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New in! Recycled bag for life

Two and a half years on from the introduction of the carrier bag charge, most retail businesses have settled into new habits. Usage of single use polythene carriers has reportedly dropped by up to 83% – a staggering statistic that has obviously had an interesting impact on the packaging industry. Consumers have embraced the idea of providing their own packaging. The hero product that’s enabled them to do this is the bag for life.

We’ve discussed bags for life before on this blog (see this entry from August 2016), and it looks like they’re here to stay. Supermarkets are upping their game with new designs, and even high street retailers are stocking them in many forms, from jute to cotton to woven polypropylene.

Now available online and in our cash and carry

However, if you don’t have quite the same budget as Tesco or Primark, and require a slightly smaller quantity, then our new bag for life is the one for you. Printed with a green design to emphasise it’s enviromentally-friendly credentials, our attractive new bag has a strong loop handle, a wide gusset, and is made from strong polythene, of which a minimum of 90% is recycled.

They’re available in boxes of 250, priced at only £22.50 + VAT. You can order online, over the phone on 01603 722264, or from our online shop here.

 

bag for life with green design

In stock now – our recycled bag for life

Show your green credentials to eco-conscious customers

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Worldwide paper shortage: where does it leave us?

The last 20 years has seen consumers and businesses alike making huge changes to protect the environment  – awareness of global green issues and their impact is at an all time high, and so is legislation to manage these issues. In the packaging industry, this can be seen particularly clearly; polythene, such an exciting invention in the last century, is now sometimes seen as an unpopular and environmentally unsound material. Paper meanwhile (theoretically so much more sustainable), is the biodegradable answer to many people’s prayers. But it doesn’t take an Economics professor to see the problem this creates – supply and demand are out of balance, and in terms of the current paper market it’s not just a little off, its a problem of unprecedented proportions; a global paper shortage.

This means that businesses like ours, who sell paper sacks and bags as a major part of their core business,  face a two-fold challenge – rising prices and short supply. We depend on our reputation for fast and efficient service, and reasonable prices for orders of all sizes, so how can we tame this particular problem for our customers?

In theory the answer is that we can’t – predicted percentage price rises are potentially very high, and if we can’t physically lay hands on stock, we’re as stuck as everyone else! However we’ve put serious consideration into how to handle this, and this is what we’ve decided:

Prices will stay competitive, for orders of all sizes

We are a small business and so are many of our customers. For this reason we’re aware of how price rises that look small to big companies can mean the difference between profit and loss for small ones. We will have to raise our prices in order to supply the paper sacks our customers need. However those rises will only be in proportion to costs, and will be thought out to ensure our sacks still represent good value for money, from a single pack to pallets of thousands.

We’ll keep our customers informed if the situation changes

Our current supply of paper sacks is reliable and we’re told that for the time being there will be no interruption to our usual service. However, industry reports are certainly suggesting that we can’t rule out longer lead times for manufacture. If this does end up affecting our supply, we will keep our customers updated and be proactive in letting you know if it might be wise to stock up. Similarly, if we discover the crisis is over, we will pass this on too, ensuring you know everything you need to about lead times, prices and future developments.

We hope this will keep things running as usual as the shortage hits, and we’ll update this blog if anything changes too. If you’d like to discuss the effects this might have on you as a customer, do give us a call on 01603 722264.

paper sack pack

Sacks like these may become thin on the ground if the paper shortage persists

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Going offline – extra lines available in our packaging cash and carry!

stacked boxes in packaging cash and carry

We’ve got extra products stacked high and ready to buy at our packaging cash and carry.

It’s fair to say that most of us agree that online shopping is a wonderful thing. It allows buyers to find objects they might never see in their local area, and for sellers it’s a huge opportunity to reach a market infinitely wider than just those who can drive past or know us already.

Norfolk’s best packaging cash and carry

However, packaging comes in so many shapes and sizes that sometimes it just isn’t possible for us to ship certain products to our far flung customers. Size, weight, fragility and sheer awkwardness can mean that it’s not possible for us or our couriers to get an item to its destination undamaged.

But if you’re lucky enough to be within visiting distance, you’ll find our range of packaging is even bigger than you thought, and full of things you didn’t even know you needed!

Bubble wrap – in a range of widths from 300mm to 1500mm, our bubble wrap rolls are the go-to protective packaging for clients from lighting retailers to engineers. And after years of selling this fantastic product, we can even make a pretty good guess at which size will fit into your car or van!

Boxes – Packed flat, our large boxes are available off the shelf. We’ve got the perfect sizes and thicknesses for moving house, shipping everything from books to shoes to crockery, and even for transporting your veg or meat. They’re also very reasonably priced compared to other  super-expensive retail outlets – storage companies and parcel depots, we’re looking at you!

Household – If you’re in charge of consumables in your workplace, or if you just like to go all out on cleaning your home, we have lots of products to help. We sell paper towels, paper towelling rolls, dusters, bin liners, wheelie bin liners, rubber gloves, disposable gloves, foil and cling film, and even disposable cutlery! They’re exclusive to our cash and carry and there’s often a special deal to be had…

Catering – Polystyrene trays for chips. Shaped trays for poultry. Meat pads. Takeaway containers, both foil and plastic. Cake boxes. Sandwich packs. Hummus tubs. Paper cups.  Ice cream spoons. Sporks even! If you’re dishing out grub, come and see us first.

