an unusual industry for women at that time, but even today there are industries that, for many reasons, remain male-dominated. We wanted to know why this is, especially as it’s clear that gender parity in the workplace matters to a business’s top line. In fact, gender diversity is crucial for industry innovation. In 2011, 85% of corporate diversity and talent leaders agreed that ‘A diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that drive innovation’.[i]

But what is it like for women working in traditionally male-dominated industries?

We spoke with 10 inspirational women working to change things from within the packaging, construction, manufacturing and engineering industries.

To mark International Women’s Day 2017, we have built this interactive report showcasing the inspiration and advice from these women, and gain an insider insight into why these industries have previously been lacking diversity.

Gender diversity in the workplace   

Lack of gender diversity in more traditional industries is a significant problem, both at entry level and in the boardroom. Packaging, construction, manufacturing and engineering remain male-dominated professions. Naomi Climer, President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) revealed the extent of this issue in the engineering industry: “Men still hold down 91% of jobs [in the engineering industry]. That is simply not acceptable. Indeed, it is harmful.”

There is no doubt that gender diversity in the workplace provides both cultural and economic benefits, so it is in everyone’s interest to do more to get women into roles in these industries, at all levels. To get to understand what it’s like to work in these industries, we asked women at senior levels about their experiences.

The current situation

According to the Diversity Matters report, re-released in 2015, businesses with a more diverse workforce perform better in terms of growth, earnings, and profits.[ii] As it stands, women-led SMEs contribute roughly £75 million to the UK’s economic output, and on a global scale, it is calculated that $28 trillion could be added to the GDP by 2025 if women are able to meet their “full potential” in the workplace.[iii]

There is something to be said for cultural shifts in the business environment at the hands of a greater gender balance. Women offer a different perspective in business,[iv] and workplace dynamics can change when the gender balance starts to shift. This is something a number of the women we spoke to have witnessed first-hand.

Joanna Stephenson, Co-founder of Women in Packaging commented, “until we’re in a place where we no longer have to think about what it means to be a ‘male leader’ or a ‘female leader’, rather than simply a ‘leader’ we still need to offer support, advice and guidance along the way. That’s why organisations such as Women in Packaging are necessary to help drive the change we wish to see in the industry.

Achieving gender parity

Despite the benefits of increased gender parity, growing the presence of women in traditional industries can be an uphill struggle. Not only are there long held male perspectives to contend with, women in these industries have long suffered from the age-old gender first, talent second prejudice still held be my so many in these industries. Cristina Lanz-Azcarate of the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) tends to agree: “…entering an industry where nobody looks like you requires determination and clarity.”

Understandably, this is something felt by many women in construction, engineering and packaging. But, Emma Porter of Story Contracting is able to offer a different outlook, and one that injects a little hope too:

[…] I often bring a different perspective to the team, which is a huge advantage. And it’s easier to stand out if you are different from the norm; clients, prospective employers and other stakeholders are more likely to remember you.”

The problem does not stop at the recruitment process, and it is so much bigger than getting more women through the door. The day-to-day realities faced by women as a minority in the workplace are extensive and often hugely undermining to the talent and skillset of the employee. Organisations like WISE, Women in Packaging and NAWIC exist to provide support and advice to businesses seeking to create a more gender inclusive culture. Culture creation is typically an organic process, but it must start from the top. Non-inclusive environments are part of a far wider issue, and can be a catalyst to the commonplace negative attitudes witnessed by so many. Helen Wollaston, of WISE spoke more on this:

“I have been in board level meetings where there are more men than women and the social chit-chat centred around football and rugby, neither of which I follow. Although this might seem trivial and is not intended to exclude women, it can be a little tiresome.”

It is easy to blame the current situation on large corporations who have the means to educate and invest in fairer recruitment processes, and on the job training to address gender disparity across the board, but there is work to be done on both sides of the table. There must be a demand from business and an active interest in recruiting more women, from the bottom up. Education is crucial in improving the wider situation. We need to tell girls about the opportunities available to them, the career path they need to get there, and the progression once they’ve made it.

What does the future hold?

In most industries, gender diversity is slowly improving through changing perceptions, as gender equality seeps into education. Speaking on the current situation in supply chain and logistics, Beth Morgan, of SCM World, remains hopeful for gender parity in the future:

“…interestingly, there is a greater female representation today at entry level, which bodes extremely well for re-dressing the balance in the future at more senior levels.”

Sadly, this is by no means a quick fix. At the current rate of change, it’s estimated that it will take over 70 years to achieve gender-balanced board rooms across the UK[v], not to mention that the estimated close-of-the-pay-gap gong will not sound until 2186[vi].

Unconscious bias remains an issue in recruitment, and until perceptions are challenged it is likely to be sometime before even this is instinctive. Such bias dictates that people hire people who remind them of themselves. We spoke to Harriet Kirk, Senior Geo Technical Engineer at Atkins, who pointed out the need to combat unconscious bias as a key step to achieving gender diversity, “…if you don’t fit into the industry norm it’s harder to get a break.”

Beating the bias: Unpacking the new female industrialists

We’ve spent time talking to female leaders in packaging, construction, logistics, supply chain and engineering, and dug deep into the data to find out what’s going on in traditional industries, like our own, for women in 2017. It’s all here in our interactive report, Beating the bias: Unpacking the new female industrialists. Hearing from inspirational women in various industries, we’ve been able to shed some light on the day-to-day realities of working in a traditionally male dominated profession, and look to the future as we strive for gender parity and a more inclusive workplace for all.


[i] Global Diversity and Inclusion – Fostering innovation through a diverse workforce, Forbes Insights, 2011

[ii] Why Diversity Matters, McKinsey & Co, 2015

[iii] BIS, Small Business Survey 2012: businesses led by women and ethnic minorities, 2013, p2. Output is Gross Value Added.

[iv] Gender diversity in the boardroom: reach for the top, CIPD, 2015, p6. The benefits of gender diversity in the boardroom

[v] Women in Boards,, 2011, p2

[vi] Measuring the Global Gender Gap, World Economic Forum

Getting your business ready for the Christmas rush: ensure you have the packaging you need for the festive period

Christmas is fast approaching with only 3 weeks left to go! Our packaging experts at Rajapack have put some useful information together to help your business run smoothly over the festive season.


