Monthly Archives: April 2019

The WrapPak ® Protector, a paper packaging solution

The WrapPak ® Protector (PT) produces on-demand waved paper packaging pads using Kraft paper that is 100% recyclable, renewable and biodegradable. What makes this sustainable packaging solution innovative is the design design of the Kraft paper. The waved paper construction allows flexible movement and the combined layers provide strength, padded protection and versatility, so one packaging machine can be used for various applications.WrapPak Protector paper packaging products

The WrapPak ® Protector improves your warehouse’s packing efficiency, whilst packing stations are simplified by converting Kraft paper into a paper packaging pads. The warehouse packer can adapt the protection based on the shape and size of the product.  It means that only one packaging machine is used in the entire packing protection operation.

Box lining

Light protection – acting as a barrier between the product and box.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for box lining

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapping products

Medium protection – cushioning multiple products and separating items during transportation.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for wrapping products

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thermal insulation

Temperature protection – helping to maintain your products in an ambient or chilled condition.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for thermal insulation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block and bracing

Heavy duty protection – restricting movement and preventing products from shifting by filling the void.

WrapPak Protector paper packaging for block and bracing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Several programme modes are available to set the paper pad lengths, quantities and frequency by using the touchscreen display. A foot pedal can also be used for a manual packing operation; for on-demand production. Two separate packs of single-ply Kraft paper are automatically fed into the converter; the paper pad is converted from 2-ply Kraft sheets, the paper edges are punched and scrunched together forming the wave shape. The result is a paper pad that can be used alone to protect products, and is ideal for warehouses with a varied stock range requiring different protection qualities.

Paper packaging offers great protection for packages. Paper by nature, is a good shock absorber that reduces impacts, and does not transfer the pressure to other areas. It has good insulation properties by trapping air, also, paper is adaptable and malleable meaning each box can be individually packed according to the specific product. And lets not forget about the environmentally friendly aspects of paper packaging too.

For more information on paper packaging machines or the WrapPak ® Protector, contact the team on 0800 542 44 28 or sales@rajapack.co.uk.

 

4 easy ways to reduce your plastic consumption

Our plastic consumption is staggering. Much of the plastic we use every day is designed to be used once and thrown away. Plastic is hidden all around us in things we would never think of, like tea bags, clothes, stickers on fruit, and wet wipes. To address the problem, at Rajapack, the leading packaging supplier in Europe, we took a look at how long it takes certain plastics to break down, and the results were surprising.

But, all is not lost! There are simple changes you can make every day to reduce your plastic waste. If everybody took the time to think about the environmental impact of their choices we could really make a difference. Below you’ll find 5 easy changes you can make to help conquer the problem of plastic.

1.      Switch to paper straws

A plastic straw can take 200 years to biodegrade. Imagine if Queen Victoria had plastic straws at her coronation? A few would probably be on display in a museum now, the rest would still be hanging around in landfills and the ocean adding to the growing mass of plastic waste. However, if the Queen had used paper straws they probably wouldn’t have lasted the weekend – paper straws take a matter of days to biodegrade.

2.      Grab a reusable cup to-go

Polystyrene foam cups might be handy for grabbing a coffee, but they’re a nightmare for the environment. Made from plastic, polystyrene foam will never biodegrade. If dinosaurs used polystyrene foam cups as we do, we’d be finding them alongside dino fossils we dig up. A better alternative is to treat yourself to a reusable cup, these are pretty stylish – more so than a plain polystyrene cup – and very good value. Most coffee shops give you a discount on your drink if you’re using your own reusable cup.

3.      Read up on your recyclables

It’s so easy to feel like your making a difference by having a separate bin in your kitchen for recycling. In a lot of places, you can throw all the recycling in the same bag and not have to worry about it. But, not everything you assume is recyclable actually is and how often do you really take the time to carefully check before you throw that empty ready meal tray in there? By not taking the time to look for the “recyclable” symbol on your rubbish you could be doing more harm than good. Was that ready meal tray black? A lot of them are coloured black to make the food seem more appealing, but this colouring process actually makes the whole tray non-recyclable. You also should be washing out your tins and packets of any food scraps before throwing them away. And never throw out greasy pizza boxes! These are not recyclable due to the grease and can contaminate whole batches of recycling, meaning it gets diverted straight to landfill.