So, if you’re local, there’s plenty to choose from here at our Rackheath showrooms. No need to pay for delivery, and you can see and touch whatever you wish before buying, so no nasty surprises or online shopping fails! Pop in between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday and we’ll show you what we can do to meet your packaging needs. Consider it another perk of living in Nelson’s County.

Posted in Cardboard boxes, Food, catering and produce packaging, Our Rackheath Showrooms, Product Information and Ideas | Leave a comment

Five spring jobs that we can help you with

white blossom branch

Thank goodness, the sun has finally come out! It must actually be spring. For lots of us that means renewed motivation to make the most of longer days and (slightly) warmer weather, and to tick off the list of jobs we definitely couldn’t have done in the winter (and didn’t try to either).

So here’s a quick list of the most popular jobs, and the products we stock that might make them a little easier…

1. Clearing out the loft

In the winter it’s too cold and gets dark quicker than you can say “mind your head on that beam…!”. In the summer it’s a sweatbox from hell. So, now is exactly the right time to get up there and clear out that treasure/tat once and for all. For the stuff that’s coming down, we have a wide range of bin bags and refuse sacks that will hold just about anything you care to dispose of, and for all the stuff that’s staying, we can sell you the bubble wrap, boxes and labels to have the attic looking perfectly organised.

2. Tidying the garden

Personally, I have been in denial about the mess in my garden, made by high winds and crushing snowfall, and keep reassuring myself that “nearly everyone’s garden looks rubbish in winter!”. However this weekend I must finally admit it isn’t winter any more, so I’ll don my gloves and wellies and try and create a little order in the flowerbeds. My checklist for this is all from Jones & Cane: fillis string to tie up sagging plants, long cable ties for heavier branches that need securing, garden waste sacks, and lastly a bulk bag – a useful movable bin that saves you pausing each time you fill a bag (they also make very handy covers for garden furniture).

3. Exterior painting

Freshly painted outside walls can really make a property look as good as new, but if you’re a little clumsy like me, you don’t want to undo all the smartness by knocking over the tin and having a splodgy driveway forever. Fortunately we sell polythene rolls suitable for thorough cover-ups, as well as masking tape for the doors and windows. We’ve even got work gloves for the prep and thinner disposable gloves to protect your hands when painting.

4. Interior decorating

As well as the items listed above, we can help you with interior painting by providing not only polythene to act as dust sheets and gloves to protect hands, but also boxes, bubble film, tapes and bags to ensure that when you pack up your ornaments, lamps, books and knicknacks they’re safe until you’re ready to refill your beautiful new room.

5. And of course, good old spring cleaning

Yes, this final one is obvious, but like around 40% of the British population you may want to have a good old deep clean after a very long winter of closed windows and indoor activities. Bin bags for cumulative rubbish? Check. Dusters to get back the spring sparkle? Check. Paper towel rolls for scrubbing and wiping? Check. Enthusiastic helpers? Er, nope, sorry, can’t help you there.

So, once you’ve enjoyed a roast-lamb-and-chocolate fuelled snooze over the Easter break and feel ready to tackle these jobs, pop in and see us, order online or by phone, or just call us for a chat to see what we can do for you.

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The Norwich Northern Distributor Road – big news for small businesses

Rackheath Industrial Estate. Not three words that bring to mind glamour and riches like say, Canary Wharf or Bond Street, eh? But if you’re a business on the estate, or any of your suppliers are, you’ll certainly be able to see that something dramatic is happening in this particular patch of Norfolk at the moment.

Norwich northern distributor road

The Norwich Northern Distributor Road has been the topic of much conversation in these parts and for those of us who are based on Rackheath’s estate, there’s good reason. We’ve gone from an estate a few miles out of the city between two small A roads to an important wholesale and industrial area connected to the main road crossing mid Norfolk. Wroxham Road and Salhouse road are no longer the single carriageways in and out. We’re no longer a destination on a limb, but a handy place on your way to other handy places.

For Jones & Cane, the benefits of this are clear. Not only is it hugely convenient to be connected by the A1270 to customers to our west, it’s also much easier for our cash and carry customers to stop by. Our suppliers can deliver to us more easily. Even our staff have had their commutes reduced. But most of all we can enjoy a new kind of customer – passing trade. By raising the profile, and physical visibility, of Rackheath Industrial Estate this new road could see in a new era of growth for the area. With development at the forefront of Norfolk County Council’s public agenda at the moment – their ad campaign for the Greater Norwich Development Plan probably hasn’t escaped your notice – there are potentially exciting times ahead.

Of course if you’re one of our online customers who’s based in London or Manchester or any number of big cities, this might not seem very exciting. But as a business that’s deeply rooted in Norfolk, it means a great deal to us to see our home county making decisions that help us, and businesses like us, do our work more efficiently and therefore grow.

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