Spotlight on: 3M Scotch Tape

In 1930 the young engineer Richard Drew invented the first ever Scotch Cellulose Tape which offered an attractive, moisture-proof way for grocers and bakers to securely seal their packages.

Over the next 80 years Scotch became a leading brand for tape and adhesives.  From introducing the first heavy-duty countertop tape dispenser in 1932, to the launch of invisible write-on Magic™ Tape in 1961, through to the release of the hand-held Pop-Up Tape Dispenser in 1997, their focus has always been on resourcefulness and ingenuity.  Today Scotch 3M Tape offer more than 400 different types of adhesive tape for packaging, crafting and sealing.

After selecting the right box for your items, using the correct packaging tape to seal it is paramount to ensure it arrives safely.  At Rajapack we’re dedicated to offering our customers the best choice of high quality packaging supplies which is why we’ve stocked Scotch 3M Tapes for our customers for many years.

In this post we’ll be focusing on the full range of Scotch 3M Tapes that we offer, giving you an overview of each tape and what it’s best used for so you can ensure you are using the right packaging tape for your parcels.

Our range of 3M Scotch Tapes

At Rajapack we stock 11 different types of 3M Scotch tape that are all suited for use in packaging and shipping, each with their own unique properties for a wide range of packaging applications.

All Scotch 3M Tapes feature a number at the end, a simple and easy way to ensure you’re getting the exact tape you need. Tape thickness is measured in microns, the higher the number, the thicker the tape.  We stock a range of suitable dispensers for most of the range, making it easier, faster and safer to apply tape to surfaces.

The tapes that we stock are:

  • Polypropylene Tape 371
  • Industrial Polypropylene Tape 3759
  • Vinyl Packaging Tape
  • Heavy Duty Vinyl Tape
  • Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959
  • Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309
  • Double Sided Vinyl Tape
  • Adhesive Transfer Tape
  • Machine Tape 371
  • Masking tape 101E and 301E (not advised for packaging parcels)

Polypropylene Tape 371

One of our most popular tape from Scotch 3M is the Polypropylene tape, which offers excellent value for money as a general-purpose packing tape which is ideal for light and medium parcels.

At 28-microns in thickness, it features a good level of tensile and tear strength combined with strong shock resistance.  It’s best used for parcels of up to 20Kg in weight and is light and easy to apply, instantly sticking to all paper and board.

It’s available in a range of colours to best suit your packages; clear, buff (brown), or white and is eco-friendly – it doesn’t use any solvents in its adhesive, unlike many other tapes available.

This tape is perfect as a great all-rounder in the warehouse and as with all packaging tape, is easier, faster and safer to apply from a pistol grip dispenser.

Industrial Polypropylene 3759

If you need a general-purpose packaging tape that’s slightly more robust, then Industrial Polypropylene Tape at 35 microns is ideal.   Offering a stronger hold and greater thickness than 371, it’s recommended for parcels up to 40Kg in weight and is available in a choice of clear of buff. It will give your parcels a strong long-term hold with resistance to splitting if they are handled roughly or subject to the shock from impact.

Vinyl Packaging Tape

Vinyl tape is particularly suitable if you need a tape with a long shelf life as it resists turning brittle with age.  It’s got great resistance to moisture, chemicals and works well in all temperatures including deep freeze conditions.  It’s perfectly suited if your parcels are going to be subject to a varied environment or stored for long periods of time.

At 35 microns it provides a good level of strength for medium box sealing tasks, can be teared by hand, is low noise and made from a PVC backing combined with a solvent-based natural rubber adhesive.

Heavy Duty Vinyl Packaging Tape 60

For heavy duty applications that need an extra strength Scotch 3M Heavy Duty Vinyl Tape will give you a strong, long lasting bond.  Designed for the toughest applications, this 60 micron tape is one of the thickest and strongest that we offer.  It’s ideal for at sealing very heavy duty cartons, boxes, pallets and packages, sticking with an ultra-strong solvent-based natural rubber adhesive.

