Category Archives: Packaging Industry News

Types of edge and corner protectors

When it comes to transporting products we all want our goods to arrive in perfect condition. If palletised or stacked, packages can be particularly vulnerable as their square edges and corners are particularly exposed to bruising or crushing. But help is at hand: as part of the wide range of packaging materials available to retailers and shippers are a plethora of edge and corner protectors.

From foam corner protectors to sturdy cardboard edge protectors, there are a vast array of solutions to this problem, both in standard and non-standard size. Here we take a look at what is on offer and how best to use them.

Types of edge and corner protectors

There are a wide range of edge and corner protectors designed to suit the needs of the wide variety of packages stacked and wrapped, palletised and shrink wrapped. Let’s start at the corners, as these are particularly prone to bangs and bashes as boxes are stacked and moved around and loaded against each other for transit purposes.

Foam U profile edge protectorsCorner protectors can be made of either cardboard or foam. Corner foam can be either a simple ‘U’ shape corners protectors or, more elaborately, full corner protectors design to protect in three dimensions, each designed for very specific uses

U shaped foam corner protectors are designed to grip tables, shelving, wooden boards or furniture for added protection during transit or storage. They are strong and absorb small impacts, as well as being temperature resistant between -40 and +100ºC.

3D foam corners, meanwhile, are designed to provide protection and extra support to the corners of boxes and palletised goods. They are simple to pop on the corners and are non-abrasive.

Both these and the ‘U’ shaped foam corner protectors are made from closed cell polyethylene foam, CFC and HFC free. They are also 100% recyclable.

How do edge protectors work?

Edge protectors, meanwhile, have a very different role to play. They are similarly used to protect the edges of boxes and palletised boxes from bumps and bashes, but they can also beused to protect the boxes from the fixings used to hold boxes together and on the pallets themselves.

General purpose edge protectors protect and strengthen stacks of boxes

They are also used to add structure and strength to palletised boxes, especially under shrink and film wrap. Together with the fixings and the wrap, these cardboard or foam edge protectors add structure and stabilise loads, so that not only are the goods protected from knocks and bangs, but won’t collapse under their own weight or puncture the cardboard when being moved.

Also available are edge protectors that are used to help support strapping and fixings. These come in both cardboard and moulded plastic, with the plastic offering able to both protect the package from the force of the strap as well as holding the strap securely in place, preventing potentially dangerous movement of the packages.

White card protectors such as moisture resistant edge protectors, also have their specialist uses. While affording protection to stackable pallet loads and held with fixings, these moisture resistant, poly-coated white paper protectors are ideal for use where the pallets are to be stored in cold and/or damp locations for a period of time, such as in a cold store.

These moisture resistant edge protectors stabilise, protect and reinforce unsteady or variable pallet loads during transport and storage. Keeping their strength in humid conditions they can also be used to add reinforcements to cartons.

How do corner protectors work?

Where edge protectors protect from knocks, fixings and add structure, corner protectors are very specifically designed to protect the corners of items such as tables, worktops, shelves and other ‘flat’ goods that have pronounced and often sharp corners.

Table corner protectors can be either plastic or foam and simply slip over the edges of the corners and prevent bumps. Foam corners grip the surface of the table and protect both the table and those handling it from sharp edges.

One solution for tables, worktops and other furniture corner protection are expanding corner protectors, that can stretch from 20 to 40mm and so can handle non-standard sized items.

Similarly worktop corner protectors are vital to preventing these expensive and often bespoke pieces of wood, stone or metal from getting damaged during routine handling. With worktops costing many hundreds – sometimes thousands – of pounds, preventing them getting bashed or chipped; damage that could write off the whole piece.

Heavy duty pallet racking protectors - corner protectors can also be used for safety

As we have seen, there is also a need for safety corner protectors, where the corner protectors not only protect the goods, but also protect those handling the goods.

While heavy duty pallet racking protectors protect vulnerable pallet racking uprights and end-frames from damage from fork lift trucks, protect corners of buildings and doorways and can be put around machines, more simple foam and plastic protectors popped on the ends of shelves and other goods stop personnel hurting themselves when handling the goods.

Foam corner protectors vs cardboard corner protectors

So where do you use foam corner protectors and where do you use cardboard corner protectors? Foam corner protectors are ideal for use where edges aren’t straight, as they are flexible as well as strong. Their ‘spongey’ consistency also makes them ideal for adsorbing small impacts and are good a gripping the surfaces of things that are made from glass, such as pictures, mirrors and glass table tops.

Foam protectors can also be coloured, offering warnings or indications of the nature of the goods being protected – as well as making sure it is clear they have to be removed for use.

Cardboard edge protection, meanwhile, is used for protection but is often more useful for handling pressure points under fixings and strapping, as well as providing additional structure, strength and stability to packages. It too can be coloured or have warnings printed on it, but typically is used in its natural state.

Some other corner protectors

There are a number of other cardboard and foam protectors available for pallets, packages and non-standard shaped goods.

Cardboard pallet corners are ideal for added protection for the corners of square palletised goods in warehouses and during transit. Solid and shockproof these carton protectors are ready to use, just apply to the corners of your product.

L profile cardboard corner protectors ideal for individual boxes

L-shaped cardboard edges are ideal for protecting individual boxes, both from damage and from fixings. They are also ideal for non-standard sized and non-palletised items.

Standard extruded mesh sleeves ideal for really delicate items for the added protection

Often used in conjunction with other protective materials, extruded mesh sleeves are ideal for protecting very delicate objects before they are boxed up. They are strong, flexible, colourful and ideal for glassware.

Self-adhesive blocks prevent movement in boxes

Self-adhesive foam blocks are protective pads that stick to the inside of cartons and protect the contents from movement or damage. Supplied in sheets one surface has a permanent adhesive protected with a peel off backing. The foam pads are pre-scored; just snap them off the sheet.


Bubble vs foam packaging: Do you know the difference?

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Want to know more about our wide range of cardboard and foam edge and corner protectors?

For additional advice on cardboard and foam edge and corner protectors, mesh, blocks and all kinds of fixings, our Packaging 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.

Your recycling questions

We regularly receive calls from our customers interested to learn about eco-friendly alternatives; how they can reduce their environmental footprint by developing their purchasing packaging line to be more sustainable. We are finding more and more businesses are taking control by either choosing a complete eco-responsible packaging range, or by making small improvements where possible.

The most asked questions are “What packaging is recyclable?”, or more specifically “Is bubble wrap recyclable?”. Our customers are interested in environmentally friendly packaging and we are fully committed to help support this change.

If you’re looking to be an eco-responsible business, make the change this year and join our customers.

Global Recycling Day 18th March 2020 >>

Read our most asked recycling questions on packaging

Are gift bags recyclable?

Can you recycle packing paper?

Can all paper bags be recycled?

Can you recycle plastic bags?

Since 2015, RAJA has donated more than 1.6 million euros to help support sustainable initiatives. Money has been raised from customers purchasing selected eco-responsible Partnership Products. From every pack purchased, £1 is donated to our Women and Environment Action Programme.