It all started with a record-breaking weekend

We’ve just passed Black Friday on November 25th, where you may have picked up a bargain or two on the high street or the internet, which ran through to Cyber Monday on November 28th.  Last year UK shoppers spent £3.3 billion over that weekend, and forecasts for this year were expecting £5 billion in the busiest online trading day ever!

Following Cyber Monday, the run up to Christmas is now in full swing as many businesses see demand surge right through to Christmas Day.  Last year UK retailers took £24 billion across November and December, a 12% increase on 2014, which is expected to grow even more this year.

Just what can you do to ensure you’re prepared?

If you’ve been trading for more than 12 months then you should have a good record of what happened in 2015; total orders taken, extra hours required, and how much packaging, stock and supplies you used.  Look back over last year’s results for each month and it should give you a starting point for what to expect in 2016.

Find out when orders began to increase and work this into your planning.  Did orders rise by 50% in mid-November, and then again by 200% by December? By noting these changes, you should get a good sense of what to expect so you can order enough supplies to fulfil your orders.


The Rajapack UK packaging warehouse stocked up for Christmas

Many small businesses don’t have the space to store lots of materials or packaging on site, so ordering from suppliers that offer next day delivery can help you be more flexible, buying materials and packaging when you need it.

Make sure you’ve got your packaging boxed off

The right packaging is essential to give your customers a good experience when they receive your parcel, ensuring it arrives safely and well presented. We’ve shaped our services so that all our customers can benefit from our expert advice, flexibility as well as our wide range of packaging, so you can stay focused on your business.

Just a few of the things we offer include:

  • 99% of all our packaging products are in stock, always.
  • Next day delivery offered as standard.
  • Credit arrangement terms are available after your first order, so you can pay by invoice.
  • Expert packaging advice, to ensure you’re using the right packaging for your products.
  • A wide range of Christmas packaging, including personalised bags and tape to ensure your products stand out.

Key delivery dates

Finally, we’ve compiled some key dates below so you don’t miss anything when it comes to posting your parcels out this year.

Parcel Service Last posting date to arrive for Christmas
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® Thursday 22 December
1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Wednesday 21 December
2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Tuesday 20 December
DHL – Last Posting Date Wednesday 21 December
DPD – Next Day Service Thursday 22 December
Parcel Force – Next Day Thursday 22 December

Ordering your packaging this Christmas

For ordering your packaging from Rajapack UK, our last order dates are:

  • To ensure your packaging arrives in time for Christmas, place your order by Thursday 22nd December, we’ll deliver the next day on Friday 23rd.
  • We offer a Saturday morning delivery service on 24th December, available at an additional cost for orders placed on Thursday 23rd.
  • We’ll be open as normal between 27th & 31st, with normal deliveries resuming on 3rd January 2017.

For full details of our Christmas opening times, to request our latest catalogue or browse our Christmas packaging range, simply visit or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

Unboxing: thinking outside of the box

Since the legendary Pandora gave into temptation and opened the box, people have been fascinated with the unknown. Curiosity is in our nature, as is seeking out knowledge. One phenomenon that appears to satisfy our curious nature is the unboxing trend sweeping YouTube. Unboxing is the process of capturing a brand new product being opened on video. It sounds simple enough, perhaps even a little mundane, but the interest it’s sparked around the world is fascinating.

Unboxing’s appeal spans all age groups and all cultures. But what is it about watching somebody you don’t know, open something you don’t own? To find out, we’ve collated the statistics, looked at the science and asked three experts in their field why they think this trend has such universal appeal.

How popular is unboxing?

The first recognisable unboxing video was uploaded back in 2006. Titled ‘Unboxing Ceremony of Nokia E61’, this video featured what is now synonymous with the trend – tech unboxing. Since then, unboxing has taken YouTube by storm, with 6.5 years’ worth of unboxing videos uploaded to the site in 2015. The products unboxed cover everything from common tech gadgets to luxury clothing, children’s toys to live reptiles. In fact, if a product is available to buy, there is more than likely an unboxing video to go with it.

In 2014, a YouTube search for the term “unboxing” yielded more than 20 million search results. At the time of writing, the exact same search returned almost 50 million results. The highest earner on YouTube is the owner of a channel dedicated to unboxing Disney toys. DC Toys Collector is estimated to have earned $4.9 million in 2014[i] and has absolutely no affiliation with Disney.

The third most popular YouTube channel, by views, belongs to unboxer FunToyzCollector, with a view count of over 11.6 billion.[ii] The channel’s most popular video alone racked up a staggering 499,514,454 views, putting it at number 155 on the list of most watched YouTube videos ever.[iii]


Why is unboxing so popular?

The appeal of unboxing videos can be explained by our capacity for empathy. Humans have the capability to put themselves in someone else’s place. Research has identified responses in the brain called “anticipation circuits”, and it’s these that begin to fire in our own brains when we watch a stranger unbox something. This discovery was made by accident in 1992.

Since then more studies have been undertaken at different laboratories that have verified the existence of what has been called the “mirror neuron system”. These neurons activate not only when we perform an action ourselves, but also when we watch someone else perform that action.[iv]

Unsurprisingly, this goes a long way in explaining the universal fascination with unboxing videos. As we watch someone else carefully removing the gift packaging, our brain acts as though we’re the one performing the action. We spoke to psychologist Diana Parkinson, who described unboxing to us as, “…totally voyeuristic, there is no material reward, only transitory visual reward. The popularity of unboxing videos is astonishing, and I cannot think of a comparison.”


Source: Unbox Therapy

Unboxing as entertainment

To delve deeper into this, we asked vlogger Chase Aimee what she thought of unboxing videos. For her, some of the appeal lies in seeing something she may purchase herself, “The appeal lies in seeing a bag I might be interested in and experiencing the unboxing with the individual. Usually, there’s a story that goes with it (how the bag was decided upon, etc.) and a little bit about the experience of buying it. It helps me to make more informed buying decisions and is also just as exciting seeing something beautiful being unwrapped. Luxury design houses spend a fortune on their packaging so it’s all part of the experience.”

We also asked popular parent blogger Rachel, who writes the blog ‘Coffee, cake, kids’, about why she believes her children enjoy unboxing videos so much. “I think it is because every time it’s a surprise. They tune into a child’s natural curiosity to see what’s in the box – the kids love looking in the bags when I come home from the supermarket – it’s just nosiness. The very few videos that I’ve sat and watched are all very bright and colourful, which of course attracts young children.”