This tape is also ultra-resistant to chemicals, moisture, temperature and humidity changes including deep freeze conditions, making it one of the most resilient and hardworking tapes that you can buy.

Despite its resistance it’s easy to work with and even tearable by hand – though as with all packaging tapes we recommend using it with a pistol grip dispenser for a fast, safe and efficient application.

Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959

When you need an extremely tough, industrial quality hold, 3M Scotch Cross Weave Filament Tape is the tape for the task.  At an impressive 145 microns, cross weave possesses an extremely high tensile strength due to its reinforcement with glass fibre filaments in two directions.  It’s where it gets its ‘cross weave’ name.

Featuring a powerful adhesive, it will instantly stick to all paper and board surfaces providing a long lasting, secure hold on your parcels and packages.

It’s perfect for reinforcing cartons and containers that need extra support, giving additional tear and burst resistance to packages.  It can also be used for larger shipments, strapping up heavy goods or securing export consignments

As with most tapes a pistol grip tape dispenser makes application easy. It can simply be pulled over the surface to tape up any seal or join easily, quickly cutting with its sharp cutting blade and built in brake for automatic control.

Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309

Where noise is a problem in your packaging operation or if you’re working in a small, confined space Low Noise Tape can be an excellent replacement for general packaging tape to make your working environment more comfortable for staff or customers.

Low noise tape is exactly that – it’s been engineered to make much less noise when being pulled from the roll, making it more comfortable to work with in small or busy spaces.

At 28 microns in thickness it’s suitable for light and medium applications, with good split and tear resistance and the same high quality sticking application you would expect from Scotch 3M Tapes for paper, board, and fibreboard surfaces.

Finally, this tape is well suited to long-term storage in cold and damp environments, in a temperature range of 4-26 degrees centigrade. It won’t spoil or degrade meaning you can always ensure you’re well stocked even if your warehouse suffers from high humidity or a large range of temperatures.

Double Sided Tape

If you need to stick materials other than paper or card, such as glass, metal, wood, fabric or plastic, Double Sided Tape is perfect for the job, giving a clean stick with no mess.

This white PVC double sided tape offers a strong a secure bond on both sides, protected by a glossy paper backing that simply peels off to use.  The adhesive is a high tack acrylic which has strong a resistance to high temperatures and UV light.

Suitable for sticking a wide range of materials it excels for use in retail, for things such as point-of-sale displays, indoor and outdoor signs, fixing plastic extrusions, badges or nameplates.  This versatile tape comes in two widths, a thinner 25mm and a wider 50mm for larger applications.

Transfer Tape

When you need to apply glue and stick directly to surfaces but don’t want to use double sided tape then Transfer Tape is what you need.  This is ‘glue on a roll’ and is perfect for sticking a whole range of materials, from paper to plastics, textiles to leather, even wood or glass.

It’s a versatile tape that can be used on everything from framing pictures, boards and posters to small product assembly or graphics and art projects.  It’s designed for almost any art application where you need two surfaces to firmly bond but where double sided tape isn’t suitable.

Fast to dry, as it’s a tape it means you can get your glue perfectly lined up for an accurate stick and is manufactured with a paper backing and a strong and permanent acrylic adhesive.

For simple, quick and clean application Scotch 3M offer a lightweight but strong pistol grip tape dispenser which applies the tape in one simple motion and removes the paper liner at the same time.  It also features a transparent body, so it’s easy to see how much tape you’ve got left.

Machine Tape

If you’re using carton sealing machines to close and seal your packages (such as 3M-Matic™ Case Sealers) then you’ll need a tape to go with them that’s strong and quick to grip. Scotch 3M Machine Tape is designed specifically for these machines to seal packages instantly and effectively.  Flexible and split resistant, it’s made from bi-axially orientated polypropylene film that retains its strength even when stretched.

It’s suitable for all carton sealing machines and at 28 microns in thickness it can securely seal packages up to 20Kg in weight, with a tensile strength of over 45N (on steel, this is reduced to 40N).  It comes in a clear finish for white or coloured cartons, and is supplied on large rolls 990mm in size.   For a standard A4 carton, one roll should be enough to seal in excess of 1,500 boxes.

