COVID kindness: How the Coronavirus Has Changed our World

The coronavirus has affected our everyday lives and changed the world that we all know, however through this great sadness we are all discovering COVID kindness in humanity. Here are some of the inspiring and touching accounts of how the kindness in human nature has prevailed.

NHS Wellness Boxes

The NHS frontline staff are working long, hard and stressful hours being the barrier protecting the nation from this virus. Seena Chand is the wife of a doctor and has created the NHS Wellness Box. RAJA provided the recycled cardboard boxes to Seena’s cause, these boxes are then packed with mini treats, everyday essentials and decorated with words of appreciation. These boxes are delivered to staff at the hospital, who have in some cases worked back-to-back shifts and they have not been able to go home.

You can find out more about her NHS Wellness Boxes

NHS Wellness Boxes - Seena Chand

Gifts from James

Another nice story that will surely leave you smiling is a good Samaritan simply called ‘James’. James has been leaving gift boxes on cars at the John Radcliffe hospital carpark in Oxford, James also has been known to make trips to Didcot ambulance station. The gift boxes are filled with goodies for the NHS staff and are a “just a little thank you” for all their hard work. It may me a small gesture for James, but this big token has truly touched hearts.

You can read about James’s gift boxes.

NHS Gift Boxes from James - www.oxfordmail.co.uk

NHS Food Boxes

The people of Britain have united to thank all the NHS staff. Communities are recognising NHS neighbours and offering encouraging gestures of support in the form of these food boxes and care packages, either left on doorsteps or delivered to hospitals up and down the country. These care packages of ready made meals, treats, food supplies and toiletries have been received by nurses and doctors – these pictures are just some of the touching stories where they have been thanked –  all to help make their lives a little easier, after a long and tiring shift.

NHS Food Boxes - COVID Kindness

Source: Twitter

Princess Eugenie (although, this is not the only well-known name to have also given aid during the coronavirus outbreak), has also offered her support by delivering essential supplies to NHS heroes. Boxes of fresh fruit and vegetables have been delivered to the Hammersmith Hospital to thank them for ‘everything they do’, she has also applauded all the delivery drivers and the keyworkers that also helped to make this happen.

NHS Food boxes from Princess Eugenie

Source: Instagram

Caring Communities

It is not just the general public that are pulling together, new charities are also emerging, businesses and organisations are contributing, and public health services are offering even more relief for the welfare of the vulnerable. Solihull Council contacted RAJA for donations, they needed boxes and tape for the Adult Social Care & Support service. There are so many touching stories like this, where sports halls are stacked with boxes and bags, and a production line of volunteers filling them with basic food supplies, to then be given to the vulnerable.

Community food boxes from Solihull Council

Communities are also looking after local residents, particularly helping elderly neighbours who are in isolation, shopping for basic necessities. Residents have been leaving food shopping supplies and essentials on their neighbours’ doorstep. Here is a sweet story of a 5-year-old befriending a 93-year-old gentleman who lives by himself. Kiran posted her hand written note with a colourful drawing through his door, and that was the start of this duo becoming wonderful pen pals.

You can read more about Kiran’s letter to her neighbour.

5-year-old's hand written letter to a neighbour - COVID Kindness

Source: Twitter

The nation is working together to recognise and support each other, with every cardboard box or food bag filled with gifts left on a doorstop, or a poster with a message or drawing of thanks. Although it is not just the NHS heroes Brits are praising. COVID Kindness extends to all keyworkers that are keeping the nation and economy turning, from delivery drivers to the postman, to cleaners, to supermarket staff, and the list goes on! And there are countless more selfless stories just like these that are happening throughout the country, and globally – around the world – as a result of the coronavirus.

Here are more acts of hope and happiness from this great nation:

COVID-19 Social Distancing Safety Products

At RAJA we are creating COVID-19 social distancing safety products, a dedicated new range of Coronavirus safety and security products to help you follow social distancing regulations. We are continually developing our COVID-19 protection products shop with protective and preventative equipment to help you stay safe – so keep checking the website! Here are some of the new products added to the RAJA packaging range.

Social Distance Floor Markers, also available Social Distance Floor Marker Kits

For more information on the Social Distance Floor Markers >> Read the PDF

Social Distance Floor MarkersSocial Distance Floor Marker Kits

2 Metres Distance Warning Tape

2 Metres Distance Warning Tape2 Metres Distance Warning Tape, red and white

Our packaging specialists are working from home and are ready to help offer advice. You can contact the team using the Live Chat feature available on the website, by email sales@rajapack.co.uk or by calling 0800 542 44 28.

COVID-19 protection products

To keep in touch with the latest COVID-19 protection products, you can sign up to our newsletter to receive product updates and RAJA news – Subscribe to the RAJA newsletter.

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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?

Read the guide>>

 


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.

Large cardboard boxes vs small cardboard boxes: what are the benefits?

The benefits of getting the right sized box are clear: your goods will fit snuggly in, will be well protected and ready to be stored, transported, posted or archived. Here we take a look at what kinds of cardboard boxes are available in what sizes, how to choose the right ones for storage, postage or archiving and take a look at the benefits of large boxes and small boxes.

Small and big cardboard boxes

Large cardboard boxes vs small cardboard boxes: what are the benefits

The chief benefit large cardboard boxes have over small ones is that you can put many small cardboard boxes inside large boxes, shipping smaller items in bulk and giving the goods therein the protection of, essentially, two boxes.

However, large boxes and small boxes come in a wide variety of not only sizes but also formats and sizes, each designed to offer the perfect storage and/or transport solution based around the goods being shipped.

