Personal touches with gift wrapping paper and accessories

Adding personal touches with gift wrapping paper and accessories is great for personal gift giving and is an excellent additional service to offer as a merchant or retailer – especially in the ecommerce era we find ourselves in.

With Christmas coming, we take a look at the range of wrapping paper and bags available, the colours, the textures and the finishes, as well as looking at the roller machines that can make it easier to do neatly and professionally and how to finish it all off with a ribbon.

Personal touches with gift wrapping paper and accessories

Gift wrap done properly can make all gifts look good, not just at Christmas

Personal touches with gift wrapping paper and accessories are what make Christmas – and all other gift-giving occasions – special. Gift wrapping makes giving presents and gifts exciting and special, but adding that personal touch with a right wrapping paper can really make it extra special.

For personal gift giving, getting the wrapping right makes for a lovely gifting experience, but for many ecommerce businesses, being able to offer professional and inspired gift wrapping as an add-on service is an excellent way to increase sales and revenues.

Whether you are wrapping it for business or for personal use, having the right gift wrapping paper, with the right accessories, such as bows, ribbons and gift bags makes all the difference – and with the right gift wrapping and accessories, you can let your creative side really fly to make gifts look great.

Patterned gift wrap is a good place to start, either appropriate to the occasions or just that looks nice. Mixing it up or using dual coloured wrap can also make for an individual and unique wrap. Tie it off with the right ribbons and bows and you have transformed an ordinary present into a work of art.

For events such as baby showers and christenings, along with wrapping hampers – where the goods themselves are a feast for the eyes – clear wrapping is ideal. There are even many ways to make your presents look beautiful and save the planet, with extensive ranges of eco-friendly gift wrapping.

In short, there are myriad ways to wrap and many things to wrap with – but how do you make that work on a practical basis? Here are some tips and tricks.

Is a gift wrap paper roll holder necessary?

A gift wrap paper holder is necessary if you want to make your gift wrapping look professional with ease. Gift wrapping paper roll holders hold the gift wrapping paper rolls on a roller that allows for smooth, even and straight dispensing out of the paper. The devices also feature a cutting edge against which premium quality gift wrap paper can be neatly torn.

These machines are ideal for giving a professional finish to wrapping and, for those that need to do a lot of wrapping – either for a large group of family and friends or as part of a gift wrapping or ecommerce business – these holders make it much faster and easier to handle in bulk.

Counter roll holders: give a neat finish for gifts and flowers

Counter roll holders are made with sturdy white enamelled die-cast chassis and satin finish aluminium rails, these rollers also have strong rubber feet that help stabilise the unit. They also feature a serrated blade to cut through wrap, Kraft paper and even transparent film wrap.

These wrap holders are ideal for gift wrapping, as well as being very well suited to floristry too, allowing for the right amount of wrap for varying sized bunches of flowers to be dispensed and torn neatly off as desired.

Showing you care with eco-friendly gift wrapping

Eco-friendly wrapping with tissue, coloured Kraft paper, Kraft paper boxes and bags

Showing you care with eco-friendly gift wrapping adds to the charm of having a nicely wrapped gift. Making this happen is  made all the easier with the growing range of recyclable gift wrap and eco gift wrap available. Coloured tissue, recyclable – and recycled – Kraft paper wrap, as well as coloured Kraft paper gift boxes, bags and pouches are all excellent plastic-free gift wrapping options that can deliver the wrapping ‘wow factor’ and keep your eco-friendly credentials intact.

Coloured tissue is a great ‘green’ gift wrapping option

Coloured tissue is luxurious and eye-catching and adds to the overall feel of quality when wrapping – and it is easy to recycle, even when coloured. Coloured, crinkle-cut shredded paper can also be used to protect products, as well as giving them that professional and elegant feel, adding to the whole wrapping experience.

Coloured, crinkle cut shredded paper

Coloured Kraft paper wrap, Kraft paper boxes and bags are also exciting was to present gifts, that can be recycled or even reused. Whether it is plain or patterned, Kraft paper provides a sturdy wrap that exudes the feel of luxury and offers the goods inside some degree of protection too. A win-win-win.

What’s the occasion? Christmas gift wrap and festive flourishes

Whatever the occasion, good wrap makes a gift, but at Christmas it is particularly important. Christmas gift wrap, with a festive flourish, not only makes the presents look like the presents from A Christmas Carol, but from a practical perspective it also protects what’s inside.

Ho! Ho! Ho! Patterned Christmas gift wrap

Glass-fibre reinforced patterned gift wrap is environmentally friendly and convey all that is good and earthy about Christmas; holly, mistletoe, snowflakes, candy canes and bells.

But Christmas gift wrap roll isn’t just about a nice print, the Christmas theme can be carried through with colour, texture and pattern – and accessories such as ribbon, as we shall see.

Silver and gold is also very Christmas-y

Silver and gold Kraft paper wrap is also quite season, as is polka dots. There are also a wide range of patterns – from geometric to spots to bottles to plain – all of which are ideal for any occasions, but which also tap into the celebratory feel of the Christmas season with Christmas gift wrap.

Stella wrapping paper: ideal for Christmas as well

There are also clever things to do with mixing and matching different patterned gift wraps to create all manner of bespoke wrapping experiences.

And if that sounds too complicated, you can create a similar look with cool dual-coloured Kraft paper wrap.

Dual-coloured Kraft paper wrap makes a real impression at any time of year

What’s the occasion? Clear gift wrap for baby and bridal showers

Transparent gift wrap makes any gift look goodOf course, Christmas is but one occasion where good wrapping counts – through the year there are many others. Baby and bridal showers, for instance, also need to be wrapped in quality gift wrapping paper that is appropriate to the gravity of the occasion.

Recycled clear gift wrap – made with 30% recycled material – is clear and shimmery all at once, making it ideal for wrapping gifts for new mums and their babies, brides to be and for adding a touch of glass to hampers and other gifts where seeing what’s inside is a benefit.

Patterned wrapping paper, printed on luxurious and thick Kraft paper in a variety of patterns makes all gifts, whatever the occasion, look really alluring. When wrapped using a counter roll holder, it can look neat and clean and professional.

Finish it off with a gift wrap ribbon

While wrap looks great, it can be finished off really well with gift wrap ribbon. This can help hold the package together – especially if the gift is made up of multiple components – but also can make the whole package look great.

Gift wrap ribbon comes in satin, raffia and metallic

Available in a vast array of colours, as well as in satin, raffia and metallic finishes, gift wrap ribbon sets of any package for any occasion. Teaming the colour with the paper can make for a beautiful package, while using ribbon with a plain Kraft paper wrap can add a touch of simplicity that makes the package look classy and professional.

Want to know more about our wide range of gift wrapping paper?

For additional advice on the best gift wrapping paper, rollers, ribbon and more, our Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

 

Has 2020 changed the meaning of Christmas?

It’s been a crazy rollercoaster of a year. Marked by a global pandemic that has put the planet on hold, 2020 has separated so many of us, while simultaneously bringing others closer together.

There’s no doubt that this year has made many of us reassess what matters most. But where do we stand when it comes to Christmas – has it become irrelevant in the grand scheme of things? Or showcased just how special the festive season truly is?

Last year, in the world that existed before Zoom calls and social distancing, the nation said gifting was still the way to give love. Yet, as our lives have changed and priorities shifted, is there still a place in our hearts for tinsel, trees and gift boxes? We wanted to explore Brits’ buying habits in light of this life-altering year, as well as how people are feeling in the lead up to Christmas. We surveyed 1,000 Brits across the UK, and here’s what we found out.

