Category Archives: Packaging Industry News

Corrugate and Plastic, Eco-friendly Packaging

EXPERT PACKAGING GUIDE

Welcome to the second post in our series of Expert Packaging Guides where we take a close look at packaging products and materials, and offer expert guidance on how to select the right packaging to keep your process efficient.

Following our piece on Bubble Vs. Foam, we’re moving the focus to two eco-friendly packaging materials; corrugated cardboard and plastic, their properties, suitability for use and impact on the environment.

Eco-friendly packaging from Rajapack

Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/MGaFENpDCsw

Packaging and disposal: a growing concern

In February we held our annual Supplier Day where eco-friendly ecommerce packaging and the disposal of plastic waste was a popular topic of discussion for suppliers, in response to customer feedback.

With the growth of the ecommerce industry we’ve seen a massive rise in demand for suitable packaging which is lightweight, low cost, strong and simple to use. With this growth comes increased waste, which is why we provide eco-friendly choices, to minimise any potential damage to the environment and maximise recycling.

Our recent ‘Art of Recycling’ campaign focused on recycling in an effort to communicate key messages about this important topic in a unique and captivating way. Combined with the popularity of the Blue Planet II series earlier this year, consumer concern has grown making this a very important subject for customers.

Ecommerce Packaging Materials: Corrugate and Plastic

When it comes to Ecommerce Packaging, these two materials are most commonly used by customers. They both offer very different properties as a packaging material, and offer different recycling and disposal options. We’re going to cover both in detail later in the article.

Corrugated & Cardboard Packaging

Corrugated cardboard is no doubt a material you’re familiar with, it’s one of the most common packaging materials in use today due to its excellent protection, handling and storage properties. Recently it has experienced price rises as demand has grown from ecommerce businesses, and this is expected to continue into 2019. In the US, demand has continued to outstrip supply as its popularity has continued to grow.

Corrugate is made up of a fluting surrounded by an outer and an inner liner, with another layer of fluting and liners used in double walled corrugate for extra strength. This gives it shockproof protection and crushing resistance due to its rigid properties, making it a great choice for postal boxes, in particular book, CD and media boxes.

Stored flat, it won’t take up much space in your warehouse and can easily be folded out and assembled when needed making it very space efficient. Widely available, corrugate across our ecommerce range is lightweight too, saving on delivery costs when ordering and posting to customers.

Corrugate is 100% recyclable, and has the highest recycling rates of any packaging in the UK. It can easily be recycled at most homes and businesses along with all paper and card. The recycling loop is widely recognised as used boxes can be recycled, remade and reused in just two weeks.

Martyn Clarke, Reedbut eco-friendly quote

Corrugate: The Expert Opinion

We caught up with Reedbut Group, manufacturer and designer of corrugated and cardboard packaging for over 40 years, Martyn Clarke, the Group Sales Director provided his views on this popular material:

Q: What changes have you seen in your industry to corrugated?

A: Our industry has undergone significant changes over the last 5 years as it is challenged to produce more environmentally friendly products. The need for a box to be able to be used on numerous occasions is beneficial for customers from both a cost and carbon footprint standpoint and having them made from already recycled materials adds to the environmental credibility of corrugate.

Q: How have the materials and products improved in use and cost?

A: Eco friendly recycled materials are becoming increasingly common in today’s market. The ability to offer the customer a box that is ‘fit for purpose’ using a recycled performance grade offers the ability to challenge historically used board grades and flute profiles. Potential cost savings are therefore achievable through both unit price reduction, larger pallet quantities and material availability.

Q: What do you see in the future for corrugate?

A: Sustainability is the latest buzz word in the industry and accreditation to FSC or other such governance is essential. Corrugate has a bright future due to the commitment and willingness to develop recycled products. This means that corrugated cases can be made from 100% recycled materials and be 100% recyclable with the aid of a completely closed loop recycling system. Very few direct alternatives to corrugated can offer this facility. We are in the process of developing our core range of performance boards as well as bringing a competitive edge and design focus into the largest growing sector of Ecommerce Packaging.

Plastic Packaging

Plastic has had a lot of publicity recently due to the large amount of waste found in some of the world’s beauty spots and its effect on the environment. The critics argue that this is mainly due to poor disposal rather than the properties of the material itself.

As a packaging material plastic is lighter and thinner than paper and card alternatives, resulting in reduced fuel consumption when transporting, reducing greenhouse gas emissions versus bulkier paper and card. Many plastics are now recyclable too, meaning they can be remade into future packaging efficiently, maintaining their excellent properties time and time again.
Plastic offers many benefits as a material; it’s weatherproof, tearproof and lightweight, with some offering puncture resistance as well as protection from extreme hot and cold temperatures. This level of protection can mean less spoiled parcels, reducing waste and returns.