Masking Tape

The final tape that we offer is not a packaging tape but is perfect for creative projects or DIY work.  101E and 301E general masking tape is easily tearable by hand and sticks firmly to most metal and plastic surfaces for masking out areas for spray painting or precision decorating.

It’s write on surface also means it’s suitable for bundling, sealing or labelling, and it can easily be removed after use without leaving any residue, markings or damaging to surfaces.  Made from a soft crepe paper with a rubber adhesive it’s also resistant to water or solvents.

If you’re not sure what packaging tape you need, or are looking for advice on selecting and purchasing tape, dispensers or other sealing supplies for your business, then please get in touch with our Packaging Experts.  Call us free on 0800 542 44 28 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

The Art of Recycling: Does the UK care as much about the environment as we think we do?

As individuals, could we be doing more to help the environment? We looked a little closer at some of the UK’s recycling habits and learnt that on average, every seven weeks people in the UK throw away their own body weight in rubbish.[i]

The benefits of recycling are clear. Manufacturing one aluminium drinks can uses the same amount of energy as recycling twenty.[ii] What’s more, there would be 14 million fewer full dustbins every year if we recycled all the aluminium drinks cans sold in the UK.[iii] All our Rajapack cardboard boxes are 100% recyclable and we’re always working towards growing our range of environmentally-friendly packaging solutions.

94% of British adults say they care about the environment

What are the effects of not recycling as much as we could? Earth Overshoot Day gives us an idea of how much we are harming the environment.

Earth Overshoot Day

We use more from nature than the planet can renew. Earth Overshoot Day marks the date each year when we have consumed more than can be regenerated.  Thirty years ago, in 1987, this day fell on the 19th December. Ten years ago, 2007, it was 26th October.[iv] In 2017 Earth Overshoot Day falls on the 2nd August.

This is a clear indication we need to start doing more to help the environment. So, we decided to find out a bit more about the public’s attitudes to recycling. Local councils provide plastic crates, bins and bags – usually free of charge – specifically to make recycling easier for us. But is it working?

Are we a throwaway society?

In the country, 96% know aluminium cans are recyclable, only 76% that use them recycle them

Since 2010, the amount the UK recycles has been increasing. However, in 2015 this rate dropped.[v] To find out a little more about this decline, we commissioned a YouGov survey to find out how the British public really feels about recycling.

Our results show that almost everyone in Great Britain says they care about the environment (94%), but almost half of them (47%) feel they could recycle more than they currently do. This is despite almost three-quarters of the British public (74%) thinking their local council makes it easy for them to recycle. Do people simply not have the time to sort out their recycling?

We found out that although almost everyone in the country knows that aluminium cans can be recycled (96%), only 76% of those who use them say they recycle them every time. In Wales, 100% of people who responded to our survey knew that aluminium can be recycled, but only 80% said they recycle their empty cans every time.

100% of the Welsh know aluminium cans are recyclable, only 80% recycle them

Does a lack of knowledge around what can be recycled contribute to people not recycling more? Polystyrene isn’t a commonly recycled material, but some councils do accept it at household recycling centres.[vi] Yet over a third of Brits (37%) think polystyrene can be recycled, while nearly half of them believe it can never be recycled. Only 13% of those in Britain admitted they didn’t know.

Recycling cardboard

One of the most common packaging materials in the UK is corrugated cardboard[vii], which means most of us will probably have it in our homes in some form. The good news from our survey is Brits are more likely to recycle cardboard than any other material we asked about, with 79% of people who use it saying they always recycle it.

Our findings back up the statement that cardboard has the best recycling rate of any packaging material in the UK. This high rate of recycling means that cardboard boxes made in the UK contain up to 76% recycled material, on average. Some boxes are constructed from 100% recycled material. [viii]

The most recycled materials is cardboard, 79% say they always recycle it

How can we improve?