Has 2020 changed the meaning of Christmas 1

The act of giving still matters…

Of respondents who expressed an opinion, 84% of the nation has agreed that Christmas 2020 will be different for their family and themselves this year. Cities such as Liverpool (94%) and Cardiff (92%) (who have undergone some of the harshest forms of lockdown) reported feeling this the most.

And with the rules around Christmas being so uncertain, it seems there are some traditions that we’re desperate to cling onto. Enter: the giving of gifts. In fact, only 8% of Brits surveyed won’t be doing this, meaning that the majority of the population are still undertaking pressie procuring in some form or other this year.

Has 2020 changed the meaning of Christmas 2

It seems that the physical element of a present matters now, more than ever, too. Compared to last year’s survey, the amount of people who would feel guilty about not sending a physical gift has increased by a margin of 3%, taking it to a total of 21%. Of those that would feel guilty, the two key reasons given were a) because physical gifts feel more thoughtful (44%) and b) because it’s important the recipient has something tangible to unwrap (32%). Could this mean that while the act of giving has always mattered, it means that little bit more this year?

…but how we buy will be different

Has 2020 changed the meaning of Christmas 3

We also found that, understandably, our buying habits are shifting. It comes as no surprise that affordability is the biggest priority for Brits this festive season, with over 39% listing this as a factor they will consider when shopping. A third of the nation (33%) will be tightening the belt straps and spending less than they usually do (females more so than males), which is twice as many people as those spending more than normal.

As well as affordability, there were some other interesting insights as to what factors people will consider. Naturally, with online shopping up by 43% year-on-year at the end of October (according to Capgemini’s Online Retail Index), this looks set to continue into our festive shopping sprees. 34% of the British public said they’ll need to consider being able to shop online or from home this festive season and, perhaps more remarkably, this trend is consistent across all age demographics.

Last year, we were told that 18% of the population had been deterred from choosing a gift based on its environmental impact. This year, the same percentage of people picked eco-consciousness as a key consideration for choosing gifts, though shopping locally is taking higher priority. Thanks to the many commendable campaigns that have fought for the estimated 6 million small businesses (and 16.6m jobs) that are in a financially precarious position this year, over 1 in 5 people (20%) now say that this will be a factor in their gifting choice.

Finally, you may remember that the dawn of lockdown brought a boom in crafts, from masks for frontline workers, to knitted dolls of Captain Sir Tom Moore. In fact, John Lewis reported upticks in haberdashery sales, while the likes of Hobbycraft reported a 200% boom in online sales since lockdown began. It seems that those aged 16-34 are leaning into this revolution even further this festive season, with a whopping 34% saying they’ll want to make their gifts by hand.

Recipients still want something tangible to open…

Has 2020 changed the meaning of Christmas 4

Ultimately, we’re still a sentimental bunch when it comes to having something tangible under the tree to open.

Last year, we asked people if they would prefer either a physical or digital gift (such as an e-card, e-voucher, or e-gift), and found that people preferred physical gifts by a margin of 29%. This year, it has ever so slightly increased, perhaps as our yearning for ‘normality’ grows.

Interestingly, for those who said Christmas would be different this year, they preferred a physical gift by a difference of 38% (8% vs. 47%). Yet for those expecting a similar Christmas to normal, the preference for physical gifts was far smaller, with a difference of only 19%.  Again, could this be a sign that for those whose Christmases will be out of the ordinary, a physical gift can act as an anchor amid an uncertain year, and a way to feel closer to our family and friends?

This isn’t to say the younger generation aren’t turning the tables, however. While all ages have a significant preference for physical gifts, younger people who would prefer a digital gift have grown by a margin of 5% this year. In fact, for 16-24-year olds, the difference between their preference for physical gifts vs digital is closing at only 8%, compared with 32% for over 25-54s, and 38% for 55+s! If things were to continue on this trajectory, by 2023, digital gifts might have become the chosen gift for Gen-Zers.

…even if emotions on Christmas are mixed this year

Has 2020 changed the meaning of Christmas 5

While the year has undeniably brought many lows, we have seen some positives from stronger relationships to new innovations and flexible working.  We wanted to know if 2020 has been more negative or positive for Brits personally, compared to recent years. 40% said more negative, 17% said more positive and 35% said about the same. But, what about peoples’ feelings towards the festive season, specifically?

We asked respondents to express any words that come to mind when thinking about the upcoming festive season. Among the words most used by those expecting Christmas to be different this year ranged from ‘family’, ‘lonely’ and ‘depressing’ – while for those expecting it to be the same, it ranged from ‘indifferent’ and ‘awful’, to ‘hope’, ‘together’ and ‘eating’.

One Christmas optimist told us,

“Christmas is the look of joy on the faces of my grandchildren as they open up their presents and it’s exactly what they want. It’s the twinkling lights on the tree, the soppy Christmas films on TV, the hefty lunch. It’s the ‘You shouldn’t of’, ‘Oh, that’s lovely’ and the classic, ‘You know me too well.”

And yet, there’s no ignoring the hardship that this year has brought about for so many. We heard from a lot of people worrying about a whole host of things this year, from loneliness and isolation, to financial pressures.

“Loneliness, anger, depression, feeling like the worldwide community has yet again something to disagree with each other about (C19).”

I just want to treat it like another day. I can’t cope with all the stress it brings due to financial circumstances.”

Can you still spread some festive cheer?

So where do you stand on Christmas this year? If you love giving, and are in a position to contribute towards a smile this Christmas, here are just a few ways we can all help those that may need it most:

Checking in on the elderly people in your community: As we know, the elderly are in the most vulnerable category across a range of factors – and a recent Age UK survey found that those over 65 often feel invisible or ignored. Whether it’s taking the time to write a Christmas card to elders in your building or offering your assistance to someone who can’t do their shopping, do your bit to make sure they’re noticed.

Putting together a gift box: There are many charities that organise shoe box appeals, such as Operation Christmas Child. However, there may also be other organisations local to your area doing a similar thing, on a smaller scale. Look out for neighbourhood Facebook groups or regional charities close to your home that may be looking for gift boxes and presents to put together for those feeling the strain.

Fight for food banks: Use of food banks are at a record high this year, with The Trussell Trust reporting a 61% increase compared to last year. There are many ways we can help, from volunteering our time to fundraising or making regular donations. You can visit The Trussell Trust website to see a list of ways that you may be able to offer something.

While 2020 has brought a lot of uncertainty to our lives, what is certain as we approach the festive season is the importance of family, friends, community, and togetherness. Whether you’re spending the festive season in isolation or with loved ones, try to reach out to those around you. After all, what can be closer to the true meaning of Christmas?

Home office organisation: from cardboard archive boxes to file dividers

Home office organisation

Organising your home office is a must in 2020, with so many of us working from home. From cardboard archive boxes to file dividers, simple things can not only help you work smarter and more efficiently, they can also keep your home from turning into just a workspace.

Here we take a look at the range of standard archive boxes and storage solutions, along with file dividers and other filing supplies available, and plot how to best put them to use to keep your home office organised.

Home office organisation: from cardboard archive boxes to file dividers

The way we work has changed radically in 2020 and now home office organisation, from a standard archive box down to file dividers, is now top of many peoples’ to do list.

The coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a sea-change in how people work. Many more of us are now working from home, at least some of the time, in a change to working habits that may well last for many months, years or even permanently.