Women and Environment Action Programme

What are Partnership Products?

Partnership Products are carefully selected eco-responsible packaging products for the Women and Environment Action Programme, every time our customers purchase a pack of these selected products, RAJA donates £1 to charity.

What is the Women and Environment Action Programme?

This charity is one of the many RAJA Foundation projects, the “Women and Environment” Action Programme aims to establish the emancipation of women around the world whilst developing sustainable initiatives.


Women and Environment Action Programme – RAJA donates £1 on your behalf

Read more>>


 

What is eco-responsible packaging?

Being environmentally conscious is not only something we need to do for all humanity, but is also becoming an important business differentiator when customers are choosing who to buy from. And packaging is where they first get a feel for your environmental credentials. So what sustainable and eco-responsible packaging options are there?

Recycled packaging at RAJA

In fact, pretty much all packaging materials and solutions have an eco-responsible alternative option. From packaging materials, storage solutions and even heavy duty storage boxes, all available made from recycled materials to packaging that can be recycled – often into new packaging – and packaging that can be used and composted or biodegraded.

Read on to learn what is available – you may be surprised.

What is eco-responsible packaging?

RAJA eco-friendly packagingEco-responsible packaging are eco-friendly packaging materials that have little or no environmental impact. Made from recycled, recyclable or sustainable materials in processes that too have little or no impact on the environment.

These packaging materials are made to be neutral in terms of what they do to the environment. Being made from recycling other materials or by being easily reused or by being readily composted or biodegrading once finished with.

Eco-responsible packaging is safe and sustainable for both its users and the environment and are ideal for helping brands and businesses meet their corporate social responsibility targets. As well as helping us all do our bit to protect our world.

Such packaging comes in many forms, from eco-responsible wrapping paper to eco-responsible fill to even eco-responsible bubble wrap made from recycled plastics. Offering the same high level of protection as ‘ordinary’ packaging materials, eco-responsible and sustainable packaging offer the advantages of high quality packaging to suit whatever your transport or storage needs are, but minimising the harm to the environment.

Recycled paper packaging at RAJA                     Eco-friendly packaging at RAJA                    Eco-friendly packaging at RAJA

What is sustainable packaging?

Sustainable packaging, on the other hand, is packaging that comes from a sustainable source such as paper packaging and wrapping.  This is packaging made from sources that replenished the trees used to make the paper in the first place.

These sustainable packaging materials may also be reused multiple times, adding to their eco-friendliness. As well as being cyclable – often being made into other eco-responsible packing materials, such as recycled and recyclable mailing bags.

Bringing together the ideas of both sustainability and biodegradability, there are packaging materials such as Eco Flo that offer the best of both worlds. Looking like polystyrene chips, this lightweight and highly versatile packaging option is made from 100% renewable sources, is odourless and offers anti-static properties up to five times better than polystyrene – making it ideal in packaging of delicate electronics.

Like all protective chips, Eco Flo stops items falling to the bottom of the box and offers excellent protection.

Is biodegradable packaging still strong?

Biodegradable packaging is still strong. One of the key worries with switching to eco-responsible and biodegradable packaging is whether it is as strong and effective as ‘non-green’ traditional alternatives. In almost all cases, eco-responsible and biodegradable packaging are just as strong as any others.

Depending on the packaging product and type in question, eco-responsible and sustainable packaging can essentially be made from the same materials as their virgin equivalents. With those made of recycled materials – especially plastics – simply being the same plastic melted down and/or reused. Sustainable packaging can also be made from exactly the same materials and in somewhat the same way as virgin packaging. If you take paper; the original supply (often trees) is replanted and over a year, shows no net loss of raw materials. Also before and during the manufacturing process, the creation of the product itself has considered the negative effects towards the environment, so that it is sustainably produced.

Eco-resposible packaging at RAJABiodegradable packaging is slightly different, however, in that it is often a new material made to biodegrade when placed into landfill, without giving off any harmful by-products or gases. Paper products are naturally biodegradable, being made from organic materials from trees. Biodegradable options to plastic are a different matter.

To biodegrade, these too have to be made not from polythene, but from organic materials such as cellulose – also derived from trees and plants – and can also include corn oil, orange peels, starch, and plants. Traditional plastic is made with chemical fillers that can be harmful to the environment when released once the plastic is melted down. With biodegradable plastic, you get a substance made from natural sources that does not contain these chemical fillers, and does not pose the same risk to the environment.

Corn-starch, which is the basis of most compostable plastics, is in fact very strong, forming long polymer chains. So while they may feel different to ‘normal’ plastic they are in fact just as strong.

Types of recyclable plastic packaging

Recyclable packaging at RAJA

Of course, not all plastic packaging has to be biodegradable, but it is environmentally conscious to use recyclable plastic packaging alternatives. There are many packaging items made from recycled and recyclable plastic.

While using packaging that is recyclable is great, you can also use plastic packaging that is made from cycled materials – often without the consumer noticing any difference.


How to recycle packaging materials

Find out how>>


Alternatives to bubble wrap

Of course, there are alternatives to bubble wrap – such as recycled bubble wrap which is one of the eco-friendly options. There are many benefits to the popular bubble wrap (not even mentioning economical),is ideal for adding extra protection from bumps and thumps in transit, as well as from moisture, dust and dirt. However there are a number of other environmentally responsible packaging solutions available.

One  alternative to bubble wrap is corrugated cardboard rolls, which can be used instead of sheets of bubble wrap. Like bubble, corrugated cardboard can securely protect items in transit or storage. Made from C-shaped shock absorbent corrugated recycled cardboard, the waves allow flexibility, creates padding and is lightweight. This packaging product is an ideal eco-friendly packaging option.

A great alternative to bubble wrap pouches or envelopes are Jiffy Green bags stuffed with cushioning paper fibres, or corrugated Flutelope mailers with absorbing waves, both are ideal for goods that you may usually put in a bubble wrap baggie.

Want to know more about our wide range of eco-responsible packaging materials?

For additional advice on the best eco-responsible packaging materials or to learn about RAJA packaging and the environment you can contact our Packaging Experts. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

 

Beating the Bias – Women in Leadership

From tech giant IBM appointing its first female CEO in 2011 to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences increasing the share of women on the board, there’s no doubt women are breaking the glass ceiling in the world of business. In fact, the RAJA Group itself was founded as a two-woman company as far back as 1954. But as we move into a new decade, how much further do we have to go before gender equality in the workplace is truly equal?

In 2017, we challenged the notion of gender bias by unpacking the new female industrialists and speaking to a number of women making their mark in traditionally male-dominated industries. This International Women’s Day, we’re going one step further and taking a look at how far women have come in the fight for leadership positions and what work still needs to be done in 2020 and beyond.