Rachel also commented on how, for her, unboxing videos are perfect for keeping children entertained. “They’re relatively easy to find, generally safe for kids to watch and when you need five minutes peace to go and make the dinner, they’re perfect for keeping them amused.”

Director of the Media Psychology Research Centre, Pamela Rutledge, believes that, for children, unboxing videos could actually be beneficial. “For kids, handing them a toy ice cream parlour [for example]—it’s already done the work for you. There’s no imagination, no building, thinking, creativity, or problem-solving,” she continues. “With these videos and other games, there’s learning: How are they putting it together? How are they using the Play-Doh? How are they making different creations? We have a negative understanding of acting vicariously in our society—that you’re not doing your own living, [unboxing] is a different thing. It’s more of an exploratory learning process.”[v]


Source: FunToyzCollector

Packaging is as important as the product

Packaging induces a sense of empathy in viewers of unboxing videos. As mentioned before, the science suggests we get a similar experience watching somebody else carefully unwrap a package, as we would if we were doing it ourselves. This experience can be capitalised on by brands with clever use of gift packaging.

One of the most popular genres of unboxing video is ‘luxury products’. Exclusive brands, such as Chanel, invest in high-end packaging because they realise the opening is as important as the final reveal of the product. And, this is true whether the item is being opened in private or shared with billions on the web.

For a truly immersive unboxing experience, the packaging not only needs to look attractive, but it should also feel and sound pleasant as well. The feel of satin ribbons being untied, the sleek sound of tabs being opened and the crinkle of tissue paper being unwrapped are just a few things that have an instant effect on the viewer.

These, combined with considering how deep the box or bag should be, all contribute to the overall experience of being able to fully explore the contents. In an era of online shopping, the anticipation of receiving and opening an item is almost as important as eventual gratification.

This idea is discussed in the New York Times bestseller Buyology: How everything we believe about why we buy is wrong. Authored by Martin Lindstrom, the book discusses the many subconscious effects that take place during the buying process. Lindstrom comments that brands should be making the packaging of their products as interesting as the items within.

Our unboxing vlogger Chase Aimee backed this up. We asked her if the packaging of an item was important during the experience. “I think it does matter. I’ve had very expensive bags delivered to me in simple packaging before which has been underwhelming! If the item is packaged beautifully, then that certainly makes an impact – it adds to the whole experience and can make you even more excited about the bag. The best packaging is thoughtful, practical and recyclable! If there is a hint of luxury, then even better.”

Rachel, our parenting blogger, believes the packaging is also an important factor for children. “We get a lot of parcels and deliveries, and the kids are all so excited to open them and see what’s inside. We get a food subscription box, and they go nuts every month to help me open it! It’s the promise of something exciting inside, especially if it’s unknown!”


Source: Unbox Therapy

Unboxing as marketing?

For brands, this trend is doubly important, and there are already a number of companies getting in on the act. Brands, such as Disney, are starting to leverage the power of these videos for themselves. Disney recently held a live 18-hour unboxing marathon on YouTube culminating in the release of its new range of Star Wars toys.

This marathon campaign created a storm on social media, and this probably won’t be the last unboxing PR stunt of its type. These videos are getting millions or sometimes billions of views, brands should be seeing these viewers as their potential customers. Psychologist Diana Parkinson recognises the importance of unboxing videos for brands, “It’s the best, and cheapest form of advertising ever! These videos make us drool and desire what may well be unattainable.”

The importance of unboxing videos for brands is of equal value to word-of-mouth marketing. The ever-growing popularity of online customer reviews and the importance of influencers as brand advocates is something brands can no longer ignore.

A study conducted in the U.S. found that 61% of internet users made a point of reading customer reviews online before deciding whether to make the purchase.[vi] Customer reviews are clearly influential to potential customers. Unboxing videos – which are essentially customer reviews in a visual format – offer an unbiased view and element of authenticity to the products featured, which in turn could lead to more sales.







Working for a better future: Gender equality in the packaging industry

“Equality is the cornerstone of every society that aspires to democracy”

Since it started in 1954, the RAJA Group has worked hard to promote the values it was founded upon; respect, solidarity and professional equality.   In this article we’ll be looking at these values and how they’ve been continued through to 2016, focusing on professional equality.

We’ll be exploring the work of the RAJA Group’s dedicated charity, the RAJA-Danièle Marcovici Foundation, and at the wider issue of gender equality across UK businesses.  We’ve also spoken to Women in Packaging for their views on this topic, a leading UK group that works to support and recognise female employees in the UK packaging industry.


The mother to daughter search for quality and excellence


Rajapack was launched as ‘Cartons RAJA’ by Rachel Marcovici and her friend Janine Rocher, and began with one shop selling recycled boxes.  The company was a success, and as a result of Rachel’s entrepreneurial spirit it had a strong impact in a male-dominated environment.

Danièle Kapel‐Marcovici, daughter of Rachel and the current RAJA Group CEO, took control of the company in 1982 and since then has continued to champion gender equality and support for women worldwide, building on the founding principles of Cartons RAJA.

“I am a feminist of the 70s, and when I took over the management of the company, I found myself facing some big decisions: how to stay true to my beliefs whilst growing the company. Over the years, I have tried to make the company a place that demonstrates social progress and equality between men and women.”
– Danièle Kapel-Marcovici

Supporting women around the world

In 2006 Daniele Kapel-Marcovici established her own charity, the RAJA-Danièle Marcovici Foundation, to further support women and campaign for equality all over the globe.

Funded by the RAJA Group, the Foundation supports community projects through education and training, professional integration and support, campaigning against violence and defending women’s rights.  The Foundation also works to raise awareness and draw attention to the violence and discrimination suffered by women.

“I think that our society still has some way to go before women can have the same rights as men. Through the RAJA-Danièle Marcovici Foundation, I want to give my support; I am committed in the fight for women and men to be equals.”
– Danièle Kapel‐Marcovici

Operating in over 47 countries, since 2006 the foundation has supported over 342 programmes and raised over €4,300,000 for projects that support women in France and worldwide, in countries such as India, Philippines, Burkina Faso and Peru.