4.      Be picky about packaging

We love to order online. And with our passion for purchasing comes a whole heap of packaging. We want our new acquisitions to reach us in perfect condition and are quick to complain if they don’t. Which means packaging materials now make up the largest market for plastic and makes up almost half of global plastic waste. This just won’t do, so new innovations are hitting the market all the time. Eco Flo, which you can buy from Rajapack, is one of those solutions. And the company offer a whole host of eco-friendly packaging options to, hopefully, help reduce our reliance on plastics and make our world a cleaner place to live.

Terms and conditions and privacy policy.

How to save money on packaging: 4 tips from the packaging experts

Optimise your packing speed

Time is money, and nowhere is this truer than the world of logistics. It’s vital you optimise the number of orders prepared per hour and per shift if you want to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Rajapack, Europe’s number 1 packaging supplier, are here to give you the advice you need to speed up your warehouse operations; so, you can pack, protect, and seal your parcels more efficiently.

The 3 stages of packing

1.     Choose the right packaging materials

The packaging you use impacts the speed of your order preparation. The correct materials save time, which means more orders are packed per hour and, ultimately, greater profits are made for your business.

Swap your boxes for envelopes and mailing bags

Think carefully about how you can optimise your packing materials; even just changing from boxes to envelopes or mailing bags can save you time. Mailing bags are lighter which means the weight and volume of your shipments will reduce and overall transport costs will be lower.

Try Kraft paper mailing bags, a change from the popular plastic mailing bags

This ecological paper alternative will surprise you – not only does it have an adhesive strip to save you applying tape, as we know time-saving is important, but it is made from heavy-duty FSC 10gsm Kraft paper with a tensile strength of 9.5kN/m.

Kraft mailing bags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crash-lock box will revolutionise the work of your packing team

Crash-lock boxes basically assemble themselves. All you need to do is open up the box and the crash-lock base folds down to the bottom of the box and closes itself. Then all that is needed to seal the box is to close and tape the top. Even more time can be saved using crash-lock boxes with an adhesive strip included. There are 3 key benefits to switching from standard cardboard boxes to crash-lock boxes:

Time-saving: the box is assembled 2.5 times quicker on average than a standard box.

Energy saving: it may be 2.5 times quicker to assemble but at the same time it’s 2.5 times easier to assemble too. Your packing team will thank you for switching to crash-lock boxes! Just take a look at our crash-lock box video to see it in action if you haven’t done so yet.

Space saving: our customers have commented that previously they had to assemble standard boxes in batches, but now packers can easily construct boxes with the crash-lock bases on demand, saving warehouse space in the process.

Crashlock boxes

2.      Protect effectively, less is more

Protective packaging is something that you’ll need to think about to protect your products during transit. The solutions below work to reduce the time and resource required for this part of the packing process.

Perforated protective packaging

Save time during the protective packaging process by reducing the reliance on tools. Perforated protective packaging eliminates the need for a cutter. Watch our perforated bubble wrap vs standard bubble wrap video to see how much time you could save.

Perforated bubble wrap

The bubble bag with an adhesive strip

Not only does a bubble bag completely wrap around products, but the readily available adhesive strip also secures the product within the bag. No additional tape is required, and importantly no excessive bubble wrap is needed, watch our video, bubble bags with an adhesive strip to see the packing speed for yourself.

Bubble bag with adhesive strip

If you have awkwardly shaped items, is bespoke packaging an option?

If you have high volumes of similar orders and your product isn’t a standard box shape, you need to use packaging that fits your products well. Custom and bespoke packaging saves on the amount of protective packaging used as well as packing time.

Best practices of bespoke packaging

Having packaging that fits closely to the product is best, as it avoids movement and reduces damages. Bespoke packaging reduces the amount of protective packaging you need. Efficient packaging materials mean lighter loads and optimised packed pallets for reduced overall transportation costs. For a quick turnaround, custom made protective packaging means no time is wasted packing your order.

3.      Seal your parcels quickly and correctly

The closure stage is crucial to ensure your parcels are safe and secure in transit. The tips below ensure the security of your deliveries while making time savings.

Can you seal a parcel without using packaging tape?

To save time and money it is possible not to use packaging tape. Tape requires storage space, and you’ll have to monitor your supply closely. Mailing bags and postal boxes are available with an integrated adhesive strip. You’ll increase your packing speed, save space by not having to store stock, and reduce the amount of tape used within your business.

How to benefit from gummed paper tape

Gummed paper tape is one of the most effective and eco-friendly ways to secure your parcels. Amazon, one of the largest ecommerce retailers use paper tape on all shipments, and it is also custom printed with their branding. We recommend that you apply gummed paper tape using a paper tape dispenser, and to speed up operations even more, use an electronic water activated tape dispenser.