Women in leadership: the current situation

In 2018, McKinsey’s Delivering through Diversity report showed the statistical significance of diversity in leadership. When it came to women in executive positions, the study confirmed that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile.[1]

Yet according to our research, businesses are still failing to utilise the benefits that women can bring to leadership roles. The Office for National Statistics’ annual population survey shows that in 2010, only 34% of Managerial, Directorial or Senior Official positions within the UK were occupied by women. A decade on (with research up to 2018), this has only increased by a disappointing 1 percentage point to 35%.

This is particularly shocking when stats show us that over 50% of the UK population is comprised of women, making it even more conclusive that the ratio of women to men in leadership roles is not representative of the society that we live in.

A breakdown of women in leadership by sectors

A breakdown of women in leadership by sectors

By looking into the employment sectors stated by the ONS within the UK, we were able to dissect the data in more detail through the following categories: Agriculture and Fishing, Energy and Water, Manufacturing, Construction, Distribution, Hotels & Restaurants; Transport & Communication; Banking, Finance & Insurance etc.; and Public Admin, Education & Health.

The data shows that in half of the given sectors, less than a quarter of leaders are female. The sectors with the poorest performance in terms of female leadership are Construction (16% of leaders are women), Energy & Water (19%), Manufacturing (22%) and Transportation & Communication (24%). In addition, Banking, Finance & Insurance has historically been known for its Wolf of Wall Street-esque setting. And, although this 80’s depiction is a far cry from what it is today, it is troubling to see that still, only 34% of leaders in the sector are women. In fact, the only sector where more women currently hold these roles is within Public Admin, Education & Health at 57%.

Though all but one of the sectors included has seen an incremental increase in women in leadership positions from a holistic view from 2010 onwards, there is sadly still a low representation in traditionally male-dominated sectors, and in fact, most traditionally female-dominated sectors, too.

So, what can we do next?

Despite initiatives to promote equality in the workplace being championed across many businesses in recent times, there is still work to be done. In fact, a recent review of FTSE leaders shows results that are not only disheartening but shocking, too. Within the FTSE 100, around two thirds of all available leadership roles are occupied by men and, as of 2019, only seven of those CEOs were female[2][3]

So, what can all companies – big and small – do to ensure that we are beating the bias and benefitting from women leadership in every workplace? Here are just three ways we can do this:

  1. Transparency: By being transparent about diversity goals, we can show current employees and potential candidates that we are taking steps in the right direction. It means having measurable goals that tie into individuals, teams and groups, rather than just playing a numbers game for the sake of compliance. For example, it is not gender diversity if your workforce is proportionate, but you have an all-male board.
  1. Eliminating unconscious bias: Though we may not mean to be consciously bias towards women, a history of workplace prejudice has embedded a lot of stereotypes that mean we may not even know we are being influenced by. The best way to ensure this is controlled is to have rules in place that make processes subjective, from applications to training, reviews and promotions – particularly for leadership roles. 
  1. Modernity: By being open to reworking policies so they are inclusive – from flexible hours to modified work schedules – we can make certain we have the top pool of talent, rather than ruling certain demographics out. A lot of traditionally male-dominated industries have inflexible timetables but finding common ground which is geared towards a wider group of people will help businesses go a long way.

From striking for equal pay to securing classification as skilled workers, women have taken great strides in the fight for workplace equality. Yet sadly, there is still a perception that certain industries and roles are only suitable for men.

On Sunday 8th March 2020, we will be celebrating how far our society has come in terms of gender equality in the workplace, whilst also thinking about how we can continue to push for progress. To learn more, head over to our interviews with the inspirational women who are packing away stereotypes in corporate culture and showing value in male-dominated industries.

[Methodology: This research was conducted by analysing the Annual Population Workplace Analysis survey from The Office for National Statistics to work out the population of males vs females in Manager, Director and Senior Official positions within the UK. This uses their data ranging from 2010 to 2018.]

[1]https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/McKinsey/Business%20Functions/Organization/Our%20Insights/Delivering%20through%20diversity/Delivering-through-diversity_full-report.ashx

[2]https://ftsewomenleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/HA-Review-Report-2019.pdf

[3]https://www.statista.com/statistics/685208/number-of-female-ceo-positions-in-ftse-companies-uk/

The best shipping boxes to use for certain items

Increasingly in the ecommerce era the packaging is as important as the goods contained therein. Not only does the box in which goods are shipped protect the items in transit, but also can offer part of the experience of receiving the item itself – especially if it is a gift for someone else.

So join us as we take a look at what kinds of shipping boxes and gift boxes there are for everything from everyday objects to special gifts such as books, mugs, pictures and more.

The best shipping boxes to use for certain items

Ecommerce has seen something of a resurgence in the fortunes of the cardboard box. Getting goods ordered online to where they need to go requires the best shipping boxes, which come in all shapes and sizes, to both protect the goods in transit and, increasingly, to offer a nice ‘unboxing’ experience for the recipient.

From book boxes designed to accommodate the latest in publishing, to mug boxes and picture boxes, packaging for shipping is now spoiled for choice. So how do you choose?

What is available runs from simple flat cardboard boxes for everything from magazines to more delicate items such as electronics right through to specialist boxes for things like computers or keyboards through to bespoke packages designed for much more specific purposes.

These boxes come in a range of sizes, but can also be used with packaging materials to further protect the goods and help them fit snuggly in the box.

But the humble cardboard box is more complex than you may imagine. While they come in standard sizes as seen, they also come in a variety of other forms to make packing – and unpacking– goods slightly easier for both the shipper and the customer.

Double wall, flat telescopic cardboard boxes

Telescopic boxes offer flexible ways to package

For example, there are telescopic boxes which feature a main body with a lid that slides over it. This allows for the packaging of items that are of non-standard sizes and shapes, as well as meaning that package and shippers need only minimal different types of boxes for a wide range of goods.

However, these are just the beginning: for specialist products, or to offer a good fit, there are many other boxes to choose from.

What are the different types and sizes of book boxes? 

Book boxes designed to get tomes delivered in mint condition

Amazon started in Jeff Bezos’ garage back in 1994 – at number 5, Bellevue, Washington on 5 July 1994 to be precise – selling books. And today, books remain a large part of what is send through the mail. To protect these valuable and beautiful things there is a growing range of bespoke book boxes that are specially designed to make sure your rom-coms, classics or reference works arrive in mint condition.

The different types of book boxes available are designed around basic book sizes – as well as accommodating CDs, DVDs and box sets – while offering some flexibility as to the thickness of the book or box set.

As well as this there are a range of ways that the boxes can be sealed shut.

Book boxes are cleverly designed one-piece cardboard contraptions that fold beautifully over the book to make it easy to package up and just as easy to undo when it arrives.

Thanks to its clever design, these boxes can adjust in height to accommodate a single book or multiple books, as well as single or multiple CDs or DVDs, boxsets and more.

Brown book boxes

Book boxes can be glued, taped or strapped together

Sealed closed with an adhesive strip, glue, tape or strapping, book boxes are secure and tough for postal or courier transportation, offering shock protection, especially on the corners. And no one wants a book with bent corners, do they?