Plastic is lighter and stronger than paper and card packaging, and plastics and polyurethane foams usually provide better protection for the least resource used, making them a sustainable option.

It’s a material that is seeing continual development in manufacturing and innovation too with increased uses of recycled plastic, more reuse, and a reduction in energy consumption during manufacturing as technology improves.

Ed Roberts, Sealed Air eco-friendly quote

Plastic: The Expert Opinion

We spoke to Sealed Air, a world leader in the manufacture and design of plastic packaging, Ed Roberts, the Sustainability Director gave his thoughts on plastic and its future:

“Given all the recent publicity, it is not surprising that people are looking at alternatives to plastic packaging, with paper and pulp as the most common considered. Sealed Air has a broad range of paper solutions so we understand the environmental benefits and limitations of both paper and plastic. Paper is usually considered to be environmentally friendly but you may be surprised to learn that it has its concerns.

According to the International Energy Agency, paper and pulp production in 2014 consumed 5.6% of the world’s industrial energy requirements. The IEA have also said that the paper and pulp industry must cut direct non-biomass CO2 emissions by 17% by 2025 from 2014 levels to meet the requirement of the Paris COP-21 agreement to limit global warming.

There will be many situations in which paper for void fill and/or cushioning will be perfectly adequate and sustainable. But even the most basic of mobile phones produces about 60 kilograms of greenhouse gas during its manufacture, non-paper solutions such as plastics and polyurethane foams can usually provide better protection with less resources used, being the most sustainable option.

Eliminating plastic would likely increase your material, warehousing and logistics costs, could increase damage rates and potentially be more detrimental to the environment.
The majority of Sealed Air products are already recyclable. We are continually innovating and collaborating with other organisations to develop the infrastructure and technologies required to make all plastics recyclable. As well, most Sealed Air products can be reused and many customers keep the packaging for future use. It is necessary to dispose of the material, polyethylene materials (such as Bubble Wrap™, Fill-Air® Air Bags and Cell-Aire®) can be put into the shopping bag recycling bins found at many supermarkets and recycling centres.

In Summary – Which Material is Right for You?

Making the right choice between which material is best for your needs is something that should be considered across a range of factors; what type of item you’re packaging, what protection it will need, where it will be stored, how it will be shipped, and what storage space you have are just a few things to think about.

Corrugated offers medium and heavyweight protection thanks to the properties of the material, which excels as protecting from shocks, knocks and crushing. Heavier than plastic, it can be slightly more expensive to ship but is straightforward to recycle, and most of what you can buy is 100% recycled already, so it won’t go to landfill and has an excellent recycling loop here in the UK.

Plastic offers excellent all-round protection in the form of puncture, tear and shock resistance. It’s more weatherproof than corrugated solutions too, meaning there’s little concern about moisture, damp, or hot and cold temperatures. Recycling for plastics isn’t generally as efficient as paper and card, though it’s lightweight properties mean less impact on the environment when transporting and delivering.

Some products combine the strengths of both materials and are still fully recyclable, such as padded paper mailing bags (a favourite of ours) so you can get the benefits of both while keeping things eco-friendly.

Joe Wille, Rajapack eco-friendly quote

Finally, we spoke to Joe Wille, Field Sales Manager here at Rajapack UK, to get his thoughts on making the choice between corrugate and plastic for ecommerce packaging.
“We’ve been seeing a fundamental shift away from plastic with customers looking for other packaging solutions. Being able to provide our customers with alternatives to traditional packaging methods, such as packaging machines that supply biodegradable packaging alternatives is an ongoing aim for us here at Rajapack. Going green shouldn’t cost your business more, and we’re here to make customers aware of the choices available, providing them the knowledge to make the right choice for their business.

Some customers are not necessarily looking for eco-friendly products but are drawn to what looks eco-friendly. Part of what we do is to educate buyers on what is eco-friendly and why it is, ensuring that the packaging they use will have a real, positive impact on the environment, moving customers to biodegradable options where possible.

The quality and integrity of our packaging is paramount across all our products. All suppliers are quality assessed before we work with them, and then on an on-going basis to ensure they meet our high standards. We also carry out a bi-annual on-site audit with each supplier at their premises.”

If you’d like further information on ecommerce packaging, or help choosing the right eco-friendly packaging for your business, simply get in touch with our team of packaging experts who are on hand to help. Simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

The future of last mile logistics

Delivering online sales to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible is more important than ever. Customer expectations have risen and buying decisions can be based on whether the delivery time meets what the customer has come to expect. Waiting a full working week for a delivery is becoming a thing of the past. This means a fast, reliable logistics stream can be the difference between making or missing a sale.