Gummed paper tape has a natural adhesive, it is tamper-evident so you can see if the tape has been removed from the carton and most importantly, eco-friendly and can be recycled with the box.

4.      Have a dedicated packaging area

Some might call it a workstation, a packing bench or a packing station. Whatever the term, it is the central location and area for you to pack and prepare parcels to then be shipped and sent.

This platform allows you to be organised, efficient and prepared and is more than a standard workbench or table. It provides a clear working space with dedicated areas to access your components and equipment, whether you’re wrapping, blocking, bracing or sealing – the structured frame will ensure you’re equipped with the tools you need for a seamless operation.

Terms and conditions and privacy policy.

Label it – The guide to hazard labels

How to label what is in a package is vital to protect the people handling the package, the people receiving the package and, often, to protect the package itself.

Understanding how to use packaging labels and hazard labels is a key part of correctly packaging a product for shipping, and for delivery and storage. There are a range of labelling solutions to help guide anyone coming into contact with the package; what it contains and how to handle it.

These labels fall into two main groups: packaging labels that show how to handle a package – and, indeed, how it has been handled – and hazard labels that reveal more specifically what potential threats the goods pose if mishandled.

How to label a package correctly involves using combinations of these labels to outline how to handle and care for packages and to know what is inside.

So what labels are available and what do they mean?

Chemical warning labels and what they mean

There are a wide variety of chemical warning labels available, covering a wide range of information that anyone handling a package needs to bear in mind.

As we have seen, these can range from simple instructions that help to protect the goods in transit from mishandling – such as ‘Fragile’ and ‘Do not bend’ – right through to very specialist chemical warnings, outlining what the hazards are should something befall that package.

Remember, in many instances, you may need a combination of these labels in each package.

So, what chemical warning labels are there and what do they mean?

Chemical hazard labels

The range of chemical hazard labels offers advice no specifically as to what is in the package, but what potential hazardous effects those goods could have if mishandled.

These include:

Non flammable gas chemical hazard label

  • Non  Flammable Gas – these simple green labels let shippers know that they are handling gas, but that it won’t explode or burn. That doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t dangerous in another way – something that will be denoted by other labels. An example would be helium, often found in balloons.

Toxic gas chemical hazard label

  • Toxic gas – as the image suggests, this contains gases that can kill. These labels can be used in conjunction with, say, non-flammable label as the gas contained may not be flammable, but could be toxic, such as carbon monoxide.

Flammable gas chemical hazard label

  • Flammable gas – completing the range of gas labels, flammable gas warns of gases being used or transported that can burn or explode. Again, this may be non-toxic, but dangerous because of burning. An example would be Oxygen.

Flammable liquid chemical hazard label

  • Flammable liquid – along with flammable gas, liquids can also be a fire hazard, either when near heat or on contact with air. These labels similarly need to be used in conjunction with others to specify what hazards a particular product poses. An example of a flammable liquid is petrol.

Flammable solid chemical hazard label

  • Flammable solid – strikingly stripey, these labels denote solids that can burn or catch fire. Solids are often not seen as so hazardous as they don’t ‘spill’ per se, however, there are some that do burn – an example being firelighters. Wax is also a burn hazard too.

Highly flammable chemical hazard label

  • Highly flammable – this warning label warns of content that can burn readily, easily and fiercely. This distinguishes goods that are more likely to ignite and to create a blaze that is hotter and harder to tackle than goods that are ‘just’ flammable. An example would be lighter fluid and even some aerosol cans.

Corrosive chemical hazard label

  • Corrosive – these labels warn of substances that are gaseous, liquid or solid – that can steadily erode and destroy materials and flesh. Typically, corrosion actually involves the oxidation or rusting of metal, but in the realm of safety labels it refers to substances that can dissolve and/or ‘eat away’ any material and can be either acidic or alkaline. An example would be potassium hydroxide, more commonly found in fertilisers.

Miscellaneous chemical hazard label

  • Miscellaneous – For goods that are hazardous for other reasons or for packers who want to label their products themselves, there a range of miscellaneous labels that can be filled in manually. These labels also suit people who have a range of goods and want to then offer a reason why they are dangerous. Typically, these labels are there to warn of hazards which can then be specified.

Packaging hazard labels and what they mean

Chemical hazard labels warn of what can happen if the goods contained within a package are mishandled – avoiding mishandling in the first place is perhaps even more vital and so there are a range of labels to that end.

Used in conjunction with chemical hazard labels, these can paint a good picture of how to handle goods and why they need to be handled properly.

There, as we shall see, also labels that show how goods have been handled.

So what packing labels are available?