Brown book boxes with adhesive strips and red tear strip

Self-adhesive tape on book boxes makes them easy to seal

Some book boxes come with their own adhesive tape built in, making it even easier to assemble them around the goods being shipped and stuck down.

What are the best shipping boxes for pictures?

Shipping pictures comes with its own set of challenges and picking the best box for your pictures depends on their size and shape.

Shipping boxes for pictures are another specialist box that again is designed to protect very fragile items. Flat and often self-sealing, these boxes are designed to protect pictures – which feature delicate glass, wooden frames and often delicate paper prints – on the move.


Wrap it up: How to package unusual items

>> Read more

 


Similar in design to book boxes, shipping boxes for pictures are one-piece cardboard constructions that fold over the goods – again with some flexibility as to thickness of the picture frame – that offer excellent shock and scratch protection.

These packing boxes for framed pictures, too, can be self-sealing or can be sealed using tape or strapping to hold them closed until the recipient is ready to open them up.

What are the different types of cardboard gift boxes?

As said, increasingly the packaging in which things are delivered – especially gifts – is all part of the unboxing experience: not least if it is an actual gift ordered by one person and sent to another.

Cardboard gift boxes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, colours and styles to suit a wide range of gift giving.

Jewellery gift boxes

Cardboard jewellery boxes add a touch of class

One of the most obvious gifts that finds itself inside a cardboard gift box is jewellery. Cardboard jewellery boxes offer protection, but with tastefully coloured card and lined with linen and padded packing, these boxes are ideal for not only protecting the items in transit, but presenting them beautifully when they arrive where they are heading.

Luxury magnetic wine gift boxes

Wine is also a gift – and there is a box perfect for that

But not all gifts are jewellery shaped. Wine is also being sent as a gift, along with all manner of other things – and there is wide range of gift boxes to suit all these lovely things.

Pillow gift boxes

Pillow gift boxes for small delicate items

But how do you seal these elegant boxes closed? Tape and strapping may be secure, but could spoil the elegant effect you are going for. To solve this problem, many gift boxes now have magnetic seals built in.

Magnetic gift boxes

Gift boxes come with magnetic seals to avoid using tape and straps

These boxes have a flat magnet on their lid flap and a flat metal plate built into the face of the box, so that when the lid is closed it seals shut with enough force to keep it closed in transit, but not so tight that it can’t be popped open by the lucky recipient.

When is the best time to use a mug box?

Easifold, fast assembly mug postal boxes

While we all like to get jewels, wine or other lovely gifts, there is also a roaring trade in mugs and mug boxes have been specially created to make sure these fragile, ceramic items can be transported safely and securely.

The best time to use a mug box is when trying to ship such a mug. Increasingly, with the commoditisation of printing, people can have also sorts of fun things printed on mugs and this roaring trade has been boosted greatly by ecommerce.

But there is a choice to make when looking at which mug box to use for your product.

Deluxe crash-lock postal mug box

Deluxe crash-tested boxes for mug are also available

Like book boxes and shipping boxes for framed pictures, mug boxes are easy to fold around their prized content and have been specially designed and tested with a double thickness base, triple thickness sides to protect fragile handles and rims, and reinforced corners to defend against knocks in the post.

For extra protection there are other specially designed boxes that features a crash-lock base, as well as an inner cardboard fitting that holds the mug in place obviating the need for void filling packaging material.

 


Gifting etiquette: Exploring Brit’s gift-giving habits

>> Read the survey

 


Want to know more about our wide range of shipping boxes for specific items?

For additional advice on the best shipping boxes for specific items, our Packaging 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 difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

Shrink wrap and stretch wrap are both perfect packaging solutions – both are tear resistant, water-proof, dust-proof and help hold bundles of items together for storage, transport and retail. But what are the differences and how can each be used? Let’s find out.

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

The difference between shrink wrap vs stretch wrap

Shrink wrap is a staple of the packaging and warehousing industry and, as we have seen in previous blogs, it can be used to cover everything from small goods to helicopters – but it isn’t the only way to cover goods to protect them in transit and storage. There is also stretch wrap. So what’s the difference and what can they be used for?

Both are used to package up separate products to keep them together for transport and storage. Both are made from the same thing – polythene, typically – and both are usually good at protecting the products.

Product Advice Guide - Stretch Film PalletisingThe key difference comes in how the wrapping is done and why. Stretch wrap sees the products wrapped tightly in the wrapping film until everything is secure. The stretch film is stretched to about 300% of its natural size in this process and, when in place, tries to shrink back to its original side – creating a firm hold on the goods.

The same applies with shrink wrap, only it is then heated to 100 to 150ºC and allowed to cool – where it then shrinks even further to form an even tighter fit round the items.

Why would you do this? It is all about what you want to do with the goods. Stretch wrap is generally more for transport, typically, found wrapping boxes and more to keep them together on pallets for transport. While shrink wrap is generally more often used for displaying your product, to contain products in the retail, food and pharmaceuticals businesses to protect goods for sale. You may have well already seen goods pilled high in supermarkets, and items wrapped in boxes on pallets.

What is shrink wrap film?

Shrink wrap film is made from a kind of plastic known as a polyolefin – the most common forms of which are Polythene and PVC. It is a strong, often transparent – although doesn’t have to be, as we shall see – and offers protection to heat, cold, moisture, dust and other contaminants.

When heat shrunk over goods and pallets, it provides a puncture proof and secure way to hold items together for storage and transport and is an ideal way to package things.Continuous shrink wrapContinuous shrink wrap rolls are ideal for wrapping outsized and irregular loads

For pallet loads, the ideal way to deploy the wrap is from a roll that offer a continuous sheet of shrink wrap material that can be wrapped around as many times as needed and round all sorts of irregularly shaped or tall pallet loads. It is also available in extra wide for really big loads.

Shrink wrap roll with perforationsShrink wrap roll with perforations

For more standardised loads, shrink pallet covers on a perforated roll can be torn off, slipped over the load and then heated and shrunk into place. For best results raise the pallet to a position where you have easy access to the underside – then pull the cover down underneath the corners of the pallet.

These are made from 120 micron low density polythene and come in range of sizes. To work out the cover height that you need: Load height + 1/2 width + 140 mm. For example, if your load is 1160 mm high (including the pallet) on a standard 800 x 1200 mm pallet, you need a cover with a minimum height of 1160 + 400 +140 = 1700 mm.

So how do you actually apply the shrink wrap? A shrink wrap machine can be used to both wrap and shrink smaller items. These are ideal for retail products as the clear wrap displays items professionally, and is highly secure and tamper-proof as the film takes the shape of the product.Shrink wrap machines

For larger loads, the equipment needed to do the wrapping involves specialist machines that can spin the pallet and wrap the goods and heating equipment to do the heat shrink.

Once wrapped, the packages need to be heated to shrink the wrap. This is done using heat guns. These come in a range of sizes and shapes to suit all budgets and work by burning butane to produces ambient heat. This shrinks the wrap but is gentle enough not to over heat the products therein.