In 2013, the Foundation organized the first edition of the RAJA Foundation Women’s Awards, to highlight and reward outstanding projects in favour of women. In 2014, €80,000 were granted to 5 NGOs so that they can continue and develop their action. More recently the Foundation partnered with the RAJA Groupto launch a “Women and the Environment” campaign across Europe to help tackle climate change and equality worldwide.


This campaign involved all 14 European RAJA Group’ subsidiaries, such as RAJAPACK UK, raising money whenever sustainable packaging was purchased by customers.  After a campaign lasting for 6 months, over £320,000 was raised with over £26,000 being raised from Rajapack UK alone, a staggering total for good causes all over the world.

The picture across the UK

Looking at the wider issue of gender equality in UK businesses, progress still needs to be made.  Women continue to earn less than men in the same roles, an average of 24% for full time annual salaries (according to a survey published in The Guardian), which impacts families, children and single parents heavily.

The UK government is working to address this by forcing large companies to publish their gender pay gap online by 2018, and by launching schemes such as Think, Act, Report which have been adopted by hundreds of UK businesses.  This scheme offers frameworks for companies to follow, encouraging them to review their own culture, bring about change, and improve wage transparency.

Packaging Focus: Industry organisations promoting change

Across the packaging industry, the launch of organisations such as Women in Packaging is helping to raise awareness of equality issues and close the gender gap.  By supporting women in the industry with a ‘Connect, Celebrate and Keep’ strategy, which provides collaborative networking and learning opportunities, Women in Packaging recognises and celebrates the important contribution that women make to the industry.


We contacted Jo Stephenson, managing director of PHD Marketing and Strategy and co-founder of Women in Packaging, to give us her views on what has changed in the industry for women in recent years, and what positive steps can still be taken moving forward.

“There has never been a better time to be inspired by strong female leaders. In a rapidly shifting global economic landscape, names like Clinton, Merkl, Sturgeon and May are flying the flag for women in leadership at the highest level. We’ve seen a huge leap forward, and fast.”

“The trickle-down effect of the presence of strong female leaders in the public consciousness is positive for women in all industries but to promote a far reaching change that continuously challenges every sector – including packaging –is what is needed for perpetual support. That’s support for each other as women, support from organisations such as WIP and support from company sponsors and champions who believe in creating diversity.”

Attracting and retaining female talent that may otherwise have disregarded the sector as a viable career route is key to driving change in the packaging sector as a whole. WIP facilitates this by connecting employees in roles across all material substrates, process and packaging applications and across the supply chain from designer to retailer.

Giving women access to training and education that allows them to engage with the management, technical and leadership positions they would not historically have been appointed to is an empowering step forward in diversifying a traditionally male-dominated industry.

Professional equality benefits everyone

People within the RAJA Group work hard to ensure that the values it was founded on can be felt right across the entire group.  In RAJA France for example, 51% of women are employed at management level, an exceptionally high percentage in today’s economic world.

Women occupy many key positions across the group too, with Danièle leading the whole Group, as well as Nathalie Chapusot, as Managing Director Marketing-Sales & E-commerce, Lorenza Zanardi as General Manager for Rajapack Italy and Gabriela Fabianova, as General Manager of Rajapack in the Czech Republic.

Diversity and professional equality benefit everyone in their workplace.  Businesses with gender equality generally perform better and are able to recruit the best candidates as job seekers are more attracted to equal, fair workplaces.  It can reduce companies’ costs and wastage, lowering staff turnover, increasing employee morale and boosting productivity.

We’re proud of our values and continue to campaign for them today and into the future, ensuring all employees are treated fairly, regardless of their gender.

Spotlight on: Envelopes and Mailing Bags

If you’re a regular visitor to the Rajapack blog then you’ll know that recently we’ve been focusing on new developments in packaging; product launches, the latest technology, and new packaging processes that are all making packaging more efficient and eco-friendly.

This week, we’ve decided to go back to basics with a focus on one of the oldest and widely used packaging items in history – Envelopes!



One of the most common packaging items in the world, envelopes protect their contents in the post, ensuring they reach their recipient safely and securely.

Though envelopes can be dated back to around 3500BC, the first commercial envelope-making machine was not developed until 1845.  It was then another 50 years before pre-gummed envelopes were produced commercially.

Envelopes have continued to evolve over time as our needs have changed drastically – they now need to protect much more than just paper letters or documents! There are now hundreds of types of envelope available for all kinds of uses, offering benefits such as protection from water, bumps and shocks.

At Rajapack we stock over 30 different types of envelope, available in hundreds of sizes.  We’re going to run through the four main types below, what benefits they offer and what they should be used for.


Bubble Envelopes & Jiffy Bags

These padded envelopes offer the most cost-effective protection what’s inside.  They usually feature strong padding around the inside edges (layers of fibre, air filled bubbles or foam) for extra protection against damage in the post.

Any impact will be absorbed and cushioned by the thick outer layer, ensuring the contents stays safe and secure in transit. As padded envelopes have continued to evolve, they have become more lightweight, meaning a lower cost of postage, while maintaining a strong level of protection.


Jiffy bags are an envelope make that you’ve probably heard of before, being one of the most widely recognised brands of envelopes in the UK.  Named after the Jiffy Packaging Company who launched the product in 1964, they still manufacture them at the same site to this day.  They’ve been designed to be puncture resistant and come in two styles; the bubble bags contain air retention bubble wrap for longer protection, whilst the padded Jiffy bags have a lining of fibres that expand with use.

We find that padded envelopes and mailers are best when you need extra protection for your items in the post.  They are most commonly used for smaller products (an A4 envelope or less), but larger padded envelopes are available; heavy duty bubble envelopes go up to 52cm x 66cm in size, great for when you need to post large, flat items securely.

Bubble envelopes and Jiffy bags are suitable for packaging many different types of items, including jewellery, books and brochures, right through to items such as CDs, DVDs, and clothing.  Whether you choose Jiffy bags, bubble envelopes or padded mail bags, every one is designed to be lightweight to protect your products while keeping postage costs down.


Cardboard Envelopes & Mailers

These rigid envelopes are designed to ensure that the contents of your envelope won’t bend out of shape in the post.