Fragile packaging labels

  • Fragile – these labels come in a variety of styles and are a basic indication that goods need to be handled carefully as the contents might break. They can be simple or more informative – including ‘This Way Up’ indication and an idea of what is inside. In conjunction with chemical labelling this can help handlers know precisely what to do with the package.

Handle with car packaging labels

  • Handle with care – Handling instructions are also a vital part of the labelling process, outlining not only what is in the package, which way up it should go but also specifically how to handle it.

These labels include ones that require general gentle handling, to those that suggest careful opening, to those that give more specific instructions such as ‘Do Not Crush’, ‘Do Not Bend’ and the like.

Antistatic packaging labels

  • Antistatic labels – One hazard that is of increasing importance in the modern era is that of static. Electronic goods – especially computers and phones, although ‘computers’ now appear in all manner of devices, even washing machines – are sensitive to electrostatic interference – it can fry their innards.

‘Electrostatic sensitive devices’ labels are used to make sure packages containing such goods are kept clear of electrostatic and magnetic interference.

Shockwatch indicator labels

  • Shock and tilt labels – The final class of packaging labels are those that help to understand how a package has been handled in transit: to make sure that goods have been treated properly and to pre-warn anyone handling the package that it may be damaged. Labels that tell a story.

Shockwatch labels highlight if a package has been dropped or bumped. They feature a small, contained glass vial within the label, which releases red dye – so a small window on the label turns red – if the package has been shocked.

Specialist Tiltwatch packaging labels

Tiltwatch labels are there to show whether a ‘This End Up’ or ‘This Way Up’ package has been kept the right way up, again featuring a small panel that turns red if a package has been tilted more than 90 degrees.

How to read a chemical label

The key to reading chemical labelling – in fact all the labelling – on a package lies in looking at what labels have been used. As we have seen, a combination of labels can be used to label a package to outline what is in it, what hazards that may contain and how best to handle that package to make sure that those hazards are kept from becoming an issue.

A combination of packaging and shipping labels used on one parcel could look like this:

Range of chemical hazard packaging labels

This labelling implies that the contents are fragile, probably in a glass or ceramic container and needs to be kept upright, because the contents, were it to be spilled is corrosive to skin and material. The package should also not be crushed or mishandled and a Tiltwatch label indicates to anyone handling it if it has been tipped or bumped. This way when it’s been opened it can be done so with care.

Conclusions

How to use packaging labels and hazard chemical labels is vital to both protection of the goods, as well as the protection of the people handling them and those receiving them.

Taken together, the labels can tell a story of what is both in the package, how to handle it and, with some of the more specialist labels, what has happened to it in transit.

Applying common sense to the use of these labels can help goods to be carefully handled and to arrive in good shape. And it makes economic sense too. Goods can get damaged in transit and storage, but labelling them properly so that they are handled and stored correctly can significantly mitigate this damage – and that has to make sound business sense.

Want to know more about shipping and packaging labels?

For additional advice on labelling your packages for shipping, packaging labels, read our shipping labels guide or contact our team of Packaging Specialists on 0800 542 44 28.

The low down on recycling envelopes and mailing bags

The old fashioned way of recycling largely consisted of re-using old envelopes to keep old receipts in, but that’s a generational thing. These days, recycling paper is more about trying to save trees and cut waste. And one of the main areas where that can be easily achieved is in recycling – properly, not just reusing – envelopes and mailing bags.

The rise of ecommerce has seen a similar boom in the use of mailing bags and envelopes to carry the smaller items being ordered in abundance from the web. So what can be done with this mountain of used packaging?

Read on as we find out just what you can do with those envelopes and mailing bags.

Can you recycle envelopes with windows?

Many businesses still send out bills and other information in business envelopes with plastic windows in them. The first question many would-be recyclers ask is can envelopes with plastic windows be recycled?

Traditionally, the answer here has been no: the paper part of the envelope is fine, but the plastic window is a bit trickier – even a small amount of plastic contaminant would ruin the entire batch of paper recycling.

Envelopes with windows

White business envelopes with a plastic window can they now be recycled?

For many eco-consumers, this has meant laboriously cutting the windows out of the envelopes before recycling – and still leaves a significant amount of plastic to go to landfill.

However, some modern post-consumer paper mills have systems in place that can now remove some plastic contaminants. So, while the windows still can’t be recycled, the envelopes can be without having to keep removing the plastic manually.

Can padded envelopes be recycled?

The rise of ecommerce has seen a proliferation of padded envelopes and mailing bags used to protect more delicate small items sent by post. The recycling question here, however, is more complex as there are many different types of padded envelopes, crafted from a range of materials.