As a result, many people are starting to look at how to kit out their home office to offer the kind of convenience and efficiency they were once used to at work, but with practical, compact and space-saving elements that fit functional and easy storage neatly into the home and home office environment..

Filing cabinets offer a great way to organise your home office, and organising what is in each drawer of the cabinet can also make home working much easier. The range of filing cabinet dividers available is huge, as we shall see.

While filing cabinets offer one practical and space-saving way to efficiently organise your home office, being able to neatly store away documents and paperwork in archive boxes is increasingly important when it comes to home office organisation and the range of archive storage boxes available can help you do this professionally and practically– you’ll know where all your important documents are, and you will be able to easily dust around them.

Types of archival storage boxes

Recycled cardboard archive box folders - a clean-cut way to organise your home officeSo, what types of archival storage boxes are available to help you organise your home office? You’d be amazed at how varied the range of sturdy archive boxes available is, each suited to its own range of filing purposes – rest assured there is a size and shape to suit all home office needs.

In many ways, office archive boxes are a bit like Matryoshka, those Russian dolls that fit one within another. The office archive box world starts with simple recycled cardboard archive box folders, which are suited to holding A4 files. Constructed from strong, recycled card, these one-piece boxes arrive flat and can be rapidly assembled through four simple folds and a tuck of a flap.

Each comes with a finger hole so you can easily access it on a shelf and each is printed with lines so that they can be clearly annotated – although sticky labels that can be printed on can be purchased separately, should you want to be super-neat.

Bankers Box two-piece, cardboard archive boxesFor added neatness and to help neatly and compactly store archived materials that you may not need immediate access to, there are a range of recycled cardboard archive boxes that can take up to five archive boxes and take as much load as 20Kg. Made from double thickness card, these boxes can neatly contain archive boxes, as well as many other bulky items, should you be looking to tidy your home office.

 

For standard banking documents – and for all those financial documents in your home office – banking archive boxes and boxes for those boxes are also available, in the standard marbled finish with large white lined spaces for labelling, these boxes are double thickness and make any home office look the business.StrongLok archive storage boxes to tidy your office

 

Aside from documents, there are many other storage boxes available for organising your office. StrongLok boxes offer a crash-proof base and double-glued seams for extra strength, while one- and two-piece archive boxes offer easy-to-assemble storage of documents, files, folders and more in sturdy, plain white card.

Filing cabinet dividers or stationery file dividers: what’s the difference?

When it comes to organising your files in your office, you can use filing cabinet dividers or stationery file dividers – but what’s the difference?

Filing cabinet dividers are used to segment your files in your filing cabinet, while stationery file dividers are used to mark out sections and divide up files in folders.

Filing cabinet dividers are used to separate files in your filing cabinet so that you can sort them by type, alphabetically or however you wish to split them up. Typically, you need to first file your documents in a filing cabinet using a suspension file divider such as these foolscap suspension files, which are designed to fit on the hanging rails in standard-sized filing cabinets. Colour coded, these files are an ideal way to hold documents and divide up your cabinet.

Documents, files, records, file, folder to organise your office

Other types of filing cabinet dividers include Q-Connect square cut folders, which are also foolscap sized and flush cut, designed to keep documents separate within suspension files in filing cabinets. These too are colour coded, for easy filing. These also come in clear plastic so that you can easily see what is in any given folder.

Stationery file dividers and plain file dividers, on the other hand, are inserted into ring-binder or lever-arch files to segment sections, documents and generally organise how you keep your paperwork in files.

These have holes punched in them that allow them to be inserted into folders. They can be clear, so that you can see what is in the file, or they can simply be labelled dividers, either alpha-sorted or just with coloured tabs that you can annotate yourself.

Organising your files with A4 file dividers

Concord standard dividers

Organising your files with A4 file dividers are a simple yet essential part of organising your home office and there are a range of dividers that can help you do this efficiently and colourfully.

As we have seen, these come in a wide variety of form-factors, with plastic file dividers and pouches through to file tab dividers that you can label yourself or which are alphabetised.

Plastic file dividers act like pouches that you can put a variety of items in, from single sheet documents, to multi-page items and even small things like receipts, instruction manuals and other documents of varying sizes and shapes – great for keeping important things in one easy to find place.

A4 dividers are used more to segment documents in A4 files, offering a colour-coded and/or alpha-sorted way to organise documents in lever arch files or similar. They can be used to break up documents into handy sections or to aid in the filing of documents of different types in a single lever-arch or ring binder maximising storage space and helping you organise your home office.

Workbook, bills, accounting, archives

Want to know more about our wide range of file dividers and archive boxes?

For additional advice on the best file dividers, archive boxes and more, our Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

Eco-tape: Why you should make the switch

You should switch to eco-tape because with sustainability top of the business agenda, it is the sensible thing to do. Eco-tape offers all the benefits of any other kind of packaging tape, but it can be recycled – often while still attached to the box.

But that isn’t all: eco-tape offers a range of other advantages. Here we take a look at why you should switch, what it is made from and where it can be used.

Space, Wood, Deliver, Logistics, Receive

Eco-tape: Why you should make the switch

You should make the switch to eco-tape because there really is no reason not to. With growing attention on sustainable business, using biodegradable paper tape, brown paper tape and other eco-tapes to secure packages is now a simple yet highly effective way to do your bit for the environment.

It may sound trite, but with such a wide array of eco-friendly packaging tape available at no real extra cost, why wouldn’t you?

These eco-responsible self-adhesive and gummed paper tapes offer an excellent alternative to polypropylene and vinyl tapes and give the same degree of closure, sealing and protection – as well as being both recyclable and recycled. Even the glue is environmentally friendly.

Another reason to switch to paper tape is that these strong yet easy to tear tapes stick to all types of cartons and boxes and, being made from renewable sources with a natural rubber adhesive they can be recycled along with the box they are stuck to, with no need to spend time – and money – separating them.

They can also be written on – being available in white or buff and in handy mini packs – so they can also double as an environmentally-friendly way to not only seal but also to label packages and boxes. This once again cuts down not only on waste, but on raw materials used as you don’t need tape and a label.

What is paper tape used for?

Paper eco tape

So, what is paper tape used for? Paper tape is used for a wide variety of packaging activities, mainly to seal and hold closed packaging boxes – but it doesn’t stop there.

With more ecommerce happening than ever before, the need for strong, secure paper packaging tape has never been so high.

Making that paper parcel tape eco-friendly is also a top priority. Not only will it make your business more sustainable, but it is what consumers and customers alike are increasingly demanding.

The uses of eco-paper packing tape are myriad. The most obvious is to seal boxes closed to prevent their content spilling out and getting damaged. These seals are tough and secure, as well as being tamper-evident. There is no way to open the tape without damaging it and revealing that the box or package has been opened.

This is ideal for transport and ecommerce delivery applications where the recipient wants to know that the package hasn’t been opened in transit.

Conversely, the tape is also quite easy to open as it can be torn or cut, making it easy to access the contents when appropriate. It is also easy to reapply new tape over any old tape to reseal a box should that be necessary.

Reinforced tape offers the same flexibility as paper tape, but can handle much heavier loads and so can be used for sealing packages containing heavy items up to 75kg in weight that are being transported or shipped.

The strong yet flexible nature of eco-friendly paper packaging tape is matched by its high heat and humidity resistance, making it ideal for export operations. It also cuts down on the environmental burden in the receiving country, which may or may not have different regulations regarding packaging materials and the proportion of recyclable packaging that can be imported.