The stiff cardboard construction forms a rigid frame around the envelope, offering a solid layer of protection for small, flat products.  And because they’re made of card, they’re generally very light and cost effective to mail (though be sure to check the size dimensions of the envelope).  These envelopes are ideal for packaging things like calendars and booklets, or important documents such as contracts or certificates.

For larger, thicker items such as books, brochures, CDs, or DVDs, carton envelopes (or panel wrap cardboard mailers) are perfect. They’re designed to fully enclose these thicker items, and are available with an adjustable spine, so you can put any thickness of book in them and they’ll seal securely.  To minimise postage costs, they’re exceptionally lightweight too – we currently offer the lightest cardboard mailers in Europe!


Plastic Mailing Bags

These items provide sealed protection for their contents and are very popular with online retailers and mail order companies.  Whilst being very thin, small and lightweight, they provide waterproof protection and are perfect for sensitive items as well as soft goods, such as textiles and clothing.

plastic mailers

Quick and easy to use, they all come with a tamper-poof peel and seal strip for security, ensuring that once they’ve been sealed they can’t be opened and resealed without ripping the bag.

Plastic mailing bags also present a unique option that other envelopes don’t – they are available completely see through!  For companies mailing catalogues or other documents that need an added layer of protection, clear mailing bags mean no extra effort required to re-print or re-label envelopes.

Plastic mailing bags can also double up as waterproof protection for other packages – easily fitting around a box, bag, or smaller envelope that need an added layer of polythene protection.


Office Envelopes

Finally, the most common type of envelope and probably the one you’ve used the most – the office envelope.   Made of paper and usually coloured white or manilla, these envelopes are used by almost every business, every day, for posting documents & letters.


Office envelopes have size standards that have been adopted internationally under ISO 216, meaning that most countries use the same sizes of office envelopes.  A law on the standardisation of page sizes dates back to 1798 in France, making it easier for companies to do business internationally.

The sizes that are used are all scaled to each other, making use and manufacture easier internationally.  A C1 is twice the size of a C2, a C2 is twice the size of a C3 etc.  Here’s a full list of all the size dimensions – the most common type for businesses is DL size.

They’re available with a window in the front, meaning that your letters can slip straight in with the postal details on – no need to duplicate this on the envelope if the address is the letter itself.

Peel and seal or self seal options are available, both speeding up the process of sealing and sending.  Peel and seal typically have a longer shelf life as the gum is protected by a layer of paper.

Though there are standard sizes and colours, the quality of office envelopes can’t be guaranteed simply because they are so popular.  Usually coming pre-gummed, the thickness, quality of the paper, finish, and adhesive on the seal can all vary greatly.

Cheaper, thinner envelopes can suffer from print see-through, and no business wants their correspondence on show – especially when you’re sending private and confidential documents.  Ensure your envelopes don’t suffer from this oversight and insist on high quality envelopes to ensure you give your customers a great impression – they’ll be opening them after all!


Sealing Up

At Rajapack, envelopes continue to be one of our best selling products – we ship over 7 million a year to businesses of all types across the UK!

If you’re looking for envelopes for your items, if you currently have a supplier and are looking to cut costs, or are simply after some packaging advice, then please do get in touch; give us a call on 0800 542 44 28 or send us an email.  We have experienced packaging experts on hand, ready to help and advise you in any way they can.

Spotlight on Rajaprint: Custom Printed Tape

It’s been over a year since we launched Rajaprint, our online packaging tool for customers to create their own bespoke printed packaging.  We’ve chosen to feature it in this post as we’re offering some unmissable discounts on orders, with full details below.

Custom tape has been so popular that we’ve decided to revisit what makes custom packaging so important, and find out exactly how much custom tape we have printed!


Custom packaging can increase profits

Over the past few years, we’ve seen custom packaging become more popular as many businesses are looking to every avenue to maximise the customer experience.  Personalisation and customisation have always played an important role in this, but it’s only recently that we have seen this extend so far into the world of packaging.

We saw more evidence of this first hand at the Internet Retailing Expo in April, where many business owners we spoke to were looking for ways to give their products added stand out.  It’s also a topic we’ve covered on the blog before, looking in detail at how custom packaging can increase profits for businesses.

Giving customers more control over their packaging

Last year we developed Rajaprint Tape following feedback from customers that custom packaging was going to be the next packaging must have for many.   It can provide many benefits to SME businesses, who don’t want the large expense of specialised branding campaigns.

Rajaprint gives customers complete control over their customisation, allowing them to tailor it exactly how they want.  Just some of the features include:

  • 11 different types of tape, with over 124 different options
  • A wide range of tape materials including Vinyl, Polypropylene, Cross Woven, & Low Noise
  • A simple 3 step process, all completed online
  • Quick turnaround time, typically 2 weeks from sign off to delivery

So just how popular is Rajaprint custom tape?

In short, very! We’ve worked out that the amount of custom tape we’ve printed for our customers, and it’s staggering, take a look at some of our fun facts below.  In just over 12 months:

  • We’ve printed over 1,500 miles of custom tape – that’s enough to stretch from Land’s End in Cornwall to John of Groats in the Highlands and back again!
  • We’ve printed over 300 different bespoke tape designs through Rajaprint for our customers in just over a year, and many have returned for repeat orders.
  • Our most popular type of tape has been standard vinyl tape, it’s ideal for many applications. Polypropylene has been a close second, followed by low noise (perfect for packaging in libraries!)
  • The most popular colour has been white – lots of our customers use white tape for added stand out on their traditional brown packaging.
  • Company information and logos has accounted for over 75% of our custom prints! Business details, branding and straplines on packaging tape can all help to enhance the experience for the recipient.

Rajaprint has gone from strength to strength since we launched, it’s why we extended it to include Rajaprint bags last year – so many customers are looking for new ways to stand out from the crowd with tailored packaging.


Custom printed packaging at unbeatable prices

Right now, we’re offering up to 40% off orders with free tape customisation in one or two colour print (with orders over 360 rolls).  For those repeat orders, we’re also offering free artwork, so if you’re looking for a bit of extra impact and personality from your packaging, then please get in touch today, we’d love to help.


Announcing the Rajasports Competition 2016!

This summer, be like your favourite athletes and compete in Rajasports!

We’re proud to announce the launch of our new competition running across June, July, and August.  To celebrate a fantastic summer of sport, we’re bringing you the Rajasports 2016 competition!