Tip: Do you know how to use a heat gun?

Read the guide>>


What is stretch wrap film?

To all intents and purposes, stretch wrap is the same as shrink wrap – only you don’t heat it to shrink it. When wrapped around pallets and products using a stretch wrap machine, the wrap is stretched to some 200 to 300% of its static length. Once applied it then tries to pull itself back into its original dimensions, tightly gripping the products.

There are several kinds of stretch film. Blown stretch film is tear and puncture resistant and is suitable for use in deep freeze storage and comes in six thicknesses and two widths – and can be black or transparent.

There is also cast stretch film, which is clear, tear resistant and will cling to itself and products for secure hold. By sticking only to itself, it prevent products on pallets from moving while in transit. This pallet wrap is very popular in the food industry.

Cast stretch film

Cast stretch wrap sticks to itself and is popular in the food industry

Cast stretch wrap is very versatile. For wrapping consignments weighing less than 500kg use standard 15 or 17 micron film. For consignments weighing up to 700 kg use the stronger 20 micron film. For additional strength and tough conditions use the 30 micron film and to conceal the contents of your pallet use the black cast stretch film.

So how do you put stretch wrap on? Well firstly, it depends on how many pallets or items need  wrapping! For more than 15 pallets a day, use a stretch wrap machine to speed up end of line wrapping. Otherwise stretch-film dispensers or mini stretch film rolls would be more suited.

Looking for more packaging information?

Our Packaging Experts are here to help you find the right solutions. Simply call us on 0800 542 44 28 or visit www.rajapack.co.uk.

Types of cardboard packing boxes

Cardboard packaging boxes and flat pack boxes are a staple of the warehousing, transport and export function of any business. But there is more to the humble cardboard box than you’d think. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, can handle a variety of weights and some even come with their own pallets attached.

So which box types suit your needs and how do you choose? Read on.

Types of cardboard packing boxes

Cardboard packaging boxes and flat pack boxes are a staple of the packaging industry. Mention ‘packaging’ to most people and they think boxes. However, they are more interesting – and useful and varied – than you might think. And getting the right box for your storage needs is crucial.

Getting the right kind of box for your business can help smooth processes, protect your products, expedite storage and, if you are using branded postal boxes to send out your goods, create the right impression about your company. So, choosing the right kind of box is more important than you think.

Cardboard packaging boxes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and can be made of a variety of materials and constructions methods depending on how they are going to be used. They also throw up the issue of what types of tape and other fixings are needed to seal them, as well as coming with a range of inserts to allow for packaging specific items, such as bottles.

There are even a range of accessories such as wheels and handles to make storing and moving goods packaged in boxes easier. So how do you choose?

Cardboard packaging boxes

Single walled (left), double walled (centre) and triple-walled (right) ‘standard’ storage boxes

First of all there are a wide variety of boxes to choose from. At RAJA we offer a  ‘standard’ box, which comes in a range of sizes as well as being singledouble or triple-walled depending on what you need to store and how, as we shall come to. Triple-walled boxes are also known as loading cases and are really tough.

White cardboard boxes

Single (left) and doubled-walled white boxes really stand out

There are also ranges of boxes with single, double and even triple walled boxes that come in white, that stand out and are excellent for getting your consignments noticed or for when you really need handling instructions to be obvious.

Flat cardboard boxes

Flat packaging boxes offer a more tailored fit for a wide range of items

For more tailored needs and to pack a more diverse range of products, such as picture frames, mirrors, gifts, computers and industrial equipment, cardboard boxes come in a variety of shapes and dimensions, including many ‘flat’ boxes.

Extra-large flat cardboard boxes

Flat boxes are great for postal deliveries of delicate and slim items

Many of these flat boxes are the kind of thing that many shoppers will be familiar with as what their goods arrive in when ordered online. One piece flat cardboard boxes  are designed for slim products and, with the item placed in the centre and the flaps wrapped around, theses boxes leave an extended edge that provides impact resistance and corner protection.

Double wall, flat telescopic cardboard boxes

Telescopic boxes offer another tailored way to pack special items for storage or post

For the storage or transportation of items of varying sizes, telescopic boxes offer an ideal solution. Made up in two parts, with a lid that slides over a base, these boxes are great for accommodating different sized products as the lid can be slid as far down as required, always providing great protection for what’s inside. They look good too and, for postal items, offer a more novel unboxing experience.

Triple wall, cardboard export boxes

Strong, triple-walled storage boxes are ideal when exporting

Do I need strong packing boxes?

While there are a variety of different sizes, shapes and finishes of cardboard packaging boxes, one of the main questions asked of flatpack boxes is how strong they are – or moreover, how strong do they need to be for a particular job.

Triple wall, cardboard export boxes

Strong boxes are used for transport and storage and must be stackable

The strength of a cardboard box needed is determined by what is going in it and what are you going to do with it. For anything over 100kg, double or triple-walled large packing boxes are needed – up to a maximum of 500kg for some triple wall boxes.

If the boxes are to be loaded and stacked, or palletised, then they need to be strong, with supportive lids and corners. Many boxes are also used for transport and even export. These will be subject to stacking, moving and bumping and so need to be of strong specification.

The triple wall loading cases are made from triple wall top quality rigid flute corrugated board with 200gsm Kraft paper finish. Outer B flute 140gsm, 3-6mm thick with a 140gsm test; inner C flute 140gsm, 4-8mm thick with a 140gsm test and inner A flute 140gsm 5-10mm thick with a 200gsm test lining.

Cardboard cap and sleeve loading cases without pallets

Cardboard cap and sleeve loading cases add even more protection and strength

For added strength, large boxes can also be purchased with cardboard caps and sleeves that allow for stacking and provide heavy duty protection. They are made of a stitched heavy duty corrugated sleeve, two end caps fitting top and bottom. These large cardboard boxes are easily collapsed for return or storage and can be easily stacked.

Capacitainer pallet boxes with Inka Presswood pallet

Some boxes come with their own pallet to help with protection when stacking

Some pallet sized cardboard boxes like the capacitainer pallet box come not only as flat packed boxes, but are also secured to their own Inka Presswood pallets with white plastic plugs, which fit in to pre-drilled holes on the base of the box and on the pallet. The boxes feature a drop down window making access to the contents quick and easy.

These boxes are made from double wall corrugated board (except CAPAC10 which is triple wall) and the Inka Presswood pallets are manufactured from processed recycled waste timber and are certified for export to: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan and the USA.

White cardboard gift boxes

Small packing boxes are often used for smaller, lighter gifts

For small packing boxes similar rules of thumb apply, but naturally they tend to be able to handle much less weight, instead being designed for gifts and much smaller, often more delicate items.

Choosing tape for packing boxes

Packaging tape and strapping

Strapping or tape – how to seal a box

When putting items in boxes for storage, transport or postage it is key that they stay in the box. This is where tape and strapping comes in.

For a large packing box, many companies opt for strapping tape to seal boxes. Polypropylene hand strapping has a breaking strain of between 120 and 260kg and is easy to apply and won’t corrode. It is also extremely tough.