Although it’s worrying that recycling rates in the UK have dropped from previous years, it isn’t too late to do something about it. With people in the UK willing to admit they aren’t always sure what can be recycled, there is scope to educate people about what can and can’t be put into their recycling bins.

Many businesses are beginning use more eco-friendly packaging solutions. At Rajapack, we offer eco-friendly and recycled packaging across our range and our Packaging Specialists are always on hand to provide information on how to make more environmentally-responsible packaging choices.

If you want to find out more about what you can recycle in your local area, this tool from Recycle Now will tell you everything you need to know.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2026 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th-18th July 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

 [i]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[ii]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[iii]http://www.amgen-cymru.com/recycling_facts.php

[iv] http://www.overshootday.org/newsroom/past-earth-overshoot-days/

[v]https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/593040/UK_statsonwaste_statsnotice_Dec2016_FINALv2_2.pdf

[vi] https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/polystyrene-1

[vii] http://www.paper.org.uk/information/factsheets/Corrugated%20key%20facts%20May16.pdf

[viii] http://www.paper.org.uk/information/factsheets/Corrugated%20key%20facts%20May16.pdf

Labelling Packages for Shipping

Using the correct packaging will ensure your parcels are well protected and secured during shipping, but there’s one other important item that you need to include so that it reaches the right destination – a clear and correct address label is essential for any shipment.

Whether you’re shipping parcels up and down the UK or overseas, having the right labels will mean that it’s handled correctly at all stages of its journey; minimising damage, passing through customs smoothly, and reaching its destination on time.

When it comes to labelling your parcels there are a multitude of options available from simple handling instructions, indicators, and hazard warnings to sealed document envelopes.  Below we’ll take you through the main types of packaging labels available and offer some tips on what you’ll need if you’re shipping abroad including how to apply labels to your parcels.

Handling, hazard and documents enclosed labels

Shipping Nationally & Internationally

Depending on your parcel’s final destination there are different types of forms that you’ll need to include to ensure it gets through customs smoothly.

If you’re sending within the UK…

Post as normal – include the destination name and address, and a commercial invoice with details of the order and the sender’s name and address.

If you’re sending within the EU…

It’s just like shipping in the UK as we’re still part of the single market.  There will be no customs charges and no special customs documents are needed.

If you’re sending to the rest of the world…

Then your parcel will pass through customs and you’ll need to include a completed customs form.  There might also be additional import charges to pay based on the information you include on the form.

There are two different forms depending on the value of the items you are sending:

  • Up to £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN22 (signed & dated).
  • Over £270, you’ll need a Customs Declaration Form CN23 (fully completed).

You can find the forms you’ll need and more useful information on shipping internationally on the Royal Mail website.

Where Should Labels Be Placed?

Correctly labelled parcels and packages

If you’re including handling instructions on your parcel, such as ‘This way up’ or ‘Handle with care’, then placing these on several sides will ensure that they’re not missed and that it’s clear to everyone who handles your shipment. Finally, avoid placing labels over a seam or closure of your parcel, such as on the top along the sealing tape.   Always position labels on the largest surface of the package you are shipping.  For a small jiffy bag or envelope this will be on the front face of the package. If you’re shipping a box, then the largest side of the box, which is usually the front face.

The Types of Packaging Labels Available

Below, we’ve detailed an overview of the main packaging labels available for your shipment.  Combined with high quality packaging, the correct labelling will ensure your parcel reaches its intended destination in one piece and on time. 

Documents Enclosed Envelopes & Labels

Wherever your parcel is going you must ensure all paperwork is included at every stage of its journey.  A Documents enclosed envelope label will keep all those important details safe and dry during shipping, such as the address details and your customer’s invoice.

Documents Enclosed Envelope Labels

These envelope labels feature a full adhesive backing to stick firmly to parcels and are transparent so that the delivery address can clearly be seen on the front.  Once the paperwork is folded and tucked in, they seal tight so that everything inside is kept safe.  They should be included on every large parcel you ship to your customers, so always ensure you are well stocked with these envelopes.