Taking to the skies

There are many new technologies in development predicted to speed up last mile logistics. Some of these have already been trialled, all be it in very limited tests, and are beginning to look a lot more plausible. With no less than seven companies racing to get their version of an automated ground vehicle (AVG) onto the streets it’s now a matter of when, not if. And the same applies to drones Amazon has already carried out several test deliveries in the UK, with the view to expanding these in the near future. So far, the technology isn’t suitable for every delivery – high rise flats in the inner city could prove to be a challenge – but for more rural areas close to distribution centres, drone deliveries are now a viable option.

Innovate or risk falling behind

Companies who pay attention to new technologies will undoubtedly fare better than those who are slower on the uptake. But, the last mile is completely reliant on having warehouse processes that select, package and ship as efficiently as possible. This means it’s more important than ever to have modern warehouse equipment and constantly ensure your operation is running as smoothly as possible.

To find out how businesses are dealing with the challenges of last mile logistics Rajapack spoke to two different companies, Mindful Chef and Trouva. Both are dedicated to finding the fastest way to handle the last mile of their logistics stream. Find out what they had to say in our interactive content piece The Future of Last Mile Logistics.

Bubble vs Foam

EXPERT PACKAGING GUIDES

Welcome to the first in a new series of expert packaging guides.  We’ll be taking a close look at packaging products and materials, giving you expert guidance in how to select the right packaging for your needs and help keep your process efficient.

Bubble vs Foam

Today we’re focusing on bubble wrap packaging and foam packaging, two popular protective packaging materials that are often viewed as similar but have very different properties.  So, without further ado, let’s begin with bubble.

Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is one of our most popular packaging materials and no doubt one you’re familiar with.   It’s lightweight, low cost and offers excellent all round protection from the soft layer of cushioned air bubbles that cover the material.  Hundreds of small air pockets are encased within layers of polyethylene that make up bubble wrap, giving it excellent cushioning and protection properties.

It’s available in many different types, the most common of which being bubble wrap rolls, where it can easily be cut to length.  From a roll, it can be used for all manner of purposes depending on its thickness; 40 micron to wrap and protect light products, 55 micron to wrap heavy objects and sharp angles, and heavy duty 75 micron to wrap and pack fragile or very heavy items.

For easier operation with no cutting required, perforated rolls are available in a range of different sizes, meaning you can easily tear off equal sheets quickly and cleanly.  These rolls are ideal if you need to protect similar sized items and only need a standard length, such as 500mm or 800mm. Because they’re cut to set lengths, they’re better for packaging portion control and reduce the chance of over packing, making them more cost effective than using standard rolls.  Perfect if you’re wrapping many items of a similar size.

Bubble dispenser boxes make the process even easier by keeping the roll tidy and dust free in a convenient compact box.

For smaller items bubble wrap bags offer all the protective benefits of wrap but in a useful bag, perfect for protecting low profile items that can easily slip around inside.  Bags can be sealed with an adhesive strip, heat sealer or tape, and once sealed they provide all round cushioning and protection for the contents.  Speciality bags are available too, such as anti-static bubble bags which are perfect for delicate sensitive electronics such as smartphones, computer equipment and electronic components.

Bubble is a highly versatile packaging material which is one of the main reasons why it’s so popular.  With the air cushioning that it offers, it can protect everything from light cushioning of smaller items to heavy duty protection for fragile items such as ceramics or glass.

If you’re shipping polished items though, be sure to note that bubble wrap can leave small cell marks that can be hard to remove, caused by the small air bubbles pressing on polished material.  Materials such as polished metal, glass or wood are susceptible to this, so if you’re shipping polished, premium items we recommend wrapping them in another material first, such as polythene or foam, before wrapping in bubble wrap.

Foam Packaging

Foam packaging is lesser known than bubble wrap and usually overlooked but offers astounding protection from a very lightweight, thin material.  Tiny air bubbles within the foam provide excellent cushioning and give the foam bounce, resulting in a high performance material that excels at protecting products.

Lint and dust free, foam is non-abrasive, meaning it won’t scratch or leave any marks at all.  This makes it perfect for wrapping polished and shiny items such as metal, glass or polished wood, protecting against surface rubbing and scuffing.

Standard foam packaging is less likely to build static electricity than bubble wrap due to the way it’s constructed which makes it better for general electrical equipment and sensitive parts.  It can be laminated to give it additional properties too such as extra strength, puncture resistance, or to enhance its aesthetics.  If you’re looking for a material that can be re-used then foam is the perfect choice, retaining its bounce and protective qualities due to how it is constructed.

Like bubble wrap, there are different types of foam packaging available.  It can be bought on a roll and in this form it’s called foam wrap.  It can be cut to size and used to wrap, separate, and insulate.  It’s lightweight and easily handled so it can be used to wrap and protect awkwardly shaped items in a similar way to bubble wrap.

Foam wrap is available in cut sheets too, ready to use in pre-cut sizes for wrapping around items or interleaving between products in cartons, saving you time in your packaging process.

