Tag Archives: christmas

Gifting Etiquette: Exploring Brits’ Gift-Giving Habits

Gifts. What’s not to love, right? From birthdays and anniversaries to holidays and baby arrivals, we’ll find any excuse to slip a gift into a special occasion. It’s a tradition that has shone for so long, because while gifts may be material, their overarching message is one of love. Yet, in the age of the conscious consumer, do we still care about traditional gifts?

We surveyed 2,000 Brits to find out more about their gifting etiquette.

Are you someone that loves a special occasion, partly for the purpose of giving and/or receiving gifts? Or, are you someone that would be happy to see this tradition go?

For some, it’s the holy grail of special occasions. Picking out presents and choosing pretty gift boxes, complemented by cards that perfectly represent your nearest and dearest (perhaps with an in-joke or two!?). And of course, on the other side – being the recipient of said gifts.

For others however, these gifts are overrated. Perhaps you’d rather be surrounded by loved ones; lead a ‘greener’ lifestyle with less consumption; or make memories through experiences, rather than give or receive material things.

What’s your stance? It’s time to find out where we stand as a nation on ‘gift-iquette’ in Britain.

What gifts do we want as a nation?

Receiving gifts

We asked Brits what types of gifts they most wanted to receive on a special occasion.

Turns out, cold hard cash was the gift recipients wanted to receive most. Over a quarter of Brits (26%) chose money over anything else. In expensive times with more costs to cover than ever before, are financial pressures causing us to pick the practical choice? Though this was a top pick to receive, it’s often an unpopular one to give – namely because deciding on an amount can be a delicate subject.

Lucky for gift-givers, then, that 74% (almost three quarters) of votes went towards ‘traditional’ gifts, with clothing, technology and beauty products the most popular choices. This means there’s a whole lot of people that still appreciate something picked specially for them, and presumably the act of opening something on their special day. If you’re struggling for

something to buy, take note: out of the above, women preferred to receive clothes (21%) and beauty products (12%), while men preferred to receive technology (23%) and clothes (19%).

We hear a lot of talk about the ‘experiential generation’ but not even 2 in 10 people chose an experiential gift. This could include the likes of a dinner date, a concert ticket or a flying lesson. Finally, only 5% of people chose a gift that goes towards a charitable cause – which, could be anything from donating to a charity on your behalf to sponsoring an endangered animal in your name. Only 13% of Brits wanted nothing at all.

The act of giving and receiving a ‘tangible’ gift still matters

Not only did we clarify that Brits still love a gift, but their gift preferences are still geared towards tangible items, too. Of those that had a preference, we found that 64% of Brits would prefer to receive a physical gift, versus only 17% of those that would opt for something digital.

Interestingly, 43% of Gen Z-ers and Millennials had no preference between a physical or a digital gift, showing they’re not so tied into traditions as the older generation. So, unsurprisingly, 9 in 10 Brits that are 45+ year-old said that they would actively prefer a physical gift over that of a digital one.

When it comes to ‘gift-iquette’, we also found that over a third (36%) of gift givers said they’d possibly feel guilty about not giving a tangible gift – but why?

Gift-giving

When we asked those that said they would feel this way, over half (53%) said it was because they viewed tangible gifts as more thoughtful and personal. This was followed by 37% who stated, “it’s important that the recipient has something tangible to unwrap”, and 28% who said they just do, “because it’s proper social etiquette”. Of course, almost 2 in 10 (18%) said they had to return the gesture when someone has gifted them something tangible, too.

Is a greener way of life changing our ‘gift-iquette’?

Almost 2 in 10 Brits said that they have considered the environmental impact of gifts prior to purchase and have chosen not to buy a gift because of this.

For most however, the perfect gift takes priority: almost half (47%) say that whether they’ve considered the environmental impact or not, this would not deter them from their chosen gifts for a friend, family member or other. This could include anything from a single-serving product to something with excess packaging, or anything that requires batteries that could corrode in our landfills.

This means that when it comes to the gifting process, 30% of us never think about the fact that our gift might be unwanted or wasted. Additionally, we never think about the environmental impact of making and sending greeting cards (38%), wrapping paper (32%) and product packaging (28%).

How to gift sustainably

Sustainable gifting

For those that want to follow traditional ‘gift-iquette’ while still taking steps towards a greener world – here are some handy tips to reduce your carbon footprint, without giving up the joy of gift-giving!

  • Wrapping: When you’re choosing wrapping paper, it’s the shiny ones that are often unrecyclable. This is the same for any paper with metallic, glitter or textured outers, so try to choose recyclable gift paper for wrapping presents.
  • Gift boxes: Many gift boxes are not recyclable due to the materials that they are made of. By having eco gift boxes and bags to hand, you can say no to excess gift packaging pushed by stores, and make sure the gifts you give are packaged in a greener way.
  • Sticky tape: If you want to go all-out green, pick up some eco-responsible tape. It’s made with natural rubber adhesives that can be recycled at the same time as your eco-wrapping paper and gift boxes.
  • Re-using gift bags and boxes: Each year, whether it’s for the holidays, birthdays or other occasions, we’re given a handful of gift bags, gift tags, wrapping paper and more that we can store away. What better way to stay green and save money, by keeping their life cycle going and regifting to someone else?