At Rajapack, they are available in four different sizes from 115mm x 100mm right up to 315m x 225mm for larger parcels.  All feature a clear address window, so the paperwork is visible to everyone that handles your parcel on its journey.

Eco-friendly documents enclosed labels are also available for businesses that wish to minimise their impact on the environment.  Choose green documents enclosed labels which are made from 60% recycled materials and feature a green message.

For larger operations envelope dispensers are ideal if you’re sending a lot of parcels.  These heavy-duty dispensers use rolls of up to 330 labels and can be secured to a work surface for quick and easy dispensing.

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling instruction labels include clear instructions on a parcel such as ‘Fragile’, ‘This end up’ and ‘Do not bend’.  If your package needs these special instructions, then adding these labels will ensure everyone who encounters your parcel knows how to handle it correctly.Once you’ve included the correct paperwork with your parcel, you should consider adding handling labels to provide clear handling instructions to anyone who will be shipping your parcel.

Handling instruction labels come in 8 different messages:

  • Handle with care
  • Open with care
  • This end up
  • ‘This way up’ arrow image
  • Do not crush
  • Do not bend
  • Documents Enclosed
  • Caution Heavy

Fragile labels are also available for parcels that are delicate and need to be handled very carefully, such as glass or ceramics. 

Hazard Labels

If your parcel includes anything that could be considered hazardous such as flammable gas, flammable liquid, corrosive or toxic chemicals, then hazard labels should be also added.  This helps couriers to ensure that your package is stored and transported safely, and that no accidents could occur because of mishandling.

Highly visible, each hazard label features a pictogram with a hazard statement to clearly state the nature of the package’s contents and how it should be treated.

Labelling consignments with Hazard labels

If you’re not sure if your parcel needs a hazard label, the Health & Safety Executive offer information about the labelling and packaging of hazardous materials, with further advice offered by the European Chemical Agency about when these labels are required. 

Specialist Labels

For items that are sensitive to static electricity, being dropped or handled roughly or being tilted during shipping, there’s a range of labels that can provide protection for sensitive shipments.

Shockwatch and Tiltwatch labels are both indicator labels.  They stick to wood, cardboard or plastic, are resistant to moisture and suitable for exporting overseas.  If your parcel has been tilted or suffered a high impact during shipping then they will let your recipient know immediately on delivery.

Shockwatch labels feature a small glass tube that turns red and stays red if dropped or handled roughly. Tiltwatch labels permanently show red if the product has been tilted over 90 degrees.  Both labels provide an instant way to identify if your parcel has been mishandled during transport, so you can easily identify the responsible party in the event of a complaint.

Specialist labels provide extra protection to sensitive shipments

Finally, for sensitive electronic equipment such as circuit boards, computer equipment or mobile devices, apply an antistatic packaging label on your parcel (combined with antistatic protective bags) to make it clear that your parcel is sensitive to static electricity and must be handled as such. 

Postage Labels

Postage and Printer labels to clearly mark all parcels and packages

If you’re sending smaller packages such as mailing bags, envelopes or bubble mailers you might not need to include a full documents enclosed envelope label.  Simple address labels which detail the recipient’s address and the return address for the sender might be all you need.  A postage label is ideal for use here and can be quickly and easily printed off from a normal inkjet or laserjet printer.

Avery have been printing labels since 1937, and their laser and inkjet labels come in fully perforated sheets made from FSC certified paper with an eco-friendly, water based permanent adhesive for easy application.  They can be printed from practically any computer once you’ve installed their free design & print software, allowing you to set up and save personalised label templates, or generate labels from excel databases such as mailing lists.

Thermal Labels

For convenience, thermal labels are excellent – they lightly burn information directly onto thermal paper for long lasting labels which require no ink, meaning less to spend on printing supplies.

They’re perfect for an office desk or small packaging operation with their small and compact size, but don’t be fooled, these little printers can run off large volumes of labels – up to 71 per minute from the Dymo LabelWriter 450.

Dymo Thermal Printers and Labels

They connect straight to a PC or Mac and come with free printing software so you can quickly get set up.