If that wasn’t reason enough to use paper tape, as already mentioned, the tape can also be written on so that it acts not only as a great way to seal boxes closed, but also to label them too. It even comes pre-printed with warnings such as ‘fragile’ so that not only can it seal up a package securely, but it can also outline how that package is to be handled.

Meanwhile, eco masking tape can also be used to mark out and cover areas that need to be painted, as part of a routine maintenance plan or even as a bit of home, office or warehouse improvement. For example, it is an ideal way to mask off areas for painting the now requisite social distancing and other COVID-safe markings that are needed in many workplaces.

Masking tape too can be used to make ad hoc labels, as it can be easily torn off and written on.

What is eco-friendly tape made from?

Eco-friendly tape is made from three basic things: kraft paper, glass fibre and other reinforcements and natural rubber-based gum. Some eco-paper packaging tape is made from all three of these components, while others – for lighter duties – are made from paper and gum.

The basic paper packaging tape is made from a variety of grades and widths of kraft paper from around 57gsm up to more than 120gsm, depending on how rugged it needs to be.

Depending on how the tape is going to be used, there are two different ways that it can be fixed to the packages it is being used on: self-adhesive tape and water-activated gummed tape.

Self-adhesive tape can be easily applied and cut to size with a special dispenser that comes as part of a paper sealing kit

Self-adhesive eco-brown tape comes ‘pre-stickied’, with the paper tape roll coated in eco-friendly self-adhesive gum, so that you can just unroll the tape you need and it sticks. This can be done by hand or using a special hand-held tape dispenser that applies and then helps cut the tape in one elegant motion.

The other kinds of eco-parcel tape are very similar, only the adhesive is water-activated. These gummed paper tapes are ‘dry’ on the roll and need to be wetted on the adhesive side to make them sticky. This can be done with a special tape dispenser that moistens as it applies the tape.

Gummed paper tape can be applied with a special unit that wets it and places it – once the length has been measured

Once dry, the adhesive is very strong, as well as temperature and humidity resistant making it ideal for export operations.

The third kind of tape is reinforced paper tape, which is used for heavier and more bulky items. It is made from a combination of high grade kraft paper, but is reinforced with glass fibre filaments.

Self-adhesive reinforced tape is strong for those bigger loads

These tapes are very strong and come in two kinds: filamented and cross-woven. Filamented tape has squares of glass-fibre woven into them (see above), allowing the tape to be strong but also to be easily torn and cut to length.

Cross woven (see below) offers a strong, more tear resistant kind of strapping, for those really heavy items that need extra strength protection in transit.

Reinforced, gummed paper tape

These reinforced tapes come in both self-adhesive and water-activated formats, with cross woven tape recommended to be used with a water-applicator that can also cut it as it is so tough.

Want to know more about our wide range of eco-tape?

For additional advice on the best eco tape or have packaging recycling questions, our Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

 

 

Everything you need to know about eco-mailing bags

Eco-mailing bags are the green way to store, post and ship items from documents to jewellery to electricals to books and more. Available in a range of dimensions and materials, whatever your mailing needs, there is an eco-friendly way to do it.

Here we take a look at what eco-mailing bags are, which ones are best for which applications and how to use them.

Everything you need to know about eco-mailing bags

Sustainable choices

Eco-mailing bags – mailings bags that are at the forefront of the consumer shift to ecommerce – we’ll run through what you need to know, as a business, about eco-mailing bags to meet this demand.

With sustainability increasingly topping the list of consumer priorities when choosing brands to shop with, and with more people having what they bought delivered to them, choosing to send goods in recycled or recyclable packaging should be every retailer’s responsibility and aim.

Alongside eco-mailing bags you might want to also consider other postal products that may have similar uses but are different in format and benefits. A Kraft postal box, postal tube, an eco-mailing box, but also recycled plastic mailings bags, as well as padded envelopes and paper mailing bags.

As ever, choosing the right eco-mailing bag depends on what you are sending: electrical items, gadgets and jewellery for example need to be protected, so recycled and recyclable bubble wrap and bubble wrap lined mailing bags and packages are ideal.

While the choice is wide-ranging, there are different solutions for different packaging and delivery needs, each with their own merits. Let’s take a look at what the best options available.

Are paper mailing bags as reliable as plastic ones?

The big question is are paper mailing bags as reliable as plastic ones – both in terms of their green credentials and their efficacy as a packaging solutions. Eco-friendly mailing bags can be either plastic or paper, with each offering different benefits for the job in hand.Cardboard envelopes and mailers

Non-plastic mailing bags are typically made of card and paper and are ideal for storing and mailing documents. Made from a combination of stiff cardboard and thick kraft paper, these envelopes and small packages are widely used for all manner of smaller, flatter items that need some protection from dust and dirt and which also have to remain stiff and unbending.

These non-plastic mailers come in a range of sizes and can handle differing thicknesses up to about 80mm, where they teeter between being an envelope and a fully-fledged cardboard mini-box.

Maxi, brown, panel wrap cardboard mailers

The move to ecommerce has also seen the development of Ecommerce Kraft paper mailing bags, which offer much of the benefits of plastic mailing bags, but in sturdy kraft paper, making them more eco-friendly and filling a gap in the market for a envelope-cum-card packaging solution for smaller items.

As to which is best? Well, it does all depend on what you want to ship or store. Cardboard is simple and easily composted and recycled if it is pure of plastic linings and labels, but isn’t so good for protecting from moisture.

Kraft paper mailing bags are an ideal eco-friendly optionPlastic mailing bags are sturdy and waterproof, but can lack the rigidity of some of the thicker cardboard mailing bags.

A combination of the two – mailing bags lined with either shredded paper or recycled polyethylene bubble wrap – can offer a way to achieve both aims, but are harder to recycle as the two sets of material have to be separated.

All in all, the choice depends on what is being mailed, but all types offer a great degree of eco-friendliness.

What are biodegradable mailing bags and how do they work?

Biodegradable mailing bags are mailing bags that will, when composted or landfilled, simple rot down and feed the worms.

Biodegradable postage bags are typically made from materials that will degrade when put in the ground. They are made from paper fibre-based products such as cardboard and kraft paper and are strong and sturdy, yet can be easily composted.

The card and kraft paper also offers great protection from dust and dirt, as well as being strong enough to handle impacts and being dropped and are also often sturdy enough to be reused prior to being discarded, adding to their environmental credentials.

Such compostable mailing bags also come in a range of exciting colours, shapes and sizes. While durable kraft lined padded envelopes lead the way in biodegradable packaging – filled with paper fibre in a kraft lining, all of which can be composted – there are also many other packaging solutions that are cool to look at and biodegradable.

Cardboard postal tubes – in brown, white or black – are ideal for items that need extra protection, but are also highly reusable, compostable and biodegradable, while triangular tubes suited to giving extra protection to a range of delicate items are also made from biodegradable card.

For more standard sized shipments, letters, books, documents and more, self-adhesive envelopes and mailing bags are available that can be sealed shut. These self-adhesive strips are also biodegradable, so even these types of packaging can also be composed with after initial usage.

Recycling and packaging

To address these packages – and to tag anything else for that matter – why not use eco-friendly labels that are biodegradable? Available in a range of sizes and shapes, these have eco-friendly adhesive and are marked up with the green recycling symbol.

Polyethylene mailing bags, while recyclable, are not biodegradable and are best used where they are more likely to be added to the recycling pile rather than anywhere where they may be landfilled or composted.

What are the best recyclable mailing bags?