Every month this summer we’ll be setting a new online sports challenge, where you can win one of 3 great prizes as well as picking up Rajapack discounts and offers along the way.   They’ll also be two quizzes to enter each month – by answering these questions correctly they will increase your chances of winning.

At the end of the competition we’ll be selecting our Rajasports 2016 Grand Winner. Our winning champion will be rewarded with a holiday for two to Mauritius, New York, or Thailand!


Compete in 3 different Rajasports events this summer!


To celebrate in June, we’ll be setting a football challenge!  You’ll need to score as many penalties as you can and answer quiz questions about football.  Correct answers will add to your score and increase your chances of winning.

For July we’re launching a cycling challenge to find out who could finish first on the podium.  In addition to showing off your cycling skills, the monthly quiz questions will also be on cycling, with each correct answer giving you a better chance of winning.

Finally in August we’re setting a hurdles race! You’ll have to clear as many hurdles as you can in the fastest time possible.  Our monthly quiz for August will feature athletics questions to boost your chance to win.

Ready to join the competition?

It’s easy to sign up and anyone* can enter the contest, you don’t have to be a Rajapack customer.  Simply:

  1. Log onto and play our games to enjoy discounts and special offers at Rajapack.
  1. Be the best and increase your chances of winning by answering quiz questions. Each month, the best player will be selected at random to win a prize.
  1. By participating you will automatically qualify for the ­final European prize draw, to win the trip of a lifetime!

Once you’ve registered, you’ll also receive Rajapack benefits and discounts for the duration of the contest.

Log on to to play the games and for more details of the prizes. Good Luck!

*full terms and conditions are available on

Internet Retailing Expo 2016 Wrap Up

We went along to exhibit at the Internet Retailing Expo last month, to showcase some of our latest packaging machines, plus a selection of innovative and eco-friendly packaging products.  Thanks to all those who came and spoke to us, it was great to talk to so many of you about your packaging and how we could help.


The show is centred around everything Internet Retailing and hosts a wide range of companies including software developers, data providers, digital advertising agencies, ecommerce platforms and email providers, with over 200 companies exhibiting.

This year the packaging industry was out in force, showing the benefits of properly packed products to the ecommerce sector.  With over 10 packaging suppliers at the Expo, we had a lot of competition but stood out from the crowd with a stand design that demonstrated how we can help e-commerce businesses of all sectors with clear packaging solutions.

New developments in logistics & delivery

It was clear from the show that ecommerce is maturing as a business sector, with operations, logistics and delivery suppliers on the agenda to improve operations and costs for e-businesses attending the show.   Many exhibitors delivering services and platforms in this area were not present 2 years ago.

Third party logistics and delivery platforms were gaining momentum, offering solutions to pick and choose courier and shipping options.  Services included optimising carriage costs for the size of the shipment, or shipping to best suit a particular geographic destination for a delivery.

Exhibitors in this field, such as Abby Logistics and Route Genie showed what can now be achieved, with route optimisation and real time delivery being key themes in this area.

Logistics and warehouse optimisation platforms for picking and packing, and storage optimisation were also starting to come to the forefront, such as KNAPP and SNAP FULFIL.

Getting packaging perfect for ecommerce

Many we spoke to felt packaging was becoming much more important to their business than it has been in the past.  As ecommerce markets are getting more competitive, many companies are looking to every avenue they can to maximise their efficiency and customer satisfaction, while keeping costs down.

Ensuring that you’re using the right packaging can help in all of these areas and more, and it was apparent to us that businesses are realising the difference that using the right packaging can make.  It’s why we’ve developed an entire range of ecommerce packaging specifically for ecommerce operations.  Packaging that is suitable for the products you’re sending; cutting down delivery costs, protecting what’s valuable, and reducing the impact on the environment.

Standing out with Custom Packaging

This fierce competition has led many we spoke with to explore custom packaging – how they can enhance their products by adding stand out and instant brand recognition as soon as a parcel is received.

Improvements in technology mean we can now completely tailor packaging, adding branding, straplines and colour schemes to enhance the customer experience, having an impact as soon as the parcel arrives in their hands.


Last year we launched Rajaprint to do just that, offering a range of custom packaging tape and custom bags, giving our customers complete control over their design.

In a crowded ecommerce marketplace this customisation can make a difference, being remembered not just for a great product, but for striking, branded packaging that’s eco-friendly too!

The Latest in Eco-Friendly Technology

Our final focus this year was on packaging machines, and the difference that they can make for small and medium sized business.  It was great to see lots of new technology at the show, and we took along one of our own new machines to demonstrate, the Geami WrapPak System.


The Geami WrapPak System with wrapped packages

This unique little machine is small and compact, and has been developed as an eco-friendly and cost effective alternative to traditional protective packaging.

Using only Kraft and tissue paper (no tape or glue at all!) it’s unique 3D honeycombed structure firmly wraps around items, protecting them securely.  A sustainable alternative to foam and bubble, it’s another way to enhance the product experience for your customers, ensuring they receive their package in perfect, natural organic packaging.

We had a great time demonstrating this and our other machines, we hope you got a chance to take a look.  With packaging becoming increasingly important for internet businesses, we expect next year’s expo to top it. We’ll be there to demonstrate to our customers how they can transform their packaging operation with advice from our Packaging Specialists.

A Guide to Packaging Machines

We’ve just got back from exhibiting at the Internet Retailing Expo, where packaging machines were a hot topic.  Many businesses we spoke to could see real benefits from automating their packaging processes; speeding up their productivity, saving money on materials, and reducing their impact on the environment.

We answered so many questions about machines that we’ve decided to put together this guide, to give you an introduction to packaging machines, what they can offer, and the types of machines available.


A stretch wrap machine, Mini Pack’r, a strapping machine and a Fillpak TT

We’ve split out the contents below, so you can easily jump straight into any section.

Why automate your packaging processes?

Cushioning products, bagging, strapping boxes or wrapping pallets are all processes that can be made faster, cheaper and more efficient by packaging machines.

Just some of the benefits that machines can bring include:

  • Speeding up your packaging and warehouse processes, increasing efficiency.
  • Reducing the amount of materials used and waste produced, cutting costs.
  • Freeing up space in your warehouse, for more stock or to increase productivity.
  • Helping to reduce the impact of your business on the environment.
  • Giving your business more control over your packaging, improving flexibility.