Printing labels up to 100mm in size means you can use thermal labels for almost anything; from postal addresses, shipping or mailing labels to pricing stickers & product labels, including barcodes and graphics.  Thermal printers offer excellent speed, convenience and simplicity in a small but powerful labelling solution that’s cost effective – the only supplies you’ll need are the thermal labels.

If you’re not sure what packaging labels you need, or are looking for advice on labelling your shipments correctly please get in touch with our Packaging Experts.  Call us free on 0800 542 44 28 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk.

Wrap it up: How to package unusual items

How to package unusual items

With the growth of online shopping comes the expectation that we should be able to get our hands on pretty much anything with a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a screen. According to eMarketer, 2017 is predicted to see 10% of all worldwide retail purchases made digitally[i].

This means the packaging industry has needed to innovate, to ensure items purchased over the web arrive safely at their destination.

Here at Rajapack, we know an awful lot about protective packaging. Wondering how to package something valuable or oddly-shaped? Follow our step-by-step guides on how to package some of the more difficult things companies or individuals might need to protect during transit. We’ve also spoken to companies who rely on good quality packaging to get their advice on how to package items so they arrive in pristine condition.

How to package a chandelier

Chandeliers are extremely delicate and fragile pieces. Not sure where to start or how to protect them in a move? Follow our steps to success.

What you’ll need:

  • A cardboard box
  • Bubble wrap and tape
  • Foam wrap
  • Loose fill
  • Cable ties
  • Fragile/This way up labels

How to package a chandelier

  1. It’ll be easier to package the chandelier if it’s hanging. If possible, wrap it in situ or use an industrial hook. If not, be sure to place the chandelier on plenty of padding; cushions, towels and blankets work well. Laying it directly onto a hard surface is likely to damage it.

To package the chandelier, first find a suitable cardboard box. Ideally the box should be around three inches larger than the chandelier all the way round. Consider the weight of the chandelier. For heavier chandeliers a double wall cardboard box will provide extra protection and puncture resistance.

  1. Remove all light bulbs from the chandelier and pack in a separate box. Look for any other detachable pieces, if any other pieces can be removed, wrap these individually and package them in a separate box.
  2. Next, look for any sharp edges that could be damaged during transit. Wrap these with thick packing foam or use cardboard and tape to protect them. Pay attention to the top and bottom of the chandelier, the bottom is where the most pressure will be and, along with the top, it’s the part most likely to be damaged. Wrap these areas well with packaging foam or bubble wrap.
  3. Make sure the bottom of the cardboard box is well secured with tape. Cushion the bottom of the cardboard box with foam wrap or bubble wrap. Use your hands to wrap any loose wires and secure with cable ties. Lower the chandelier into the box and hold as upright as possible. Fill the rest of the box with loose fill, making sure these are well compacted so the chandelier can’t move around.
  4. Once you’re happy the chandelier is tightly secured inside the box, cover the top with layers of foam or bubble wrap. Close the box and seal with tape. Label all boxes containing the chandelier’s parts as ‘fragile’ and be sure to mark which way up the box needs to be kept. Specialist fragile and this way up labels can be used.

How to package artworks: Tips from the experts at Eyestorm

Valuable artwork is very precious, and packaging paintings or any other art requires it to be well protected. We spoke to Eyestorm, a leading online gallery and retailer of limited edition contemporary art, to get their advice.

How to package artwork

How does Eyestorm prepare a print for postage?

We flat pack our prints in cardboard and then into a custom made white box with the Eyestorm logo on it. The boxes are standard sizes, either 75 x 75 x 3 cm or 120 x 120 x 3 cm.

Can you talk us through the process of packaging and shipping them?

We’ll take the print and wrap it in tissue paper. It’s then secured onto the cardboard with corners to ensure it doesn’t move around during shipping. Another piece of cardboard is then placed on top and the two pieces of cardboard are secured together with polypropylene tape. The two pieces of cardboard are put into the white box, which is then secured with more polypropylene tape. We then use document enclosed envelopes to address the package and ship it via a 3rd party a courier.