The best recyclable mailing bags are those that are made from paper and card, but those that are made from polyethylene can also be recycled.

Eco-postage bags that are made of card and lined with pure polyethylene bubble wrap can be recycled, so long as the bubble wrap and the card outer can be separated and put in their respective recycling bins.

Recycled polyethylene mailing bags are versatile and moisture-proofThese can be used for a wide variety of items and offer a great degree of protection from dust and dirt as well as the rough and tumble of being posted and/or couriered.

 

Pure polyethylene mailers make for ideal recyclable postage bags too as they can simple be recycled in the single use plastic channels, where they are taken away, shredded, melted down and turned into new bags.

These bags can’t easily be composted, but so long as they are put into the correct recycling channel, they can be readily recycled for reuse, making them ideal mailing bag options.

Available in a range of sizes, these bags are ideal for a range of goods including clothing, some non-fragile electricals such as charging cables and much more.

The best mailing bags that have been recycled

The best mailing bags that have been recycled are those that are made from recycled polyethylene and polyethylene bubble wrap.

These bags have been created from pre-used material – often bags that have been used already that have then been shredded, melted down and reformed – and mean that if you need to use a plastic mailing bag, you can make sure that it is one that is eco-friendly.

There are other eco-responsible packaging solutions made from recycled materials that include lay-flat tubing to wrap items. Together with recycled shrink wrap and eco-friendly tape, the options for keeping your packaging eco-responsible are wide.

Want to know more about our wide range of eco-mailing bags?

For additional advice on the best eco mailing bags, our Packaging Specialists are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

Waste minimisation around the world

Logistics can help the company achieve ISO 14001 certification

Waste minimisation around the world

Did you know that we dump 2.12 billion tons of waste per year globally? Thanks to growing populations and economies, this figure is predicted to grow by 70% as soon as 2050. So, what can we do to stop this number from continuing to rise?

One way that countries are already working to curb waste is by implementing two types of initiatives: ones that help maximise waste recovery, and ones that seek to minimise waste overall. We looked at which countries are faring well in the fight against municipal waste, and what learnings we can take from them.

Recycling

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products. From eco packaging to plastic alternatives, we are collectively moving toward more products that can be recycled and more products that have been made from recyclable materials. Out of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries we explored, we found that Germany were the top recyclers, recycling almost half (49%) of their waste, followed by Slovenia (47%) and Belgium (33%).

Germany is embracing this lifestyle through many ways, and one of these is their Green Dot system. This makes manufacturers and retailers pay for a green packaging sticker to show that a fee has been paid to fund its recycling. The results are twofold: manufacturers cut down on the materials they use, and consumers are able to recycle the full product and its packaging.

                   

Composting

It is said that almost half of the food waste in the average UK rubbish bin could be composted. This is the process of letting kitchen and garden waste decompose in a dedicated bin, and using it as fertiliser for plants. It not only saves money and resources, but also helps to improve the soil and reduces the impact on the environment. Looking at the five-year average, the composters that came out on top were Austria (32%), Netherlands (28%) and Switzerland (21%).

Austria’s impressive biowaste management comes from a combination of things. They boast high-quality home composting, separate collections where home composting is not possible, as well as on-farm or municipal composting plants.

Lithuania also has commendable composting performance, having increased their composting by 22% over the last five years. Just one of the ways they’re doing this is through waste management centres. In Lithuania, most private houses are provided with free composting boxes, as well as needing to follow strict guidance on how to separate food and kitchen waste.

Landfill

Globally, we’re producing around 1.3 billion tons of landfill waste annually, with a projected increase to 2.2 billion tons by 2025 – with less places to put it, and more landing in our precious oceans every day.[2] The toxicity of landfills is bad for our health and the environment, which is why 23 out of 29 countries have been making reductions over the last five years.

Turkey (93%), Greece (83%) and Latvia (69%) were the worse culprits for sending municipal waste to landfill. One thing worth noting however, is that, while it’s now illegal to send non-recoverable materials overseas, it doesn’t always work like that. Many countries send recyclable waste to other countries because it’s cheap, reduces landfill, and ticks off their green goals. The problem? Unrecyclable materials are often found amongst the waste sent over, forcing other countries to add it to their own landfill statistics.

                   

Incineration

Incineration tends to be the lesser talked about disposal option. It’s a slightly more complex method in that some incineration techniques get rid of waste but do not recover it, whereas others can convert waste into the likes of ash, flue gas and heat. These are referred to as ‘incineration with energy’. Even then however, there are some consequences, including the emissions that are released into the air when energy is produced.

Sweden is a country that is using incineration with energy efficiently. Just over half of their waste is recovered in this way, thanks to their 35 waste-to-energy power plants around the country. This municipal waste works to provide both district heating and electricity to their 10 million residents. In fact, according to research, Sweden recovers more energy from each ton of waste than any other country![3]

What about waste production?

Ultimately, however, while positive recovery is an important part of our war on waste, we can’t get away from the fact that we need to produce less waste in the first place. A truly conscious country will not only be recovering a high proportion of their waste, but producing a low percentage of it, too. Why not read our full campaign on waste minimisation to find out which countries are proving themselves the shining star in both of these areas?

[1] https://www.recyclenow.com/reduce-waste/composting/why-compost

[2] https://steelysdrinkware.com/growing-global-landfill-crisis/

[3] https://smartcitysweden.com/focus-areas/climate-energy-environment/waste-to-energy/#:~:text=Incineration%20is%20a%20method%20ideally,waste%20than%20any%20other%20country.

What straps for pallets are best for shipping?

The best straps for pallets for shipping depends on what you are shipping, how it is packed and, indeed, whether it is on a wooden pallet or one made of plastic or fibre board. Pallet strapping or pallet banding – also known as palletising – is a way of holding goods fast on a pallet, making transport easier and protecting the pallet’s contents.

So what are the best straps for pallets, how does a pallet banding machine work, what are pallet bands made from and how do you put them to use? Here, we show you all you need to know about palletising?Warehouse racking and pallet load

What straps for pallets are best for shipping?

The best straps for pallets for shipping is a key decision when looking at storage and transport of your goods. When transporting goods on pallets, it is essential to make sure that they are secure, so that goods in storage or in transit aren’t damaged, broken or lost. This is why you need pallet strapping. While pallets are an ideal way to corral items into one easy, stackable block, the goods have to be secured in place.

When palletised, goods are often shrink wrapped or covered with some form of film to protect them from water, dirt, dust and damage. This film can also provide some structural support. However, to make sure that your items stay firmly in place – especially when being moved around a warehouse or actually shipped in a lorry – pallet strapping is essential.

The first thing to consider is how do you get the straps on the pallets?

How does a banding machine work?

Automated strapping machines make the job easier

A banding machine otherwise more commonly known as a strapping machine, works by helping you run strapping around the boxes or items on the pallet, linking through the slots in the pallet, and sealing the ends together to form a solid, continuous band holding the goods in place.

Strapping machines help automate the often labour intensive task of strapping boxes and pallets, allowing for faster, easier and more cost effective ways of doing the job in your warehouse.

The pallet strapping machine wraps and tensions the pallet banding around the goods and seals the end, making a strong and lasting bond, which allows the strapping to support a great deal of force.

The machines can handle a wide range of sizes and shapes of products and can run automatically or semi-automatically as needed. Automatic strapping machines are ideal for everyday use on products that are the same day in day out. For more varied inventory, semi-automatic is the way to go.