Foam is available in different thicknesses from a slim 1mm for surface protection and interleaving, up to a thicker 4mm which is more suited to cushioning and insulating, with more bounce in the material.

Foam blocks are another popular type of foam, solid blocks which can be used for bracing and blocking in packages, separating items or reinforcing corners.  These offer solid, unbreakable reinforcement for parcels and are ideal for protecting items such as furniture. They are constructed in a way that makes them more solid than foam wrap, in a similar way to polystyrene manufacturing but it is easier to cut and work with, lightweight, and can be used many times over.

Which material is right for you?

Both materials are brilliant choices for protective packaging but they do have different properties which makes them better for different uses.  As with all packaging, we recommend using the right material for the right purpose, so when deciding which one to choose, evaluate what you’re going to be using it for before making a purchase.

Bubble wrap is a great all-round protector.  With air cushioning it gives a great layer of protection whether you’re wrapping lightweight items or heavy and fragile products.  The various thicknesses available cater for a wide range of item sizes and weights.  You need to be aware that it can leave marks behind on polished and reflective surfaces.

Foam packaging is generally thinner and lighter than bubble wrap, which means you can store more square metres on site, and it’ll take up less space in cartons.  It’s perfect if you’re shipping delicate items with premium polished surfaces as its smooth texture won’t leave a single mark on products, making it ideal for ceramics, large electronic equipment, furniture or highly polished parts such as alloy wheels.

Price is always a consideration for packaging and the good news here is that both materials are highly comparable on price per square metre. With 3x as many square metres on a 1mm bundle of foam as there are on a bundle of small 1500mm x 100m bubble wrap, make sure you’re selecting the right thickness and material for your needs to keep your packaging cost effective.

The Expert Opinion

Finally, we caught up with two experts to see what advice they could offer when selecting between the two.  We spoke to Fiona MacDougall, Sales and Marketing Director at Jiffy, to get her take on these two materials:

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“Whether you choose to use bubble wrap packaging or foam packaging, both products offer superb protection.  Bubble offers ease of use, economy, and effective protection, while foam offers characteristics that protect delicate surfaces and polished finishes, due to its ability to reduce scuffing, rubbing and marking.

Historically, bubble wrap has always been the ‘go to’ product for packers, but steadily users are realising the many benefits of packaging foam. It is lightweight, retains its memory and the wide range of thicknesses offer superb choice and value depending on the application. A firm favourite is to use the two materials combined – bubble bonded to foam, making a bubble/foam laminated material.  This means you get the bounce and cushion of bubble combined with the care and non-abrasion of foam. Ask our partners Rajapack for more details on this excellent product.”

We also caught up with Chris Liddell, Head of Product Marketing at Rajapack to get this thoughts on the importance of fully weighing up all your options when sourcing your packaging:
“As this blog highlights, the most important consideration when choosing between bubble or foam to protect your products is to select the right protective material for the right purpose. The breadth of the protective packaging range we have at Rajapack ensures that we have a solution for every application or business need, and our team of Packaging Specialists are on-hand to help you make the right choice.”

If you’d like further information on protective packaging, if you’re unsure whether bubble or foam is best for you, or if you have you have any questions for our team of Packaging Specialists simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

What to expect when working with a specialist packaging supplier

We’ve been supplying packaging to businesses since 1954 – that’s over 60 years of experience working with all types of companies.  From small owners working at home to international brands spanning Europe, we’ve built up a wealth of know-how in making it easy for people to package their items well and protect what’s important to them.

But what’s it like to work with a specialist in packaging? In this blog post we’ll detail what it could offer your business.

How do you buy your packaging?

Today there are countless ways that a company can buy packaging, whether it’s from small local suppliers, internationally through the web or via an online marketplace.  With 2.8 billion packages and parcels being delivered in 2016 there’s a vast range of products in all shapes and sizes that need to be protected securely, and choosing the correct packaging has never been more important.

We’ve outlined what we feel are three key benefits that you’ll receive in working with a dedicated, expert led packaging specialist like Rajapack.

A dedicated team of packaging experts at your service

At both Rajapack HQ and on the road, we take pride in training our staff to be experts in all things packaging.

All our Regional Packaging Specialists are ready to use their vast packaging knowledge to advise you with the best solutions possible. They’re supported by a team of in-house experts in areas like supply chain management, warehouse planning and organisation, custom packaging and branding, and for individual product ranges such as cardboard and postal boxes, protective packaging, stretch film, packaging tape, packaging machines and postal bags and so much more.

Your dedicated account team is always just a phone call or an email away. Every customer that works with us has a Regional Packaging Specialist to look after their account, providing quotes, placing orders and discussing specialist packaging requirements. With quick turnaround times too – we’ll get back to you with quotes within 24 hours.