Bubble padded envelopes

Bubble envelopes are typically mid-sized paper envelopes lined with bubble wrap. Are bubble padded envelopes recyclable? Typically, no, and for the same reasons that window envelopes aren’t: they are made of a mixture of materials, each of which may be recyclable, but together contaminate one another.

The best way to recycle these envelopes is to reuse them, by adding new sticky address labels.

The alternative is to try and manually remove the bubble wrap from within and recycle that and the paper envelope separately.

Bubble envelopes

Bubble envelopes are different again. These are pouches that can be sealed like an envelope, but which are made entirely from bubble packing materials. Can bubble envelopes be recycled? If it is purely made of bubble wrap, then yes these can be recycled as they are a single material. They must be recycled with plastics, but can be recycled – as can the bubble lining of a bubble padded envelope.

Padded envelopes

Jiffy bags

Padded envelopes with organic or paper material might be the answer

Not all padded envelopes are padded with plastic bubble wrap, some are organically padded. Are padded envelopes recyclable? Since they are usually packed with paper fibre in a paper envelope – so together are a single source of material – then these envelopes can be recycled easily in the paper recycling.

These ‘green’ envelopes offer the same degree of protection as their plastic, bubbly counter-parts, but can be both reused and recycled much more easily.

Can you recycle envelopes?

What about basic envelopes: are envelopes recyclable? Standard issue, plain envelopes can be recycled so long as they have no plastic on them or anything else that may act as a contaminant.

Stamps can also be recycled, so envelopes with stamps, paper labels and postmarks can all go into the paper recycling, regardless of colour.

If the envelope has been stuck down using Sellotape or any other kind of plastic tape, then this has to be fully removed, as it isn’t recyclable.

Interestingly, recycling envelopes means they are turned into more envelopes.

If you don’t want to send used plain envelopes to recycling, they are also quite easy to reuse. Among some of the less-obvious uses, Readers’ Digest suggests that they can be used to “funnel bulk spices into smaller jars” if you tear off a corner; use them as “files for things”; “help keep receipts together when shredding”; and, our personal favourite, “use them as envelopes”.

So, yes, can envelopes be recycled? Very much so.

Can you recycle envelopes with glue?

While there is a vast array of envelope types with differing recycling demands, one thing most of them do have in common is that they come with glue-down flaps. Can these be recycled?

In general, yes. Most glue is made from biodegradable organics and so it can be decomposed. However, some recycle plants won’t take it as it will contaminate their paper recycling if they are making pulp to re-use as paper.

Again, as with small amounts of plastic contaminants, many modern recycling plants can cope with small levels of contaminants so that glue isn’t an issue.

Plastic tape, however, is as this is generally not recyclable and can cause, along with plastic windows, too much contamination.

If you are planning to shred paper and envelopes and use them for compost, then the glue isn’t an issue.

Are plastic mailing bags recyclable?

While many people are using the wide variety of paper-based envelopes and mailing bags out there, sometimes only plastic will do – and there is a similarly large array of plastic mailing bags on offer. Can you recycle plastic mailing bags?

Again, it all comes down to whether it is a single material or not. Most polyethylene is recyclable, however, if it comes with paper labels then it isn’t – unless the two are separated and put in their respective recycling channels.

Many retailers who use poly mailing bags print onto the plastic, so that the bag can be recycled.

Kraft mailing bags

Kraft paper mailing bags are made from tough paper from sustainable forests

Another alternative are Kraft paper mailing bags, an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional polythene mailing bags, made from FSC Kraft paper from sustainable forests. These are not only recyclable, but are also sourced from green raw materials: an environmental win-win.

Conclusion

As ecommerce continues apace, the quantity of envelopes and mailing bags is only going to grow. With many people increasingly aware of the environmental impact of what they do, making sure that simple things such as packaging are recyclable is a must.

The rule of thumb with any packaging, however, is that it can be made up of recyclable materials, but if mixed together renders the whole un-recyclable. Looking to have organically packed padding in paper envelopes or not sticking paper labels of plastic mailing bags is more a case of changing user habits that changing product choice.

Typically, most envelopes and mailing bags are, in essence, recyclable. They are also eminently reusable, so while it may seem daunting to have to separate windows from envelopes, bubble packing from paper and paper labels from plastic mailing bags, you may well be able to find other uses for these things.

Contact our Packaging Specialists for advice on 0800 542 44 29 or email sales@rajapack.co.uk. Or read our environmental FAQs for for more information.