Both allow the manual setting of the tension, so that the goods held by the strapping are secure, but not damaged.

To handle the task on a smaller scale, strapping systems and tool sets are also an option.

A mobile strapping system typically features a roll or roll of polypropylene strapping and the tools you need to wrap, cut and join the ends. A general purpose two-tool polypropylene pallet strapping machine comes with all the essentials you need to run a pallet strapping operation.

To operate such a strapping machine, the kit contains two coils of banding on a wheeled dispenser, so that it can be easily wound round the goods. A general tension device then lets the strap be tightened to its optimum tension, holding the goods in place, before the ends are joined using strapping sealer and semi-open metal seals to hold it all in place.

For more heavy duty needs there are a range of thicker and wider strapping with a greater breaking strain  and, should you wish to mechanise the pallet strapping process, compact, vertical pallet banding machines can be used with a variety of tape sizes.

All these machines can be used horizontally or vertically and are easy to use by just one person, streamlining operations.

What is pallet banding made from?

Pallet banding is made from different materials – polypropylene, corded polyester, extruded polyester and steel – suited for the job at hand. The most common everyday pallet banding is polypropylene strapping, a tough plastic that is formed into ribbons, ranging between 9mm to 12mm wide. It comes in a variety of colours, thickness and several lengths, suited to a range of uses.

The key thing about polypropylene pallet securing straps is that they can be used in machines, as mentioned above, as well as by hand. Pallet banding is embossed, so that it grips the goods and offers additional strength – especially items in cardboard or wrapped in shrink wrap – preventing slippage. It comes with very straight edges, allowing for accurate machine strapping, and is supple, allowing it to mould around less regular shapes.

For more Information on which straps for pallets are best for shipping, here Is a table to help you choose the correct strapping:

What straps for pallets are best for shipping

 What items should I use packing straps for?

The items that you should use packing straps for are wide in range – they can be used across a whole host of products as they are so versatile.

Wood pallets for transport and storage

Packaging straps are recommended to be used for  collating parcels, bundles, ecommerce packages for shipping and some light pallets. Packaging straps are ideal for holding closed boxes that are being transported, adding an extra layer of sealing to any package.

As we have seen with pallet straps, packaging straps are easy to manipulate into place and are durable, making them ideal for all weathers and climates, as well as for strapping up everything from regularly shaped boxes to less ordered items. Being dispensed from a roll, means that you can control how much strapping you need to use and can wrap a wide range of different size items securely.

If you need to strap a range of items across a warehouse or factory setting, then portable strapping kits make it easy. They feature all the strapping material, tensioners and fixings to make the job easy wherever you are – they are even ideal for spare-bedroom ecommerce players who can do it themselves at home and make their packaging secure and professional.

Pakit portable polypropylene strapping kitsFor larger products or bigger pallet loads, heavy-duty pallet strapping is used. This has thicker and wider strapping and is ideally used with a pallet banding machine, which can get the required tension in place to hold the goods firmly.

While these heavy duty bands are great for securing loads, it has to be noted that If too tight the straps can rub the edges of the cardboard boxes. Pallet strapping is a gentle and effective way to hold things firm, but it pays to also protect the boxes. For this you need pallet strap protectors.

Pallet edge protectors come in two forms, which can be used together or separately to protect your palletised products.

 Standard moulded plastic edge protectorsMoisture resistant edge protectors, short length

Simple edge protectors that go under the straps prevent localised wear and tear from the strap. These are moisture resistant and offer a great deal of protection. They also help hold the straps in place.

General purpose cardboard edge protectors

For more all-encompassing protection from strapping and from transit, general purpose edge protectors can be used all round the edges of palletised.

Want to know more about our wide range of straps for pallets?

For additional advice on the best straps for pallets, our Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

The best postal boxes to use for delivery

The best postal boxes to use for delivery

Things you need to consider when looking at postal boxes that are best for delivery are not only how tough they are and what sizes they come in, but also what sort of experience they give the customer. The box, after all, is the first thing they see of your products or brand, even before they see the good themselves.

With ecommerce hitting new heights, what are the best postal boxes for shipping small, medium and large items – and how do you use them to make a good impression?

Let’s take a look at the best postal boxes for your business.

 The best postal boxes to use for delivery

What are the best postal boxes for delivery? It depends on what you are sending, where you are sending it and, to some extent, what sort of impression you want your packaging to make when it arrives.

Postal boxes come, literally, in all shapes and sizes, but are more than just cardboard boxes; they can have a variety of sizes, cross sections, linings and lids. Boxes for posting, however, do tend to have one thing in common: sealable lids, as we shall see.

Be aware, too, that postal boxes are different from cardboard boxes, the latter having different sorts of lids, as well as coming with a variety inserts to package up specific items from documents to bottles and beyond.

Postal boxes are designed to protect the goods with card, as well as having closeable lids that tend to be integrated into the main box design that not only keep the items in place and protected during transit and postage, but also make for a satisfying ‘unboxing’ experience for the customer when they receive their items.

Brown book boxes with adhesive strips and red tear strip

Postal boxes typically have a sealable lid with tabs that can slot Into the main box construction. It not only makes them look and feel all the more professional but this added benefit provides reinforced sides, making them strong. Constructed with single, double or triple sides, some boxes have extra thick, rigid flute cardboard, making them ideal for ecommerce applications.

But there is more to postal boxes than just the basics. Depending on what you want to send, there are a wide variety of speciality boxes, designed to contain other things, such as books, mugs, jewellery and even delicate electronics. Each comes with its own special features, such as book boxes that have specially designed flats to protect the books keeping them snug and secure, but which are also easy to open.

Mug boxes, meanwhile, offer a wrap-around design that wedges the product In, protecting the delicate mug and is easy to access when delivered. Boxes for more delicate and valuable things, such as jewellery, can be sealed in boxes that have a self-adhesive seal on the lid.

Postal packaging for returns

Talking of seals, to make life even easier for customers, resealable boxes – postal boxes that feature a second seal that can be used by the customer once they have opened a sealed box –  otherwise known as returnable packaging, are becoming increasingly popular for ecommerce, as they make it easy and safe for goods to be returned.

Cardboard boxes are also becoming increasingly popular in ecommerce, but they also have many other roles to play when it comes to choosing the right postal box solution. Standard boxes can be used for shipping or storage, protecting goods and documents from dirty, dust, some moisture, as well as shocks and impacts.

Document and archive boxes: ideal for storage, transportation and postage

Cardboard boxes that come in A4 and A5 size are ideal for storing and protecting brochures, magazine, documents and more, either for storage or for posting and transportation. Specially designed document boxes are also available for storing and posting standard sized document boxes.

Where cardboard boxes get interesting for postage is where they can have inserts in for special uses. There is a growing business in wine and other goods in bottle – not least driven by the growth in direct-to-consumer (D2C) ecommerce brought about by the lockdown. These boxes are ideal for transportation and postage of fragile goods, with the card insert not only neatly separating the bottles, but also giving them a layer of added protection inside the box. This opens up the options for delivery of such goods, no longer needing specialist couriers.

RAJAPRINT - RAJA Packaging bustom and bespoke boxes

For an added ‘wow’ factor for customers receiving bottled goods through the post, bottle presentation boxes design to hold gift amounts of wine, beer and other glassed consumables also now come with handles and a sleek design that adds to the customer experience. They also come with integral bubble-wrap linings to make things even more secure.