Our team of Regional Packaging Specialists work up and down the UK, visiting businesses using their expert packaging knowledge to advise and support our customers, whether you need help with how to package their products properly, organise your warehouse, speed up your packaging processes or find ways to cut costs and increase efficiency.

In working with Rajapack, a supplier with a passion for packaging, our team take pride in ensuring all our customers are using the right packaging for their business.  That means using the optimum materials, with maximum protection, minimum waste and a low impact on the environment.

Find savings & use efficiencies across your operation with our packaging audit

Whether we’re saving you space in your warehouse or reducing your shipping costs we’re focused on making our customers savings. We are in the process of launching a new packaging audit service to fully assess the needs and processes of our large customers.

When you begin working with us, one of our Regional Packaging Specialists will visit you and carry out a packaging audit on-site.  They’ll look right across your current packaging processes at ways to help find space, save costs and increase productivity.  From warehouse processes to packaging materials, storage to packaging machines, our Specialists will help you find the best solutions for your business.

A simple service, tailored to your business

Next working day delivery comes as standard across 99% of our products, so you can rely on us to deliver supplies promptly and on time.  This way of working means you can use our 10,000m² warehouse like your own – just order your packaging as and when you need it, saving space in your warehouse, with no need to store large amounts of stock.  We can quickly deliver your large orders when your packaging supplies are getting low.

Finally, when it comes to payments, we make the process simple and easy.  We offer a monthly e-billing service that you can access via our portal safely and securely, giving you time to receive your order in full and settle payments within 30 days.

If you’d like to see how working a with packaging specialist could benefit your business, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

What can Rajapack customers look forward to in 2018?

This time last week we held our annual Supplier Day.  This day showcases the new packaging products, packing machines and techniques that our suppliers have to offer, combined with discussion, advice and information direct from the experts.

Every year the Rajapack Supplier Day gives our teams the chance to really understand our suppliers, their ethos and their products.  Working so closely enables us to have a relationship with them based on trust and shared values.  Throughout the day our teams learn directly from the experts, taking their knowledge on board so we can deliver the right products, advice and solutions to our customers.

Right from the start, the floor was humming with activity.  A atmosphere throughout the day gave everyone the opportunity to listen and learn from our specialist suppliers, an invaluable experience.

Seminars were held throughout the day, which allowed suppliers to demonstrate and explain their product and services in detail.  Some of the topics focused on included digital print and bespoke packaging, environmental responsibility and to improve customer service with increased client-supplier communication.  The aim of the supplier seminars is to help the Rajapack team be better prepared and equipped with knowledge to better answer customer queries.

A focus on Environmental Responsibility

This year, a common theme across all our suppliers was a focus on environmental responsibility and recycling, a topic that is very close to our hearts at Rajapack.  The success and popularity of David Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet II’ series on the BBC has had a huge impact on the UK population, encouraging us to think about the choices we can make when buying and recycling plastics.

For many suppliers, corrugated cardboard is a key solution in the fight against plastics and the move away from materials which can’t easily be recycled.  Cardboard can easily be recycled, while offering many benefits as a packaging material; high strength, crushing resistance, and light weight are just a few. At Rajapack we agree completely, and together with our suppliers we can all be part of the solution to increase recycling and reduce the waste that washes up on our shores.

What can you expect from Rajapack suppliers in 2018?

All our suppliers contributed on the day in what was a valuable and positive learning experience for everyone.  As one of the few distributors of Ranpak products in the UK, we were proud to host them again on the day.  They showcased a new product, which they will be launching this year and we will be offering through the Rajapack website and catalogue.

The Geami WrapPak Exbox Mini is a wrapping and packaging machine for small operations and retail outlets.  Made from a disposable carton expander box, it’s small and lightweight, ideal for operations with limited space.  It produces Geami’s strong 3D honeycomb die cut paper, a very strong, robust and eco-friendly wrapping which offers great protection for items and also looks attractive.

Another innovative packaging machine that was showcased this year was the AirWave.  This small and compact machine produces void fill pillows and quilts.  Its ergonomic design combined with powerful performance offers a strong solution for protective packaging, and it’s another cutting edge packaging product that we’ll be stocking this year as part of our RAJASYSTEM range.

The Supplier Excellence Awards

In the evening, we held our Supplier Excellence Awards, which gave us an opportunity to recognise and award our suppliers for their support across the year.