If you are packaging more than 10 packages per day, then it’s likely that a packaging machine could save your business time and money.  Many machines are available to rent too, so there are no large, upfront costs to worry about.

If you’re packaging a very low number of items though, or wrapping specialist products, then an automated packaging machines might not be right for you, or something manual like a Fillpak M could be an option.  Our experts are always happy to help, and if you’re unsure whether machines could make a difference to your business, contact us today.

How can packaging machines help?

A large number of packaging processes can be automated, including wrapping, strapping, sealing and cushioning.  At Rajapack we categorise packaging machines into three different types, by the function that they perform:

In this guide we’ve explained what each type does, how it can be used, and what it can be used for, to help you see if a machine could be right for you.

Protective Packaging Machines

Ensuring your goods arrive at their destination safely and in one piece is essential to any successful business.   To protect loose items during shipping, paper or air void fill is perfect for cushioning and protection.

products protected by void fill

Air cushion & paper void fill being used to protect items.

Protective packaging machines produce void fill quickly and easily, as and when it’s needed, rather than purchasing it pre-made (such as loose fill, shredded tissue paper or bubble wrap).

The packaging materials that feed into the machines (such as plastic or paper) can be ordered in economical rolls, which means less shipping cost to your business and more storage space for you.

Air Cushion Machines

These compact little machines produce cushions of air for insulating and protecting your items.  Simply load a roll of bags onto the spindle, select your cushion settings, and you can instantly produce void fill on demand when you need it.

Machines such as the Mini Pak’r have a tiny footprint (H33cm x W36cm x D28cm) or the Opus Mini (H28cm x W30cm x D28cm) and can be used almost anywhere.  Simple to use, they can produce cushions fast and efficiently and are perfect for small to medium packaging operations.

For larger businesses, machines such as the Fill-Air Rocket™ Machine are easily able to cope with high volumes of air cushions, and give you more control over the sizes of you can produce, from tiny 2cm ones, to large air cushions as wide as 18cm.


The Mini Pak’r Void Fill Machine & Opus Air Cushion System

Paper Void Fill Systems

Paper void fill machines offer another cost effective, eco-friendly way to create void fill.  Studies have shown that consumers prefer to receive paper packaging materials in their parcels for environmental reasons.  The machines take reams of paper in, and deliver strong, crimpled paper which can be used to wrap, cushion, block, or brace packages securely.

These machines are ideal for high volume operations (up to 1.4 metres of paper void per second) and though larger than the air cushion systems, they offer greater flexibility.   If you package over 50 products a day, they are almost guaranteed to save you time and money, and typically cut down materials use by 30% within the first 3 months.

More advanced models include features such as remote controls, foot pedals, and paper length programming.  The PadPak range is suitable for the blocking and bursting your products.


A Fillpak M manual system, PadPak Junior, and the more advanced PadPak Senior for high speed packaging lines.

Paper void fill machines are available in a number of different sizes to suit a range of budgets and demands.

The lower cost models such as the Fillpak M are suited for small volume operations.  They dispense paper manually through a funnel, giving you complete control over the amount of packaging needed.  For moderate volume operations, machines like the Padpak Junior are well suited for lines packaging at least 30 items per day.

Fully automated, high volume machines such as the PadPak Senior are perfect for fast packaging lines and are able to flow paper through continually.  Paper lengths can be pre-programmed to ensure that the right amount of void fill is always dispensed.


Our Guide to Void Fill Machines

Our packaging machine experts at RajaSystem have developed a quick and easy online guide to see whether a void fill machine could be right for you.

We’ve selected the best paper, air, and foam void fill solutions that we have to offer and built them into this helpful guide.


Simply answer a few questions about how many parcels you pack and how you protect them, and our system will determine the most suitable void fill machines for you.

We pride ourselves on ensuring our customers are using the most cost effective packaging for their needs, and with the release of this guide we hope to give you another way to do just that.


Closure Packaging Machines

Once your products are packed and in a box, that box needs to be properly secured whether it’s going on a pallet for loading or simply being shipped as is.  A closure machine straps or wraps packages to ensure that what’s packed and sealed won’t split open or leak out during delivery.

Closure machines come in two types; Strapping, which is perfect for reinforcing boxes and large loads, and Stretch Film, which tightly wraps around and secures pallets.


Box secured with Strapping & Stretch Film Wrapped Pallet

Strapping Machines

If you’re shipping goods that need extra reinforcement, then you might already use strapping to add another layer of security to your shipments, with something like a hand strapping tool.

Strapping machines automate this process, cutting, wrapping and sealing strapping around packages quickly and efficiently.   A typical machine can wrap and strap a box in under 10 seconds, and fully automatic models work completely hands free via a foot pedal.  A strapping machine ensures that each seal is consistently secured and guaranteed to hold.


A Semi-Automatic & Automatic Strapping Machine

If you’re manually strapping over 50 packages a day, then it’s likely that the addition of a machine could save you significant time and money.

Stretch Film Machines

If you’re wrapping whole pallets of goods using something like a stretch film dispenser, then a stretch wrap machine might be the solution to speed up your operation.

These machines are able to automatically wrap an entire pallet of goods as soon as it has been dropped onto their base.  The speed at which they do this varies, from entry level machines which are simple to setup and use, to industrial programmable machines, which can be customised to your consignments.


Robot Serie 6 – Stretch Film Robot

If you are after more flexibility, then a stretch wrap robot might better suit your needs such as the Robot Serie 6.  Extremely versatile and packed with technology, it is able to wrap just about any size or shape product.  Extra features mean it can easily wrap unstable loads, and improve efficiency by using less stretch film, effectively saving you materials costs.

Stretch film machines are suited to businesses who need to secure and ship large quantities of palletised goods, and are commonly used by larger warehouse operations.  If you’re currently wrapping over 50 pallets per day then a stretch film machine could speed up your wrapping process.


Shrink Wrap & Heat Sealer Machines

Shrink wrap and heat sealer machines are designed to package and protect items by sealing them in bags.  They do this by wrapping them in PVC or shrink film, keeping them free from dust and dirt in storage or protecting them from damage during delivery or while on display.