What to use long cardboard boxes for

Long cardboard boxes are ideal for rolled goods

Long cardboard boxes can be used for a variety of other specialist postal applications and open up a range of postal possibilities for non-standard items such as posters and more. Long postal boxes are ideal for rolled documents and come in a range of lengths and cross-sections to accommodate a rich variety of items.

Wide-opening, they allow for easy insertion of items, without buffing up the ends of the goods and damaging them. Like all postal boxes, long cardboard boxes also offer a good deal of protection from dirty, dust and even some moisture, thanks to their corrugated structure and Kraft finish. They also can be sealed up with a self-adhesives strip, again making them ideal for ecommerce.

Long cardboard boxes can also be tubular. These are ideal for posters and large documents – such as maps or plans or posters – and feature flush fitting end caps. Being circular in cross section – and made from premium grade fibre board – these tubes are very strong and are ideal for use as postal tubes.

Benefits of flat boxes for postage

Extra flat postal boxes are designed to fit standard letter boxesFlat cardboard boxes offer a range of benefits. They are ideal for the postage of books, magazine and electronics such as tablets and even computers – and are even designed in some instances to fit standard sized Royal Mail post boxes and home letter box slots.

This design makes them ideal for sending all sorts of items through the standard post, opening up ecommerce delivery options.

Available with either up and over lids or with a single opening side, flat postal boxes offer the benefit of carefully cradling and protecting flat items for postage.

Flat boxes also have self-adhesive lids, making them not only quick to assemble, but also allow them to be secured for postage.

With all flat cardboard boxes, integral lids and double reinforced sides protect all flat items and have revolutionised how good can be packed for ecommerce – doing away with having to finds a box big enough for the goods in one dimension that is too large in all others and so needing a lot of secondary packing material.

Reasons to use foam lined postal boxes

Foam lined postal boxes are used for many reasons

Foam lined postal boxes are used for many reasons

Foam lined postal boxes can be used for a number of reasons. Firstly, they are ideal for sending delicate items through the post or by courier. Secondly, they are ideal for added protection to high-value and small items.

Made in a simple and strong one-piece design from triple layer card and lined with shaped non-abrasive polyurethane foam, these boxes can be used to give items a double layer of protection.

Firstly, there is the outer card, which protects from dust and dirt. Inside, when closed, the items therein are swaddled in two layers of foam, preventing shocks and knocks damaging what’s inside.

This makes them useful for sending electronic devices, such as cameras and phones, as well as jewellery and other fragile, delicate and high-value goods.

Foam slider postal boxes completely wrap items in non-abrasive foam in a slider ‘box within a box’ which not only adds double layers of protection to the items, but also makes for a solid and luxurious opening experience for the customer.

Want to know more about our wide range of postal boxes?

For additional advice on the best postal boxes, our Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

 

 

 

We’ve moved: How RAJA’s new UK warehouse and offices offer more stock, more choice – and solar powered hot water

RAJA UK's new packaging warehouse 2020

Growth is risky at any time, but in the current climate expanding to a new premises is more challenging than ever. Yet, despite the tough environment all businesses find themselves in, and with one eye on the future, we decided to go ahead with our move to a new, bigger, warehouse and UK HQ.

And it’s big (and eco-conscious).

The new warehouse takes our inventory space from an already impressive 90,000 sq ft in the old warehouse to 267,000 sq ft – the equivalent of three and a half football pitches. It also increases racking height by a metre and a half to 13.5m – giving the new site an astonishing 40,000 pallet bays, five-times more than we previously had.

And while we are looking at the numbers, the new-build also has 20 HGV docking bays and four level access doors – more than double the number of bays of the old site.

This is a big step up for RAJA UK and not only makes it possible to offer a wider range of stock right now, but also will ensure future growth needs are met in the years ahead.

RAJA UK's new packaging warehouse docking bays

Driving growth

So what is driving that growth? At RAJA, we have always been a distance selling specialist and since the 1970s, we’ve used catalogues as a major way of doing this. Underpinned with the support of telesales, account managed customers and a strong field sales team.

Since 2000 – when the Group launched its first website in France – the business, like many others, is becoming increasingly digital. Web sales now account for a third of our business, email and e-procurement 41% and telephone sales 22%. Digital transformation is well underway.

As a result, we are focussing on becoming the business supplies provider of choice across Europe with hundreds of thousands of products available to core target customers.

With this in mind, the entire RAJA Group’s CMS is being completely updated during 2020 and early 2021, the web is undergoing an extensive top to bottom overhaul and key best-in-class eprocurement services are being implemented to drive long term digital growth.

Catalogues continue to be a central part of our growth strategy, however, with spend here approximately 1/3 of budget to digital marketing’s spend of 2/3.  Seven years ago, this split was the other way around and this continued drive of digital is only likely to continue over the coming years.

The effect of the Coronavirus pandemic

Like most businesses, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown that followed was a cause for concern for us. Lockdown happened at the end of March – the new warehouse was set to open in late June.

However, after some early fears, the RAJA team realigned how we operate during that pandemic – catalogues that were literally hot-off-the-press were parked, while digital spend was switched to bottom of the funnel stuff such as affiliates and PPC.

The RAJA UK team also reacted quickly to the business opportunities in April and focussed our sales teams on the business sectors that were growing quickly.  We also rapidly developed a whole range of COVID-19 products such as distancing floor markers, tapes, masks, plexi-screens etc and launched these products on the website daily.

We also found ourselves well placed to tap into the massive up-tick in ecommerce. As the UK – as well as, the world – went into lockdown, the need for ecommerce packaging from businesses exploded as existing online retailers and those that were new to ecommerce all started to need packaging to ship out their goods.

As a result of this, sales have grown very strongly through April and May and marketing budgets were readjusted to take advantage of this sales growth.

And with the consumer switch to ecommerce set to continue, the new warehouse ideally positions us to continue to service and grow this market.

The new build also provides an extra 14,000 sq ft of office space over the old building. While this 24,000 sq ft was not originally ear-marked to be used straight away, it proved perfect for accommodating existing staff in a socially distanced way during lockdown.

Going green

The move to the new warehouse, a vital part of RAJA UK’s long term growth strategy, was also undertaken to make the business more sustainable. The new site has several features that are expected of a modern sustainable building.

LED lighting is used throughout the warehouse and offices to reduce energy consumption.  The site also has a solar hot water system and rainwater harvesting to ensure efficient heating and use of water – reducing the impact on the environment and helping reduce operating costs as well.

The site also features charging points for four electric cars – which can easily be expanded further as required.  The company is also encouraging car sharing by allocating 12 car parking spaces specifically for employees to do this – although this will have to be something that comes into play once the COVID-19 lock-down is relaxed enough to allow this to safely happen.

The building’s owner, Prologis, also carbon offsets each building it builds and leases.  This new building has been carbon offset through the protection of 351 acres of rainforest at the Orangerie Bay project in Southern Papua New Guinea through the charity Cool Earth.

Water storage tanks at RAJA UK's new packaging warehouse

The future

All this new space has proved useful during the pandemic, but it was originally conceived for growth – and that growth is very much at the forefront of our plans for 2020 and beyond.

We are looking, over the next five to ten years, to grow the size of the in-stock product range by three or four-times current levels. This will provide customers with an even wider and extensive choice of products, which can also be delivered faster.

One area we are looking to expand is into food packaging. With ecommerce providing a massive boost to online grocery – both among the large players and smaller, independent purveyors of produce – the demand for food grade and protective sanitised packaging has also grown. And we are looking to capitilise upon this.