Congratulations to all our winners on the day

  • Our Supplier Coach of the Year was awarded to Ranpak. Throughout 2017 they’ve provided excellence in field training, product instructions and we’ve had exceptional feedback from the head office training they’ve hosted for us.
  • The Proactive Supplier of the Year Award went to Jiffy, for proactively providing high quality and regular opportunities to improve RAJAPACK’s product offering, quality and service throughout the year.
  • Winners of our Service Excellence Award this year were Limpet, for their first-rate delivery performance and outstandingly low number of product quality issues.
  • Our Extra Mile Award recognises an individual who has gone over and beyond in their support to Rajapack in 2017, and this year that award went to Mahmood Fakhar at Diamond Box for all of his support and dedication.
  • Finally, our Supplier of the Year award for 2018, which is based on sales performance, training & coaching, proactivity, and innovation went to Reedbut Packaging, manufacturer of corrugated cardboard for all their hard work and support throughout the year.

Overall the day was a resounding success, now into its third year it’s an event that will continue to feature in the Rajapack calendar.  Over the past week we’ve received feedback from all the suppliers about the day, which has been extremely positive, with comments including one of the best events that we have been involved in”, “a well planned, professional event” and “a huge thank you to all of the team at RAJA for making us feel so welcome and valued.”

Finally, Chris Liddell, Head of Product Marketing at Rajapack had this to say about Supplier Day 2018:

“The annual RAJAPACK supplier day and awards event is now a fixture in the calendar for many of the industry’s leading manufacturers, providing a fantastic opportunity to reflect and celebrate with our key partners on our joint successes from 2017 and to plan for how we will deliver excellent service and quality for our customers together in 2018.

In my view, this year’s event was a fantastic success, the passion and energy displayed from RAJAPACK employees and our supplier partners alike throughout the day was inspiring, with numerous innovative products and services on display, what a way to start a new year.”

Help your business go green in 2018 with our eco-friendly packaging

For our first post of 2018 we’re focusing on a topic that’s close to our heart – environmental responsibility.

We’re all committed to sustainable development to benefit the environment, with an environmental policy in place across all of our 15 subsidiaries across Europe.

We regularly launch campaigns to support and help charities around the world and at home.  Our current campaign is the Women and the Environment programme which has raised more than £625,000 for charity projects around the world and has been extended until the end of August 2018.

More recently we’ve undertaken a survey of over 2,000 people to find out more about recycling in the UK.  We also commissioned a cardboard sculpture artist to produce a piece for us to raise awareness of recycling as part of our Art of Recycling campaign.

It’s important for Rajapack to help our customers go green too.  Moving to more environmentally-friendly packaging offers many benefits for a business as well as being kinder to the planet.  It’s great for improving your brand reputation, differentiating your offering in a crowded marketplace and enhancing the experience for your customers.

Over the past few years we’ve been steadily growing our range of eco-friendly packaging and below we’ve picked out some of our favourites to help your business go green in 2018.

Protection: Green Recycled Bubble Wrap

Bubble wrap is one of the most popular types of protective packaging as it’s so versatile.  It can be used for a whole range of things including wrapping, layering, separating and cushioning goods to give them great protection during storage or transit.

For a more eco-friendly alternative to standard bubble wrap, we offer recycled, recyclable green bubble wrap. Coloured with a slight tint of green and supplied in 100 metre rolls, it’s made from strong green polyethene, 50 microns in thickness.  It’s completely recyclable and made from at least 15% recycled polythene for less impact on the environment.

Protection: Biodegradable Loose Fill

If you use a lot of loose fill in your packaging process, then we recommend trying this biodegradable loose fill from Eco-Flo. It’s more environmentally friendly as it breaks down in the environment naturally and is completely compostable.

High quality light, clean chips will settle immediately and fit around goods in a box, preventing them from dropping to the bottom, providing solid protection.  They are 5 times more antistatic than using polystyrene chips, so can be used for any product from delicate ceramics and china to sensitive electronic equipment or heavy mechanical items.

Labels: Green Documents Enclosed Envelope Labels

Documents enclosed labels are one of the most common packaging labels, used on all large shipments to identify package details without having to open them.  We offer a green alternative, so you can make small, simple changes to your processes to be more eco-friendly without it costing the earth.

Our green documents enclosed envelope labels are made from 60% recycled materials and are still as strong, sticky and durable as standard non-recycled envelope labels.  Available in three sizes; A5, A6 or DL, they’re made from 60 micron polythene with a paper backing and will stick fast to any package.

Strapping: Extruded Polyester Strapping on Cardboard Cores

This eco-friendly strapping, made from 80% recycled material is twice as strong as polypropylene strapping and a great alternative to using steel. The extruded polyester is 100% recyclable and features a cardboard core that can be recycled with your standard paper and board.

Extruded polyester strapping offers lots of other benefits too; it won’t ever rust, scratch or stain your shipments, and its elastic properties mean that it can fit awkward shapes without splitting or losing strength. If you regularly use strapping in your shipments, we recommend taking a look.

Office Supplies: Recycled Cardboard Archive Box Folders

Our eco-friendly range isn’t limited to packaging and protection, we also have office and facilities products available too.  These cardboard archive box folders are great for keeping your office and paperwork organised.