How to package fine china

Small items, such as fine china, can be fiddly to package. No one wants to receive a chipped tea cup. Take a look at our how to package your fine china so it arrives in one piece.

What you’ll need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Bubble wrap
  • Tape
  • Loose fill
  • Polyurethane foam liners
  • A cardboard box
  • A second, double-walled cardboard box, three inches larger than the first
  • Fragile labels

How to package fine china

  1. First, make sure you’ve enough space to work. Clear a large packing table or workstation, if you do not have a large enough space, lay blankets on the floor to create a big enough surface to see all your materials and items to pack. The blankets will also help protect the fine china from accidental drops and breakage.

You’ll need a cardboard box at least one inch larger than the fine china you’ll be packing inside. You’ll need a second, double-walled cardboard box at least three inches larger than the first one.

  1. Lay out the fine china you need to pack and sort the items into similar sized groups. If your items aren’t similar shapes or are extremely fragile, separate smaller boxes will provide better protection. These smaller boxes can then be packaged inside the second cardboard box.
  2. Wrap each item individually with tissue paper and secure with tape. Then repeat this step with bubble wrap, completely cover each item in bubble wrap, and secure with tape.

With very delicate items prone to breaking, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. A lot of damage to these kinds of items occur because they bump into each other during transit.

  1. Take your smaller cardboard box and cut two pieces of polyurethane foam liner to fit snugly inside. Place one section into the bottom of the box and put your first layer of wrapped china on top of this, then cover with about two inches of loose fill. Repeat until the box is 1-2 inches away from being full. Now add the second piece of polyurethane foam, ensuring there is a gentle pressure when you close the box. Be careful not to add too much pressure as this could damage the contents.
  2. Add around three inches of loose fill to the bottom of the larger box and place the packed smaller box on top. Use loose fill to fill all the space around the smaller box. Once this is done, close the double walled box and secure all flaps and edges firmly with tape. A fragile label can then be applied to the box.

How to package wine: Tips from the experts at Yapp Wines

Shipping wine? Not sure how to prevent any damage or breakages? We spoke to Yapp Wines, online wine merchants, selling and importing characterful wines from small independent wine makers, to get their advice.

How to package wine

Talk us through the process of packaging glass bottles for shipping.

As an importer and distributor of wine in the UK, Yapp Brothers handles bottles in two distinct ways. Imports arrive in a variety of (normally flimsy) cardboard boxes of 12 bottles, but the wine is palletised (as 50 cases) and shrink-wrapped, therefore breakages are extremely rare. We then despatch orders through a UK courier and our own vehicles for next day delivery. These packages can be individual bottles, cases of six, 12 or 15. Neither we, the customer, nor the carrier wants a breakage, so our branded boxes are well-designed to withstand the fulfilment process.

How easy was it to find protective packaging that perfectly met all your shipping needs?

Not easy, but we’ve honed our packaging over 50 years through collaboration with delivery firms, packaging companies and through trial and error.

What sort of protective packaging do you use the most?

5mm thick (glued) cardboard boxes that have insert dividers and bases (all 5mm) to add additional protection. Polystyrene inserts are also used in the wine industry, but these aren’t recyclable so we avoid them.

Have you ever had any breakages related to the packaging you use?

Yes, unfortunately, breakages occur but they’re unusual thankfully. It’s expensive when it happens, not least as insurance is very limited in carrying wine bottles. For very rare bottles, specialist couriers are used. During December, we despatched over 2,000 wine packages and total breakages were in single figures (so <1%).

What is the largest order you’ve ever sent?

We regularly send out palletised loads (of 50 cases) to the many restaurants that we supply. We’ve also sent full container loads (15,000 bottles across 25 pallets) to ski resorts. On the whole, larger orders are less likely to be dropped, crushed, lost or stolen than small consignments.