Pakit portable polypropylene strapping kits

Strapping kits are available to make it easy

Kits that feature a box of strapping – that is easily carried around the warehouse – and the tools to make applying it easy are also available, making it easy to strap up large storage boxes and pallet boxes.

Packaging tape

Tape is great for smaller and medium sized boxes

For medium sized boxes and loads, packaging tape can be used to seal up boxes. It is really easy to apply – and easy to remove. It can also be branded with either the company logo, a message, or, if needed, a warning message.

Pre-printed FRAGILE self-adhesive paper tape

Tape can be used to seal boxes for storage and transport

So there you have it: cardboard boxes come in an almost infinite range of sizes and shapes and can handle loads up to 500kg – can be stacked, exported and can even come with their own pallets.

The other advantage they have is that they can be recycled and so are increasingly popular in our environmentally-conscious day and age. Happy packing!

 


Tip: How to dispose of your used cardboard boxes

>> Find out how


Want to know more about our wide range of cardboard packaging boxes?

For additional advice on cardboard packaging boxes in all their various shapes, sizes and forms, our Packaging 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.

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrapping

Using a heat gun to wrap and package goods is quite straightforward. Shrink wrapping offers a sturdy, protective and professional way to pack goods for storage, transport and even for sale. But to get the best from the material, the wrap needs to be heated so that it can shrink – and that means using a heat gun. Here we take a look at how to choose the right wrap for your needs and then how to use a heat gun to make it work.

Can I use a heat gun for shrink wrapping?

Yes you can use a heat gun for shrink wrapping, it is ideal for professional and effective packing. Shrink wrap is a highly efficient way to protect goods for transit and storage. But for it to work effectively the goods in question have to be wrapped – in the wrap, and then heated so that the film shrinks into place – holding its contents tightly and securely.

PVC shrink wrap

To do this you need a shrink wrap heat gun. The film is made from polyolefin plastic, most commonly polythene and PVC. It is a strong, often transparent and offers protection to heat, cold, moisture, dust and other contaminants. It is also puncture proof and offers a secure way to hold items together for storage and transport and is an ideal way to package various items.

But to get the best out of it the polyolefin plastic needs to be heated so that, as it cools, it shrinks to tightly wrap the goods. But be careful when you heat shrink wrap, as it requires care – so as not to damage the plastic and the goods beneath.

PVC heat shrink rolls shrink at 80 degrees Celsius and have a retraction rate of 40%. It isn’t recommended for food packaging.

How to use a heat gun for shrink wrap

So how do you shrink wrap goods and pallets of goods for transport or storage? For goods on a pallet, or mixed goods that are of non-uniform size and shape, a good starting point would be to use a shrink wrap roll.

Using shrink wrap on an easy to use roll, is a simple method to help palletising or collating. The shrink wrap roll can then be simply un-rolled, and the polythene wrapped around the goods as needed. Allowing for the change of contours and shapes, this helps hold together the goods ready to be heated and shrunk into place to create that all-important tight support and protection.

Shrink wrap on a roll comes in a range of sizes to allow for a variety of sized pallets, goods and needs. Including extra wide for those particularly big or awkwardly shaped products.

It can be found as both a continuous roll of film, this helps to accommodate non-uniform and varied sized and shaped loads. The film can also be manually cut to size, or it is available as a perforated roll, which can be torn off easily for use in sections to cover the load.

To work out the cover height that you need: Load height + 1/2 width + 140 mm. For example, if your load is 1160 mm high (including the pallet) on a standard 800 x 1200 mm pallet, you need a cover with a minimum height of 1160 + 400 +140 = 1700 mm.

Palletising, individual shrink wrap pallet coversAlternatively, it comes as  shrink wrap bags, available in a roll, or shrink wrap pallet covers that can be slipped over the items or pallet ready to be shrunk into place.

Individual shrink pallet covers are available in two sizes – the smallest pallet covers are suitable for pallets with a maximum height of 1160mm and the large pallet covers are suitable for pallets with a maximum height of 1760mm. Manufactured from 120 micron low density polythene, the film is also available as shrink pallet covers perforated on a roll and on a continuous roll.

Prepare your loads by ensuring it is tidy as possible, then secure the load on your pallet, pull the shrink film cover over the whole load. For best results raise the pallet to a position where you have easy access to the underside – then pull the cover down underneath the corners of the pallet.

With shrink wrap pallet covers or bags, pull the bags down over the goods into place.

Then the heating begins. To get the best out of the shrink wrap it needs to then be shrunk into place by using a heat gun. This is done using a shrink wrap gun.

A shrink wrap gun is a heated gun that uses butane or propane gas to create a flame, which is contained in a safety housing which gets hot and radiates heat onto plastic wrap. It is crucial that no contact occurs between the flame and the film – or the film will ignite and burn.

These tools are safe and light enough to use all day long. It is available as part of a complete kit, complete with gas canister, lengthy hose and gun. Some systems are also mobile – featuring a film gun and trolley kit, complete with a portable propane bottle – so that the wrapping can happen on the move within the warehouse or packaging area.

RIPACK 3000 heat shrink film gun and trolley kit

A great example is the RIPACK 3000 Shrink film gun, which is safe and easy to use. The flame is never in contact with the nozzle, which stays cool avoiding any risk of burning. The flame fans out to cover a large area making the shrink process quick and easy.

This heat shrink gun is ergonomic, lightweight (1.22kg) and designed to keep operator fatigue to a minimum with its soft grip handle. The RIPACK 3000 is supplied in its own case and includes a regulator, 8 metres of hose, adjustment spanner and instruction manual. There is a spare igniter store in the handle. The case is sturdy enough to be used as an operator platform. Powered by propane gas (not included).

Want to know more about heat guns?

For additional advice on different packaging films, wrapping machines and heat guns, our Packaging 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 difference between plastic vs cardboard storage boxes

The difference between plastic vs cardboard storage boxesWhat’s best for storage and shipping; plastic or cardboard storage boxes? Well, it all depends on what you want to store or ship and how you want to store and ship it. In this article we take a look at the different kinds of cardboard and plastic storage boxes available and explain why different materials suit different purposes.

The difference between plastic vs cardboard storage boxes

What are the differences between plastic vs cardboard storage boxes? For anyone remotely connected with shipping, packing or storage, the debate is timeless and all depends on what you are wanting to use them for, as well as personal preference.

On the one hand, cardboard storage boxes are tough and strong, easy to label, cost-efficient and can be recycled. On the other, plastic storage boxes offer a durable, water-resistant, strong and reusable alternative. How do you choose?

Cardboard boxes vs plastic boxes

Deciding on which is better, cardboard boxes or plastic boxes, really does come down to what you are looking to do with the box – and perhaps what you might want to do with the box after you have used it.

And you may be surprised by how environmentally-friendly each is when considered across its lifetime.

For starters, let’s look at cardboard storage boxes with lids. These offer protection for goods and items and, to a limited extent, can be stacked up securely. They are easy to label and, can be extremely cost efficient.