They’re made from 100% recycled cardboard, a single flat sheet of corrugated board which gives a solid finish.  Available in four different spine widths, from 80mm to 150mm, they feature pre-ruled lines across all four side for easy identification.  They’re completely recyclable too.

Plastic Bags: Green Grip-seal Polybags

If you’re using grip-seal bags, then we have a great eco-friendly alternative to standard bags.  Our green grip-seal polybags are made with at least 50% recycled material, lessening their impact on the environment during their production and use. They feature a bold green strip along the closure with

They’re great for packaging and protecting a massive range of items, from jewellery and cosmetics, to electronics, magazines and more.  With brilliant clarity through the bag, they can be used for presenting products too.

 

Paper Packaging: Natural Crinkle Cut Shredded Paper

Made from 100% recycled antistatic Kraft, this crinkle cut shredded paper protects during shipping and looks pretty when presenting gifts and products. The 80gsm natural fibre holds its shape and resists crushing, providing strong protectionyour items.

The spiral folded fibres are perfect for presentation in items such as seasonal hampers, fruit baskets, gift hampers and general gift decoration.  They’re 100% recyclable too.

Mailing Bags: Padded Jiffy Green Bags

Made from 100% recycled paper, padded jiffy green mailing bags provide outstanding protection with super strength.  If you’re already using mailing bags to send out your shipments, then these are a great eco-friendly alternative.  Available in ten different sizes, they can be used to ship a wide range of items including heavy duty products such as mechanical parts.

Featuring a 100% recycled paper fibre lining, they are 100% recyclable and offer exceptional protection with their cushioning paper layer.

Palletising: Moulded Wood Pallets

We offer eco-friendly solutions if you ship your goods on pallets, to help you be greener.  These moulded wood pallets are lightweight, incredibly strong, and manufactured from recycled waste timber.  They’re 100% recyclable too, so you can ensure they get recycled into future products after use.

Lightweight and economical, they can easily be stacked when not in use, saving space in your warehouse, and are fully certified for export according to FAO-IPPC-ISPM 15, so there’s no need to fumigate or heat treat them.  They’re available in other sizes too, from mini pallets through to container size to fit standard ISO containers.

Export Boxes: Cardboard Loading Cases

If you’re shipping pallets of goods, then we can recommend a green alternative for export boxes.  These cardboard loading cases with optional lids are strong, robust and durable. They’re made from double wall corrugated board with a Kraft paper finish, which makes them damp and moisture resistant, perfect for use in humid conditions.

They’re made of 75% recycled fibres and are 100% recyclable.  Once recycled after use, they can be remade and reused in just two weeks.

If you’d like to see how our team of packaging experts can help your business be a little greener for 2018, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

Ten of our favourite Gift Packaging picks from Rajaboutique

Christmas is fast approaching! Here at Rajapack we know the value of great quality gift packaging and we’ve got a bumper selection so you can get your business in the festive spirit.  We’ve picked out ten favourites from our Rajaboutique range that will give your parcels some sparkle and make your packaging process a little easier this Christmas.

<a href=”/custom-printed-bags-selection_cms_000004.html”>custom bags</a>

Image Source: https://stocksnap.io/photo/CC3WLB6N9V

  1. Christmas Gift Bags

First up are our brand new Christmas gift bags for 2017, they come in a range of finishes and we think they’re perfect for adding some festive flair to your packaging.  Our plastic Christmas carrier bags come in white with a traditional green and red design on both sides and are great for use in a Christmas shop or market stall.  For a more vintage style try our Christmas paper carrier bags in red.  Or for something a stronger, our matt laminated bags with 190gsm paper and a reinforced bottom look lovely and will stay .

  1. Stella Wrapping Paper

If you’re gift wrapping items for your customers and want wrapping paper that’s both elegant and chic, then look no further! Our range of Stella wrapping paper comes in 4 different designs with sparkle in gold and silver, these 50m rolls add some lovely contemporary class to any gift.

 

  1. Metallic Gloss Bubble Postal Bags

We love these colourful metallic bubble postal bags, available in four shiny colours to add style to your postal packaging this Christmas.  They offer great protection for posted items with a thick layer of protective bubbles that makes them tearproof and waterproof, giving your items robust protection in transit.  Available in a range of sizes, they’re perfect for things such as books, CDs, or DVDs.

  1. Magnetic Gift Boxes

For a stylish look with a secure fit, these magnetic gift boxes deliver.  They add elegance to any gift with a soft, magnetic seal.  Made from 900gsm rigid carton, they’re covered with a 140gsm matching colour film inside and out for a beautiful finish and are delivered flat packed so won’t take up space in your warehouse – plus they’re easy to assemble. Available in three colours; black, ivory and striking red, they’re perfect for Christmas gifts and can be combined with tissue paper or crinkle cut shredded paper for a lovely effect.