Sustainable packaging is also going to be a growth area across the board, which we will leverage the new warehouse to tap into.

As we are also part of the wider RAJA Group and, with the investment in this new-build, we have been able to create this bigger and better warehouse.  Cementing our position to become not only more established in the UK, but also to maintain our position as the leading distributor of packaging supplies, business supplies and equipment across Europe.

As digital transformation continues, changing shopping habits can be catered for and new lines can be added as the ecommerce and packaging markets grow and change. And it can all be done from an ultra-modern, ultra-sustainable site.

A guide to crowd control barriers

Barrier - no entry crowd controlThis guide to crowd control barriers outlines the range of barriers available for controlling and directing crowds and pedestrians. Also known as pedestrian barriers, they are designed to help control and channel pedestrians and crowds to keep them safe, or to stop them entering “no-go areas” – usually for their own safety.

If you are looking to help manage the flow of people through a building, a venue or a site – especially during the social distancing currently in operation – choosing the right kind of safety barrier is important.

Here we offer a guide to what is available, the pros and cons of using them and how to make them work for your workplace, venue or demonstration.

A guide to crowd control barriers

Crowd control barriers are there to guide pedestrians and keep them safe. They are as much psychological as physical and there are a range of different kinds of crowd barriers that can be used, depending on what sort of crowd you are dealing with, what challenges or threats pedestrians face and what sorts of barrier you are trying to erect.

Here is a guide to crowd control barriers and their uses.

Heavy duty metal crowd barriersMetal barriers: great for demarcating traffic and pedestrian zones and crowd control – what most people associated with barriers in their mind’s eye – are sturdy, galvanised metal barriers that have a low profile, being almost flat, but with moveable feet that allow stability when in use or ease stacking when not.

These barriers are ideal for crowd control, demarcation of pedestrians from traffic routes, queue control, events and any public gathering. They are also ideal for closing off areas to which you wish to deny access.

Blow moulded Barriers (HDPE) are a lightweight fencing solution for crowd control, managing queues and marking off roadworks and hazardous areas.

Blow-moulded barriers are great for crowd control and high-vis Made from high density polyethylene (HDPE), these barriers are brightly coloured and have reflective strips to make them easy to spot – so they can be used in day and night conditions, as well as indoors and out. Their British Standard red and white warning markings also subliminally say “no entry”.

Connected together using ‘hook and eye’ links, blow moulded barriers are easy and quick to set up and can follow any sort of path, making for an ideal plastic crowd control fence. They are also rust-proof and recyclable.

The 2m long, 1m high barriers have swivel feet for easy stacking when stored.

In a similar vein, plain HDPE crowd barriers offer a lightweight, corrosion resistant alternative that requires no screws or rivets to fix together, making it quick and easy to assemble and put into place, as well as to pack up and put away again when not needed – making it ideal for both temporary crowd and pedestrian control, as well as the semi-permanent crowd control needed around social distancing.

HDPE crowd barriers are a simple, lightweight alternative

For more flexible crowd and pedestrian control, expanding trellis barriers offer an ideal solution. These all-steel barriers are suprisingly portable and can be readily deployed anywhere that needs to be rapidly closed off, or to allow controlled access.

Perfect for marking out entrances and exits, blocking off hazardous areas to all but those permitted to enter, or for throttling crowd access to, say, a supermarket store, or office, these trellis barriers can extend up to 3.6 or 4m depending on the model. Weighing just 24kg, they can easily be moved into place as needed and slide open and closed as crowd control demands dictate.

Expandable Trellis Barriers

Another alternative are three gate safety barriers. Designed to quickly block-off hazards – though they could too be used for crowd control, protecting staff, or keeping people out of a particular area –  these quick to assemble barriers can be carried by hand and rapidly deployed where needed.

They are also highly reflective and so easy to spot, even in the dark or low-light conditions.

The pros and cons of pedestrian barriers

There are a number pros and cons to using pedestrian barriers. In the socially-distancing world, pedestrian barriers and crowd safety barriers have assumed a new prominence and a new importance.

They are vital to help keep people apart by the government required distance, as well as being essential for helping control the in-flow and out-flow of people from shops, offices, bars, restaurants and any other public spaces.

The pros for using pedestrian barriers and crowd barriers lie in them being a rapidly deployable and flexible – and non-permanent – solution to having to, for now at least, control access to things.

Being able to build a way to channel pedestrians or to keep people apart, as well as – with trellis barriers, for example – the ability to open and close access readily is a distinct advantage.

Another pro is that they are non-permanent, so as needs change, so too can the barrier. For example, as social distancing rules change in the coming months, crowd control barriers can be added or removed as needed.

Barriers are also strong and durable – both plastic and steel versions – although, often their very presence subliminally says a location is closed off, forcing people to follow the path you want.

Pedestrian crowd control

The cons of using pedestrian barriers are that they are non-permanent – which can also be a pro – and that they can need weighting down in windy conditions. They are also great for managing pedestrians and indicating to vehicles where they should and shouldn’t go – they are not suitable as a physical barrier to protect people from cars and lorries.

Crowd control barrier dimensions you need to know

Crowd control barrier dimensions vary depending on the type of barrier being used. Standard heavy duty metal crowd barriers measure 2.5m long and 1.10m high – with infill bars spaced at 12.75mm intervals. This is perfect to keep people at bay, but to also allow them to see where they are going and not form an obstruction.

The spacing of the infill bars also should avoid bags, feet, hands – and even heads – from getting stuck.

Plastic crowd control fencing, meanwhile, comes in 2m by 1m frames, while basic grey crowd control safety barriers come in 2.1m by 1m frames. Both types have hook and eye fixings – with no screws, bolts of rivets – to allow them to be joined together in lines, round bends or to form pens, zig-zag guides or angled fences.

The feet on all barriers swivel through 360-degrees, so that they can be angled to fit where the barriers need to go and to provide maximum stability.

Expanding trellis barriers are 1m high and can expand to either 3.6 or 4m wide depending on the model. As they expand they maintain their height.

Metal vs plastic crowd control barriers

 What are the differences between metal vs plastic crowd control barriers? Metal barriers are offer a tough, corrosion free way to control crowds and are also more suited to places such as building sites where they can offer slightly more resistance to machinery than plastic crowd control fences – albeit they are less likely to be damaged.

Plastic barriers, meanwhile, are more adept at being used to visually signal ‘no entry’ as they can be coloured in distinctive red and white markings as outlined by BS EN 8442.

Plastic barriers are also easier to move around and are better suited to temporary and mobile barriers to entry or crowd control. They are especially good for roadworks and for barring entry on a temporary basis to places such as manholes or liftshafts.

Both galvanised metal and the plastic barriers are suitable for outside use as they all resist corrosion.

How do expanding trellis barriers work?

 Expanding trellis barriers work by using interleaved steel strips – dip painted red and white and reflective – that concertina over one another, allowing the expandable trellis barrier to slide open and shut – up to a length of 3.6 or 4m – without loosing height.

This means that the barrier can effectively be opened and closed as needed to totally block off something to all but those that are allowed to pass. They are ideal for closing off areas such as forecourts, exits and entrances, hazardous areas, forecourts, closing off lifts or stairwells and so on.

They also feature chain hooks to anchor them shut or in place, or to join them to other barriers to make an opening part of a longer barrier.

Want to know more about our wide range of crowd control and pedestrian barriers?

For additional advice on the best crowd control, pedestrian management and expandable trellis barriers, our Experts are here to help you find the right solutions and arrange next day delivery. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.