Cardboard storage boxes can be used for a wide range of uses. They can be used for sending fragile items through the post, be it books, mugs, DVDs and more. They can, with the right inserts, also be used to ship and store wine bottles, leveraging the natural protective qualities of strong cardboard to protect the contents.

In fact, cardboard boxes come in such a large variety of shapes and sizes – and with a cornucopia of opens and flaps – that they can be used for almost any storage or shipping purpose. There are long boxes, flat boxes, pallet boxes for stacking on pallets, as well as boxes for shipping and even specialist uses. You can even tailor your box to your product with our adjustable and telescopic cardboard boxes.

Choice of telescopic boxes

Telescopic boxes offer a customisable solution for storage, packaging and shipping

You can also use cardboard boxes to store – or indeed ship – documents, as well as cardboard boxes for archiving and even for easy access to goods through special openings.

There are also a wide variety of very specialist boxes for posters and even for clothes. Either being delivered through ecommerce or for storage or house moves.

And of course, there is also a wide variety of large cardboard boxes all sized 600mm+ to help you find the correct size box for your needs. You can even use RAJA’s own sizing tool to work out the best sized box for your goods – but more of that anon.

But cardboard boxes do have their drawbacks. While they are strong and cost effective, they are also limited in their strength and, perhaps more crucially for some storage and shipping options, not waterproof.The difference between plastic and cardboard storage boxes

This is where plastic storage boxes with lids come in. Plastic storage containers are more costly per unit – but they offer some advantages over cardboard boxes

For starters, plastic storage bins and boxes are generally stronger than their cardboard counterparts and, as a result, can be stacked higher. They can also hold heavier and more awkward items.

The main advantage, however, of plastic over cardboard is that it is waterproof and so is ideal for the storage of items that need extra protection from moisture or other environmental contaminants.

As a result plastic storage boxes can be used to store and ship all manner of small to medium duty items that need to be kept water tight and protected. The boxes with lids can be stacked and, when not in use and with the lids removed, can be nested.

For heavier duty storage and transportation, extra-tough, heavy-duty storage boxes that protect from impact as well as water and other environmental factors can also be used – offering a highly-reliable form of protection for a wide range of goods.

Plastic containers can also be used to store smaller, more delicate items, such as small components, stationery or other goods. Here plastic offers a resilient option that can be reused over and over again, where perhaps a cardboard alternative would wear out.

However, while plastic storage containers have a wide variety of uses and offer a greater degree of reuse, they are not so suitable for some applications. Plastic bins and containers are good for storage and shipping, but are often too expensive for one-off use in last mile delivery. In other words, you won’t find your Amazon book being delivered in a plastic box.

That said, some delivery businesses are toying with plastic – if they can get the boxes back. Plastic boxes, on the face of it, may seem to be less environmentally friendly than cardboard. However, if plastic boxes can be reused numerous times, they start to be less environmentally impactful. Recycling takes a lot of energy – even for paper – so getting more use out of a container can be more efficient, if you can sort out collection.

Types of cardboard storage boxes

While there are advantages to using cardboard or plastic storage boxes, depending on what you want to store where, let us focus for now on cardboard storage boxes, as they come in so many different shapes and sizes.

While for heavy duty and heavy weight storage and shipping needs, plastic is a clear winner, cardboard boxes aren’t as wimpish as you’d think, coming as they do in a wide variety of thicknesses.

For starters, there are single wall cardboard boxes, which are made of a single layer of tough corrugated cardboard and offer robust protection for your products with superior resistance to bursting, humidity and temperature change; in addition tapes adhere perfectly to the surface. The corrugated cardboard and puncture resistant Kraft outer works hard to secure your items, while still maintaining a smooth and clean finish for your adhesive address labels to stick to.

Single wall cardboard boxes

Singled wall cardboard boxes are strong, light and low cost way to store a wide range of items

These boxes are ideal for storing, packing and shipping of products and goods and are delivered flat packed for easy storage and transport.

Double wall cardboard boxes

Double wall cardboard boxes are tougher still for stacking and shipping of fragile objects

If that isn’t enough, there are also a wide range of double wall cardboard boxes, which are designed to be tough still. Double walled cardboard boxes are made from two layers of rigid corrugated fluting with a tough puncture resistant Kraft outer lining. This means that the double wall cardboard box retains its shape during shipping or storage and offers superior strength and durability over single wall cardboard boxes.

These sturdy boxes are suitable for a wide range of products from glassware, household fixtures and fittings to small electrical goods and can be stacked.

Triple wall cardboard boxes

Triple walled storage offers a really tough way to store and ship even the heaviest items

If you need a really strong storage and shipping box, triple wall cardboard boxes have you covered. Manufactured from top quality rigid flute corrugated board with a 200gsm Kraft paper finish, these are ideal for heavy duty items such as metal parts, compressors, boilers, pumps, industrial tools and machinery. Recommended for shipping and exporting.

In fact, these boxes has been especially designed for metal parts, compressors, boilers, pumps, industrial tools and machinery our heavy duty triple wall boxes with a weight capacity of up to 500kg also come flat-packed for easy, space saving storage in your warehouse.

Conclusions

The debate over whether cardboard or plastic makes for a better storage box is not really a debate at all: it all depends on what you want to store, ship or archive. For heavy duty, long term storage, or to store things that are in repeat use, plastic storage boxes have the edge as their higher price delivers more value over time.

However, for one off shipping cardboard has the edge. With cardboard storage boxes coming in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, they offer the ability to ship and protect anything from a book right up to a compressor. The only thing that ‘weakens’ the case for cardboard is that it isn’t waterproof like plastic.

That said, which you want to use comes down to what you are packaging and what you want to do with it. There is a vast array of solutions to choose from – and we can help you choose.

Want to know more about the wide range of cardboard and plastic storage boxes?

For additional advice on storage boxes in all their myriad shapes, sizes and materials to meet all your packaging, storage and shipping needs, our Packaging 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.

 

Inspiring women, inspired to give

Danièle Kapel-Marcovici, businesswomen and philanthropist

The history of the packaging company RAJA, is an empowering family story that spans over 60 years. One of courage, dexterity and determination.

The packaging industry is still regarded as a male dominated industry, and especially after World War II during the time of a male led society – the everyday struggles women encountered were overlooked and were socially accepted. Despite this, two women saw an opportunity and instead of letting the economies of post-war France and businessmen deter them, they persevered.

Danièle Kapel-Marcovici, the RAJA Group

Inspiring women

During the Second World War, Rosie the Riveter was the iconic feminist symbol (and still is) of the female wartime workforce which was the turning point for women. Although the typical gender roles meant that post war, women were expected to give up their industrious jobs and, naturally return to their housekeeping duties.

In 1954, Rachel Marcovici and her friend, Janine Rocher founded Cartons RAJA in France. The concept was simple, resell used cardboard boxes, not only was it cheaper but it meant reusing what materials were available. Rachel organised the business operations, sought meetings with buyers, negotiated and made the deals. She was a successful women in business and an established business owner that carved out a flourishing profession in the packaging supply and distribution chain.