How to package a bike

If you’re looking to transport a bike, then it’s important to take precautions so it’s not damaged in transit. Here’s a few of our considerations:

What you’ll need:

  • Bubble wrap
  • Thick foam tubing
  • Loose fill
  • A large, strong cardboard box, big enough for the whole bike frame, a cuboid shape is best
  • A small box or clear plastic bag to hold any loose nuts or bolts
  • Cable ties
  • A spanner or wrench
  • Allen key (for disassembling the bike parts)

How to package a bike

  1. Make sure you have a clear space to work in. Remove any extra accessories, such as lights, mudguards and bottle holders. Wrap these separately and add to the box after your frame.
  2. Remove the bike seat. If your seat is attached with a bolt, put this in the separate box or plastic bag so it isn’t misplaced. Then use the spanner or wrench to remove the pedals.

If you can, turn your handlebars 90 degrees so they align with the bike frame. If this isn’t possible, you’ll need to remove these too. Unscrew any bolts holding the handlebars in place, but don’t detach any cables. Lower the handlebars vertically so they sit in line with the front wheel.

Next remove your front wheel. If you have quick release bolts this is very simple. If not, unscrew any bolts and add them to the box or plastic bag with the others. Let some air out of both tyres before packing them.

  1. To protect your bike during transit, first you’ll need to use cable ties to attach the handlebars to the main bike frame. Use foam tubing wrapped around the bike frame to prevent scratches, secure in place with cable ties. Wrap as much of the frame in foam as possible for the best protection. Where it’s not possible to use foam, use bubble wrap instead and secure with tape.

Cover all cogs well with bubble wrap to avoid the sharper edges scratching the rest of the bike.

  1. Fill the bottom of the box with about two inches of loose fill and place the bike frame on top. Then slide your front wheel into the box next to the frame. Add the small box or bag holding any nuts or bolts, along with any accessories removed at the beginning.

Now fill the rest of the box firmly with loose fill. The aim is to use enough so the frame doesn’t move around too much. Once this is done, tape the box shut.

How to package unusual items

[i] https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Worldwide-Retail-Ecommerce-Sales-Will-Reach-1915-Trillion-This-Year/1014369

 

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

https://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/innovation_diversity/

[ii] Why Diversity Matters, McKinsey & Co, 2015 http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters

[iii] BIS, Small Business Survey 2012: businesses led by women and ethnic minorities, 2013, p2. Output is Gross Value Added. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/small-business-survey-2012-businesses-led-by-women-and-ethnic-minorities

[iv] Gender diversity in the boardroom: reach for the top, CIPD, 2015, p6. The benefits of gender diversity in the boardroom https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/gender-diversity-boardroom_2015-reach-for-the-top_tcm18-10828.pdf

[v] Women in Boards, Gov.uk, 2011, p2 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/31480/11-745-women-on-boards.pdf

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

http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2015/measuring-the-global-gender-gap/

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.

black-friday-christmas-present-web

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.

rajapack-uk-packaging-warehouse-web

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 www.rajapack.co.uk 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]

rajapack-unboxing-v2

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.”

the-mystery-deal-box-youtube-4-2

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]

minnie-works-at-mcdonalds-cash-register-%e2%9d%a4-peppa-pig-happy-meal-toys-surp-2

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!”

unboxing

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.

[i] http://uk.businessinsider.com/dc-toys-collector-youtube-2015-1?r=US&IR=T

[ii] http://socialblade.com/youtube/top/100/mostviewed

[iii] https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLirAqAtl_h2r5g8xGajEwdXd3x1sZh8hC

[iv] http://www.dotcomdist.com/benefits-of-custom-retail-packaging-and-unboxing-videos

[v] http://mentalfloss.com/uk/psychology/36931/why-are-we-obsessed-with-unboxing-videos

[vi] https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/

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.

professional-equality-office

The mother to daughter search for quality and excellence

rachel-and-danièle-marcovici-right

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.

women-and-the-environment-rajapack

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.

women-in-packaging

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!

all-envelope-types

Enve-what?

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-and-bubble-envelopes

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.

card-backed-envelopes

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

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-tape

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-tape-and-bags

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.