RAJA offer sustainable alternatives across an extensive range of wrapping and packaging, ensuring to incorporate eco-responsible practices at every step. Take a look at our range of gift boxes, which make for a great option for all your gifting needs.

How to recycle gift packaging

Christmas is coming and it’s a busy time for everyone making sure we’re organised for the big day. One thing that can be overlooked is what to do with all the used gift wrapping and boxes once those presents have been opened. As a nation we’re very aware of the importance of recycling, however at Christmas with so much packaging and wrapping around it’s not always clear what we can recycle.

Kraft paper gift packaging

In this post we will be looking at how to recycle gift bags, gift boxes, tissue paper and gift wrap so you can ensure that you’re recycling the right items this Christmas.

We’ve got your gift wrap recycling questions all wrapped up

One of the most common leftovers we all have after Christmas is a mountain of gift wrap, so it’s no surprise that we’re often asked “is gift wrap recyclable?” This isn’t a straightforward question to answer as there are a few factors to consider, but in short – if you can scrunch the paper into a ball and it stays scrunched, then it should be ok to recycle it (remember to remove any plastic tape first!).

Not all gift wrap is recyclable though as it can often contain materials other than paper, such as plastic or glitter. We’ve covered this in more detail below, so read on for more information on what can and can’t be recycled.

Gift bags are a great way to give a present without having to wrap them first, and they also come in a huge range of colours, designs and finishes. A common way to recycle gift bags is to reuse them when giving a gift to a friend or relative, but once they wear out can you recycle gift bags in your normal paper recycling collection? If the bag is made from paper or thin cardboard then you should be able to remove any non-recyclable extras such as ribbon handles, plastic tags or decorations before you recycle. Remember though, this does depend on your local council recycling restrictions, as they vary across the UK. To make things easier, we have included useful links below on where to find this information online.

Over 12.5 million tonnes of paper and cardboard are used in the UK per year* and they’re widely recycled, but can gift boxes be recycled as easily? Luckily, recycling gift boxes is straightforward. Simply remove any non-recyclable items such as plastic packaging from inside the box, metal embellishments and glittered areas. Then flatten the box before disposing of it, to save on space in your recycling bin.

Are gift bags recyclable?

Even though gift bags can be recycled it is not a straight forward answer. Gift bags have excellent durability meaning that they can be used many times before they start to look worn and become unusable. Eventually they will start to wear out, look tired and will need to be disposed of. But it depends on what the bag is made from as gift bags can be made from paper or lightweight cardboard, sometimes with a plastic coating. There are also countless decorations from ribbons to plastic jewels, metal, feathers… the list is endless! Though if the bag is made from paper or thin cardboard then once you have removed the decorations, gift tags and handles it should be safe to recycle.

Add coloured tissue paper to gift bags

Because there are so many different materials a gift bag can be made from, it’s best to check with your local authority as some will accept gift bags and some may not. To find out what’s recyclable in your area click these links for England & Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Select one of the three options to find out what can be recycled in your local area then type in your post code for the results.

Are gift boxes recyclable?

Like gift bags, gift boxes are recyclable as they can be reused. Gift boxes are very handy when giving multiple gifts or those of an unusual shape that are difficult to wrap, it can be simpler to use a gift box. Decorated gift boxes can have different textures, coatings and finishes on the cardboard box material which can make it tricky to know if they can be recycled. With so much potential confusion it’s no surprise that we are often asked by our customers “can you recycle gift boxes?”

Jewellery gift boxes

Most of the time you can, just check what material the box is made from, if it’s cardboard then you can recycle! It’s important to remove any plastic coated gift tags, bows, ribbons or glitter covered areas as these can’t be recycled. Remove any items from inside the box, this could be plastic packaging or even a forgotten gift! You’ll also want to flatten the box to save on space in your recycling.

Alternatively, instead of throwing gift boxes away, don’t forget you can reuse them for gifting! Also they can make a great stylish storage solution around your home or office for paperwork, shoes, toys… anything that will fit inside!

Can gift wrap be recycled?

Most of us are used to seeing the mountains of used gift wrap on Christmas Day morning once those presents have been opened, and you may ask yourself can gift wrapping paper be recycled? It’s not a simple answer, even though we know it as ‘wrapping paper’ it often contains more materials than just paper. Gift wrap that contains foil or glitter is not recyclable, nor is plastic sticky tape or decorations such as bows and ribbons. If you bought recycled wrapping paper though, it should be safe to recycle again.

If you’re still asking can you recycle gift wrapping paper, there is an easy way to find out with the scrunch test. Squash the paper into a ball and if it stays in a ball shape then you can probably recycle it.

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Is gift wrapping paper recyclable by your local authority? Some councils will take away your wrapping paper with your roadside collection, while others may want you to take it to a recycling centre. To find out about your area click for England & Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Select one of the three options to find out what can be recycled in your local area.

Can you recycle tissue paper?