Both systems can produce bags of almost any size; for smaller items such as jewellery or electronics, CDs or books, to larger more awkward items (typically up to 800mm in width).

Being able to produce your own bags offers many benefits; bags of any size can be quickly made to order, and materials can easily be stored on-site so that bags are always on hand when needed, saving time.

Shrink Wrap Machines

Shrink Wrap systems are perfect for packaging or presenting retail products, such as large books, mirrors or pictures, typically up to 800mm wide.  The shrink wrap forms a tight puncture resistant film, protecting items against water and dust.  These systems are ideal for businesses who are looking for a lower cost solution but still seeking a professional result.

The PACKER range of shrink wrap systems are designed for low volume operations.  Coming complete with a sealer, bag dispenser and hot air blower, these systems are all you need to begin professionally bagging your products.


PACKER complete shrink wrap film system

Heat Sealer Machines

Heat sealers offer a more industrial, high volume solution if you need to seal large quantities of bags quickly and easily.  Small and compact, they can fit into an existing packaging operation and can be mounted on a stand with a foot pedal for hands free operation.

For smaller, low volume businesses that only require bags up to 500mm wide, ‘push to seal’ units are ideal which operate with a built in cutter, saving time when bagging up smaller products.


A Small Volume Heat Sealer

For larger quantities (typically up to 800 bags per 8 hours), we offer industrial sealers such as the Opti-seal Industrial Sealer.  This can seal bags up to 790mm wide and features adjustable sealing and cooling times, for various different films and bags.


An Industrial Heat Sealer, able to seal up to 800 bags a day.

Accessories are also available for heat sealers, such as foot pedals and desktop stands, that mean you can customise the machine to your operation.  Spares kits can also be bought which make it easy to maintain and service your machine.

Buying, Renting, & Maintaining

Buying a packaging machine can usually mean a big initial investment, which can be difficult for small or medium sizes businesses to justify.  It’s why many of our packaging machines are available to rent, with no high up-front costs, though your first step would be to demo a machine before committing further.

Our machines can be rented from as little as £15 per month and include free delivery, installation, and after care support.  This means that you can focus on integrating the machine into your operation, without having to worry about the long term financial commitment.

One final factor to consider when adopting an automatic packaging machine is what happens if they go wrong or need repair?   For your total piece of mind, we can arrange on-site call outs in case of any problems, so you can ensure minimal downtime in your operation if any problems do occur.

Our Expert Opinion

Finally, we caught up our resident machines expert, Chris Sheehan to get his thoughts on the impact packaging machines can make.  Chris has helped his fair share of customers make the transition to a packaging machine and believes:

“The first step for most customers is realising that they actually have a need for a machine. Once this happens, selling the benefits and finding the right machine for a customer’s needs is actually quite straight forward.”

“Investing in a packaging machine isn’t just about saving on the price of using machine consumables and rental of the machine compared to their current protective packaging. Using traditional packaging products can take up more than three times as much space in your warehouse as a roll of film or a block of paper. And we all know that warehousing space is at a premium, so every bit of it counts.”

“The same can be said for packing speed and productivity. Having a machine available to produce void fill, air cushions or bubble on demand at a work station means a reduction in time to pack – meaning orders go out the door quicker. It can also result in a reduction of temporary staff in peak periods of the year.”

To find out more about Packaging Machines and if they might be right for your business, or for a no obligation demonstration, please get in touch with our experts. Call us free on 0800 142 26 46 or email

Introducing the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect Box

With so many of us shopping online, the need for innovative packaging solutions has never been greater. Under the Sale of Goods Act, products damaged in the post are the responsibility of the seller, not the buyer, which can leave many businesses out of pocket. The bottom line is that inadequate packaging costs your business money. And even if your packaging is up to scratch, unscrupulous, heavy-handed couriers can be unavoidable.

It’s difficult to estimate the number of parcels that are damaged in transit each year. With giant postal sorting warehouses continuously running conveyor belts full of packages, sometimes accidents are unavoidable, and packages can accidentally slip off the line.

As the No 1 in Europe for packaging solutions, Rajapack has been working to solve this problem. So it gives us great pleasure to announce our revolutionary RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system.

Boxes with bounce

RajaSafe bouncebox-banner-april-fools (2)

Our team of technologists have been working on developing and improving this innovative new packaging solution. Corrugated card is combined with isoprene and styrene-butadiene compounds. This creates resilient, pressure absorbing properties which give the boxes a slight bounce on impact.

RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology is designed to give maximum protection to heavier, bulky items, such as flat-screen televisions, as these can be the hardest to handle. The ‘bounce’ is engineered to be more apparent the heavier the package, as these are generally the items requiring the most protection.

We showcased the new range of RajaSafe™ Impact Protect boxes at the Packaging Innovations 2016 show earlier this year. We carried out demonstrations to show the degree of bounce for each item placed inside the boxes, and we were blown away by your feedback.

“This new technology from Rajapack demonstrates one of the greatest innovations in the packaging industry since the introduction of personalised packaging. As a company we are acutely aware of the need for affordable, contemporary, resilient packaging solutions; RajaSafe™ Impact Protect is the technology this industry has been waiting for.”

– Anabelle Fool, MD, CBB Systems

How it works

At Rajapack, we are committed to creating eco-solutions that can be recycled or in this case reused. The main component of our RajaSafe™ boxes is styrene-butadiene, an artificial rubber compound commonly used by large tyre manufacturers. Heralded for its abrasion resistance, this compound, as well as giving our boxes their boing, adds a resilience that was never before available with cardboard. This means the boxes are sturdy enough to be used long past the lifecycle of an ordinary cardboard box.

We use Solution-SBR, created through an anionic polymerization process, to coat the inner wall of our cardboard boxes.  Using Solution-SBR gives us greater control over the polymer, allowing us to tailor it to our needs. This compound is what gives the boxes their bounce, and offers maximum protection to the items inside.

RajaSafe bouncebox-sales (2)

Rajapack is constantly striving to create a better product for our customers, with RajaSafe™ Impact Protect technology we hope to bring you peace of mind. We will be offering this technology in our postal box range, and are currently working on introducing it to our complete range of cardboard boxes to include more bulky items such as TVs or guitars. When combined with our other innovative packaging solutions, the RajaSafe™ Impact Protect system is guaranteed to be your number one shipping solution.