Naturally, for large and bulky items, you will need a large cardboard box – triple walled cardboard boxes. It’s great if, say, you have engine parts to dispatch.  Similarly, 700mm double-walled boxes are designed to stack on pallets – they are standard Euro sized – and are ideal for the storage or transportation of all those items in smaller boxes.

Small boxes on the other hand have a varied array of uses. These come in a variety of sizes and can have reasonably secure lids – making them ideal for sending items through the post, as well as for packaging, storage and, as we shall see, archiving.

How do you store any item safely in archive boxes?

Storing items safely in archive boxes is a vital part of any business. Even in the digital era, it is essential to keep hold of paperwork pertaining to everything from tax to HR to publications and more – and this specific form of storage requires a specific form of box: the archive box.

Archive boxes are designed to be sized to accommodate the standard kinds of paper used in modern offices and, with their sturdy construction and closable lids are ideal for keeping out moisture, damp, dirt and dust – as well as stopping sunlight damage fading what is written on the paper.

To safely store items in archive boxes, you need to choose a box that fits your needs – so for easy access archive box folders have a closable lid and a finger hole for easy access. They can take A4 pages up to around a ream and are ideal for storage on shelves.

For archiving these box folders – for when they are no longer containing current paperwork that you need ready access to, but which you still need to keep – there are a range of cardboard archive boxes that can hold up to five archive files at a weight of 20kg. These have a closable lid offering great protection and handles for easy storage and retrieval.

Also in the pantheon of archiving boxes are Bankers Box transfer files, which are ideal for accessing information and publications that are needed often. They can be easily labelled and shelved and have easy access for users. Bankers Box transfer files can also be archived, in special Bankers Box two-piece cardboard archive file boxes, which are also ideal for storing lever-arch files, ring binders and foolscap magazines. Remember always label your boxes so that you – and others – knows what is where.

For all other archiving demands – from lose papers, to files to magazine and more – there are Snapcase two-piece cardboard archive boxes, which are designed to allow for maximum storage and easy access. They come with handles and a strong base so are ideal for moving things around and the sturdy lid adds protection. And lids are really important, as we shall see shortly.

What are the best boxes for postage?

Thanks to the growing hunger for buying things online, the cardboard box is most popular, and is the most practical – you can buy specialist boxes for postage. The best boxes for postage have to offer a range of things: they have to offer strength and protection for the goods inside, they have to be durable enough to withstand handling and transit, they have to be tough enough not to come apart when being bumped and they have to provide ample space for labelling for addresses and postage franking.

What are the best boxes for storage

With this in mind, there is quite a choice to be made when looking for a box for postage for your items.

The basic postal box is made from ridged flute corrugated postal board, which offers strength and protection for the goods inside when in transit. They also have an easily closed, locking flap that is secure, as well as neat and smart looking. These boxes offer all that you could hope for in a postal box: strength, durability and a sealed lid.

With the growth of ecommerce, ever more complicated and unusual things are being mailed, so postage boxes also come not just in a range of sizes, but also in a range of formats. For starters there are flat ones, made of the same tough corrugated card, designed for anything flat – and can be a great alternative to mailing bags.

Find the right sized box

Book boxes, meanwhile, are specifically designed for the postage of books, complete with sealable flap and sides to protect the books in transit.

If you are looking to post delicate items such as mugs or electronic devices, glass ware or ceramics then you need to choose postal boxes that will offer added protection. This is where foam-lined postal boxes and deluxe crash-proof postal mug boxes come in to play.

Foam lined boxes have a strong cardboard outer layer, but inside is lined with non-abrasive polyurethane foam that will completely surround what is in the box. Giving it excellent protection from the rigours of postage.

Mug boxes, meanwhile, not only have a crash-lock base, but also an inner cardboard fitting that holds the mug in place throughout the postal process with no need for void fill.

If you need a large box for posting then you need to choose a triple walled, corrugated box which provides delicate items with the shockproof, robust protection they need in the post.

One of the downsides of ecommerce is that things sometimes need to be sent back – and quick pack returnable boxes with adhesive strips are ideal for this. They offer easy and fast assembly, simply push the opposite corners towards each other and the base flaps lock together automatically. These strong and secure crash-lock base boxes close with an adhesive strip so there is no need for tape or glue.

The boxes are easy for customers to open and re-seal; simply pull the tear strip to open then secure the box using the second adhesive strip and it is ready to be returned.

Sometimes a postage box needs to be, well, not a box. For flat items such as maps or charts, textiles or prints, or long or cylindrical objects, postage tubes offer a great postage solution – they are strong both laterally and longitudinally and come with a tough plastic end cap that protects the ends and adds strength to the whole tube.

The benefits of cardboard boxes with lids

While end caps are essential to the integral strength of a postal tube, cardboard boxes with lids also offer many benefits for those looking to post, transport and store items. Cardboard boxes with lid features are ideal for storage, postage and transit as the lid protects the items inside from impact, moisture, dust and dirt. It also stops things falling out.

Having a lid on your box also means that you can stack them on top of the other. The lid also provides an ideal canvas in which to write what the contents is or to put an address label or postage franking if it is for posting.


Looking for the best shipping boxes?

Read the guide >>


Storing items in extra-large cardboard boxes

Extra large carboard boxes have to be innately strong to support themselves and to handle the kind of heavy loads that you want to store or transport in them. For this reason, extra large cardboard boxes are constructed from triple walled, corrugated card and can handle loads of up to 500 kg – the weight of a small cow.

It is best to pick large cardboard boxes that come in Euro or Chep/UK pallet sizes, as this makes them much easier to store and transport en masse. They are also strong enough to with stand the strapping needed to palletise such boxes, especially if you put strapping protectors on them.

These boxes are the expert’s choice when shipping large goods such as machine parts, domestic appliances, builder’s tools and construction products.

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

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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

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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?

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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.