A brilliant addition to any gift is tissue paper to add elegance and style to a present, but is tissue paper recyclable? As with most recycling, it depends on the type of tissue paper so it’s best to check with the retailer first. Our range of tissue paper are recyclable, these include coloured tissue paper, white tissue paper and metallic tissue paper – this is because we use soluble ink to achieve the metallic effect rather than using synthetic coatings. If in doubt, check with the retailer or your local council before you recycle.

Gift box with colourful tissue paper

There are other ways to recycle used tissue paper as it can easily be crafted for a variety of uses. You can create countless decorations or even shred ripped tissue paper to use again in future.

So, is tissue paper compostable? Mostly, yes – tissue is made from recycled materials and is constructed of short fibres so it does break down in a composter, you can wet it first to start the process. So then ? As with most recycling there are some exceptions to the rule, if the tissue paper has a coated metallic finish then it’s probably not going to breakdown easily so you may want to try some of our ideas for reusing it above.

Before attempting to recycle any gift packaging, check first with your local authority if they will take it away or if you need to take it to the recycling centre. Remember to remove any glitter, decorations and plastic coated areas. Don’t forget that you can upcycle your old gift packaging into something new or reuse it for another gift.

For more information read our environmental FAQs and you can find our full range of gift packaging on our website but if you need help and advice simply contact our team on 0800 542 44 28, or sales@rajapack.co.uk.

* https://www.recyclingbins.co.uk/recycling-facts/

Getting your business ready for the Christmas rush: ensure you have the packaging you need for the festive period

Christmas is fast approaching with only 3 weeks left to go! Our packaging experts at Rajapack have put some useful information together to help your business run smoothly over the festive season.

black-friday-christmas-present-web

It all started with a record-breaking weekend

We’ve just passed Black Friday on November 25th, where you may have picked up a bargain or two on the high street or the internet, which ran through to Cyber Monday on November 28th.  Last year UK shoppers spent £3.3 billion over that weekend, and forecasts for this year were expecting £5 billion in the busiest online trading day ever!

Following Cyber Monday, the run up to Christmas is now in full swing as many businesses see demand surge right through to Christmas Day.  Last year UK retailers took £24 billion across November and December, a 12% increase on 2014, which is expected to grow even more this year.

Just what can you do to ensure you’re prepared?

If you’ve been trading for more than 12 months then you should have a good record of what happened in 2015; total orders taken, extra hours required, and how much packaging, stock and supplies you used.  Look back over last year’s results for each month and it should give you a starting point for what to expect in 2016.

Find out when orders began to increase and work this into your planning.  Did orders rise by 50% in mid-November, and then again by 200% by December? By noting these changes, you should get a good sense of what to expect so you can order enough supplies to fulfil your orders.

rajapack-uk-packaging-warehouse-web

The Rajapack UK packaging warehouse stocked up for Christmas

Many small businesses don’t have the space to store lots of materials or packaging on site, so ordering from suppliers that offer next day delivery can help you be more flexible, buying materials and packaging when you need it.

Make sure you’ve got your packaging boxed off

The right packaging is essential to give your customers a good experience when they receive your parcel, ensuring it arrives safely and well presented. We’ve shaped our services so that all our customers can benefit from our expert advice, flexibility as well as our wide range of packaging, so you can stay focused on your business.

Just a few of the things we offer include:

  • 99% of all our packaging products are in stock, always.
  • Next day delivery offered as standard.
  • Credit arrangement terms are available after your first order, so you can pay by invoice.
  • Expert packaging advice, to ensure you’re using the right packaging for your products.
  • A wide range of Christmas packaging, including personalised bags and tape to ensure your products stand out.

Key delivery dates

Finally, we’ve compiled some key dates below so you don’t miss anything when it comes to posting your parcels out this year.

Parcel Service Last posting date to arrive for Christmas
Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed® Thursday 22 December
1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Wednesday 21 December
2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For® Tuesday 20 December
DHL – Last Posting Date Wednesday 21 December
DPD – Next Day Service Thursday 22 December
Parcel Force – Next Day Thursday 22 December

Ordering your packaging this Christmas

For ordering your packaging from Rajapack UK, our last order dates are:

  • To ensure your packaging arrives in time for Christmas, place your order by Thursday 22nd December, we’ll deliver the next day on Friday 23rd.
  • We offer a Saturday morning delivery service on 24th December, available at an additional cost for orders placed on Thursday 23rd.
  • We’ll be open as normal between 27th & 31st, with normal deliveries resuming on 3rd January 2017.

For full details of our Christmas opening times, to 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.

Rajapack raise money for Refuge’s Christmas gift appeal

Christmas will be coming early to Rajapack this year, as on November 29th we will be hosting a festive fundraising day for the charity Refuge.

Refuge

Refuge provide support to women and children who have suffered the trauma of domestic violence, a form of abuse which is distressingly common – as members of staff discovered when the charity gave a talk at our offices in June.

The talk had a big impact on us as it was revealed that, shockingly, one in four women experience domestic violence and two women a week are killed by abusive partners. Although Christmas should be a time for family and celebration, sadly many women and children will be spending the festive season in refuges, having fled violence in the home.

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