  1. Protective Wine Cases & Beer Boxes

When posting bottles of wine or beer to customers, it can be hard to ensure they’re safe and secure while in transit.  Last year we launched a new range of wine cases and beer boxes for just such a thing, allowing you to easily and securely ship 1 – 3 wine bottles or 6 bottles of beer in one .

Delivered flat packed for storage, they’re easily assembled into a protective wrap-around surround cardboard system that provides shock protection at the sides, and above and below to cushion any impact on their journey to your customers.

If you’re shipping out more than 6 bottles, then our one piece bottle boxes with integral dividers will carry up to 12 bottles of beer securely to their destination.

  1. White & Black Elegant Gift Bags

If you’re looking for gift bags that ooze class and sophistication, then take a look at our white and black edged elegant gift bags.  These crisp white bags feature a dramatic black edging and black rope handles, made from smooth soft touch 170gsm paper.  Available in 3 different sizes, they feature a strong block bottom, so they stand up beautifully for display.

They’re are also available to customise with your own branding, logo or message too, which you can do using our

  1. Reversible, Dual Colour Wrapping Paper

For gift wrapping we’ve got the perfect solution to add variety to your parcels without having to order different styles of wrapping paper – dual coloured, double sided wrapping paper! This Kraft paper is completely reversible, giving you two colours to choose from with each 50m roll, in either red and gold, or black and silver for an elegant finish.

  1. Self-sealing polypropylene bags

For shipping items that need to be sealed, these self-sealing polypropylene bags do the trick.  They use a self-adhesive antistatic strip that can be repositioned, sealing quickly and securely without the need for extra equipment such as a heat sealer machine. They also feature a 6mm air hole to prevent condensation and allow trapped air to be released.  Available in a range of sizes and thicknesses from 40 to 100 microns.

  1. Wraparound Rajapack standard book boxes

For posting books this Christmas, our range of book boxes are perfect no matter what the thickness or size.  Our wraparound book boxes come in a wide range of sizes and have an adjustable height from 10mm to 60 mm, with pre-creased grooves to adapt to a range of heights.  With extended edges for added corner protection, they also feature an adhesive strip for instant sealing of the box, with no need to extra tape or strapping.  Plus, they’re delivered flat packed, for easy storage.

  1. Design Your Own Packaging, including Bags, Tape &

Finally, if you want to add a personal touch to your packaging this Christmas, then take a look at Rajaprint, our online custom packaging tool. You can work up custom tape to add a strapline, branding when you seal your boxes and parcels, or add your logo to gift bags if you run a shop or stall. We can also customise beer boxes, printed labels, printed boxes, polybags and more!

It’s easy to create your style and design your brand with our made to measure and custom print packaging services, to receive a quote or for more information simply give our team a call on 0800 630 06 21 or email specials@rajapack.co.uk.  For custom bags and tape, we’ll have your items delivered 4 weeks after approval, and for other packaging items lead times may vary, so do get in touch to confirm.

If you’d like to see how we can improve your packaging, request our latest catalogue or browse our Christmas packaging range, simply visit www.rajapack.co.uk or contact our team on 0800 542 44 28.

Spotlight on: 3M Scotch Tape

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

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

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

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

Our range of 3M Scotch Tapes

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

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

The tapes that we stock are:

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

Polypropylene Tape 371

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

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

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

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

Industrial Polypropylene 3759

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

Vinyl Packaging Tape

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

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

Heavy Duty Vinyl Packaging Tape 60

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

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

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

Cross Weave Filament Tape 8959

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

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

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

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

Low Noise Polypropylene Tape 309

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

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

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

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

Double Sided Tape

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

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

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

Transfer Tape

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

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

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

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

Machine Tape

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

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

Masking Tape

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

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

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

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

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

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

94% of British adults say they care about the environment

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

Earth Overshoot Day

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

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

Are we a throwaway society?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recycling cardboard

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

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

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

How can we improve?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Labelling Packages for Shipping

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

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

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

Handling, hazard and documents enclosed labels

Shipping Nationally & Internationally

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

If you’re sending within the UK…

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

If you’re sending within the EU…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where Should Labels Be Placed?

Correctly labelled parcels and packages

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

The Types of Packaging Labels Available

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

Documents Enclosed Envelopes & Labels

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

Documents Enclosed Envelope Labels

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

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

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

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

Handling Instruction Labels

Handling Instruction Labels

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

Handling instruction labels come in 8 different messages:

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

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

Hazard Labels

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

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

Labelling consignments with Hazard labels

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

Specialist Labels

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

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

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

Specialist labels provide extra protection to sensitive shipments

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

Postage Labels

Postage and Printer labels to clearly mark all parcels and packages

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

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

Thermal Labels

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

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

Dymo Thermal Printers and Labels

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

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

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