Since then, a lot has changed but what has remained strong throughout the company are the ethics of a businesswomen and the key foundations which continue to this day.

Today, Danièle Kapel-Marcovici is the CEO of the company, now called RAJA Group (the headquarters is still in France). She is the daughter of Rachel Marcovici, and has successfully continue to grow the company with the same passion as her mother. Now RAJA has presence in 18 countries throughout Europe, with 21 subsidiaries of a turnover of more than €631 million in 2018. The RAJA Group has more than 1900 employees, and this year recently acquired Staples Solutions business units in France, Spain and Italy. The RAJA Group will have 3,000 employees and will have an expected turnover of €1 billion.

Danièle Kapel-Marcovici - the RAJA packaging headquarters

Inspired to give

In 1982, when Danièle’s parents entrusted her with the family firm, she not only continued her mother’s journey in the business world, but with the same beliefs to seek equal rights for women all over the world.

Influenced by her mother’s life, Danièle’s views came to realisation in 2006 when the RAJA-Danièle Marcovici Foundation (known as the RAJA Foundation) was founded. Dedicated to the empowerment of women around the world, the organisation has since supported over 440 female-centric charity projects in more than 50 countries. More than 90,000 women have benefited from the activities of the RAJA Foundation, and it has also dedicated over €9 million for its cause.

Danièle shares her opinion on why the feminist movement matters, the need for corporations to balance business with philanthropy, and her vision for the foundation.

As the CEO of a for-profit corporation, what inspired you to start a charity?

I have always been a committed woman to such causes and, since the 1970s, have led a personal and shared struggle for feminist awareness. Women should be free to choose, have the same rights, the same recognition and the same status as men in society.

I also believe that, in addition to their economic role, companies have a role to play in the society. That is why I created the RAJA-Danièle Marcovici Foundation in 2006, under the aegis of the Fondation de France (a French philanthropic network), to support organisations that work for the empowerment of women and the improvement of their living conditions.

The foundation supports projects throughout the world that contribute to women’s education, social action, abuse and violence against women, training and professional integration. The RAJA Foundation was one of the first in France to commit to this cause, and it’s funded by the RAJA Group.

Danièle Kapel-Marcovici

There are many groups in the world that need help. Why does the feminist movement in particular mean so much to you?

Women are the first victims of inequality in the world. They perform two-thirds of international work but earn only 10% of the income. 70% of people living on less than 76p (€0.89) per day in the world are women, and one in three women is a victim of violence during her lifetime.

It is essential to support actions that empower women and reduce the inequalities they face. Women need equal access to education and to professional opportunities; they deserve the same pay and the same freedoms as men. Investing in equality is the best investment for achieving global political stability and economic development.

How can a for-profit corporation uphold and support the values of its not-for-profit activities?

Since I took over the leadership of RAJA Group from my mother when I was 36, I have led the group with respect for professional and wage equality between women and men. The company refuses all forms of sexism and has strong values of solidarity and respect.

The social commitment of RAJA Group reinforces the purpose our employees feel in their professional lives. In 2013, I created the programme RAJApeople, which allows employees to get involved with the RAJA Foundation in different ways.

An employee can choose to have their salary rounded up to the nearest euro so that the difference between this and their actual salary becomes a monthly micro donation that goes to the foundation.

They can also volunteer with the foundation, sponsor a project, or take part in events that are organised throughout the year.

The company also organises events in France and in our European subsidiaries on 8th March, which is International Women’s Day, and November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Most recently, we were a partner of the first feminist eco-festival in France.

Why is the fight for women’s rights still necessary in developed regions?

SOL - RAJA Foundation

Any progress made is still too slow and uneven, and political will and financial support remain inadequate. The movements launched in 2017, such as Me Too, have highlighted that the problem of violence against women remains a reality in many countries – even in France.

In 2017, one French woman was killed every 2.8 days by her partner or ex-partner, yet only a third of them were identified as victims by the police or those close to them.

In addition, the news constantly shows that many rights remain to be won and those that have been obtained are regularly challenged in an era marked by the rise of individualism, conservatism and obscurantism.

In authoritarian regimes, war and even any questioning of democracy, women are the first to be affected and their rights are the first to be ignored. In Europe, many countries are now questioning women’s right for abortion by limiting it or making access difficult. A few of those countries are Ireland, Poland and Spain.

Saveurs en partage - the RAJA Foundation

Even in France, where men and women are said to have equal rights under the law and its application, there is still a gap and the conditions for female emancipation are far from being fully acquired.

What aspects of the fight for women’s rights continue to require attention?

Women continue to suffer discrimination and violence regardless of their age, nationality or religion. There are still women who are not allowed to drive, who are excluded from inheritance or the right to own land. Girls are deprived of education simply because of their gender and, in some regions, are still being forced into arranged marriages.

Acting to improve the status of women around the world remains a priority for me. The RAJA Foundation will continue its mission to advance the rights of women in France and in all regions for the world for as long as inequalities persist.

GERES - the RAJA Foundation

In contrast, what are some of the changes that deserve to be lauded?

There has been some progress made and the status of women has improved in many respects in both developed and less developed countries. When my mother was young, she was not allowed to vote. When she founded RAJA Group in 1954, women were still not allowed to open a bank account or practise a profession without permission from their husbands. At the beginning of my career, there was no law that guaranteed equal pay for women and men for work of equal value. Now, all these have changed.

What are your goals for the foundation in the next five years?

My ambition is to make the RAJA Foundation a think tank for women’s rights. I have committed the foundation to three complementary missions – to financially support relevant projects, involve the employees of RAJA Group as well as to denounce, inform and contribute to advocacy to overcome inequalities. As part of the last mission, the foundation develops women’s rights awareness programs that it shares with different audiences.

I also launched the RAJA Women’s Awards in 2013 to promote and commend exemplary actions and projects taken and led by the organisations with whom the Foundation works. I aim to facilitate the exchange of experiences among all those involved in the feminist cause to improve the effectiveness of actions and to contribute to the development of everyone involved.

The Foundation will continue to support the organisations it works with and encourage our employees to get involved in its activities. I want its voice to be heard on different platforms where gender issues and women’s rights are discussed, at both national and international events.

Raising awareness of the Foundation is also a priority. It has a website (fondation-RAJA-marcovici.com) where we present the organisations and projects that we are supporting. RAJA Group also communicates regularly with its network of suppliers, customers and other stakeholders about the foundation’s activities.

What are some of your most memorable moments with the RAJA Foundation?

Every RAJA Women’s Awards ceremony, where more than 400 people gather to recognise exemplary projects carried out by different organisations supported by the foundation, is emotional for me.

My visit to Northern India in 2017 with an organisation that the foundation has supported for many years is also a highlight. I was able to meet local women as well as the renowned female Indian scholar and environmental activist Vandana Shiva.

Interview source: theceomagazine.com