How to reduce your packaging spend when prices are going up

With prices rising throughout the supply chain, many companies will be looking for ways to help reduce costs. One way businesses can do this is through their packaging costs.

When did you last review why you are using the packaging design and components that you are using? Do you need all of the components you are currently using?  Is there a better way to package this product?

Challenging your current packaging design can result in large potential savings, the packaging market is very dynamic and as a result new materials and systems are being launched regularly.  By sticking with the status-quo you risk losing out on savings that could be made by changing to a more cost-effective packaging design.

What items can you eliminate from your packaging process?  Often extra packaging is added to items to compensate for an underlying root problem.  This is neither a lean nor cost effective solution.  Analysing the process may identify unnecessary packaging items within your packaging.

Reduce your packaging costs by changing to a Right-Size packaging solution

Whether you are a manufacturer of one product or a retailer of many, using Right Size packaging allows you to create a more sustainable packaging process while reducing your packaging costs.
Right Size solutions combine Ribble’s industry leading Fanfold material and state of the art technology to create the perfect size box for all your products.

This product is flexible, cost-effective and can be converted into Fanfold packaging which is a long piece of corrugated board scored at regular intervals and folded neatly and compactly. Fanfold can then be used to pack single or multiple products by feeding it into fully automated packaging machines to create an exact size box and therefore, eliminate waste.

Ribble Packaging are the European market leader for the manufacture and supply of corrugated Fanfold, in addition to pioneering Right Size packaging solutions in the UK.

Benefits of changing to a Right-Size packaging solution:

  • Save around 30-40% on packaging costs by using Right Size and only buying fanfold
  • Eliminate obsolete packaging purchases by making only the boxes you require
  • Eliminate plastic packaging by using the Right Size box
  • Reduce transport costs by fitting more onto vehicles

How Ribble can help?

At Ribble, our Right Size packaging can help your business save money, plastic packaging, and transport costs. Contact us today to see how our packaging can benefit your business.

5 ways packaging automation can improve your business

Every company is looking for ways to improve and optimise their business, one simple way is through packaging automation.

On-demand packaging systems are available to support a variety of stages of the packing process. For example, there are machines that custom-make boxes to any size as you need it, so there is no need to keep multiple box sizes in stock, plus, less void fill is needed, damages are minimised, and shipping costs reduced.

  1. Reduced storage costs

A reduction in storage costs might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of packaging automation, but if you have acres of space given over to storage of packaging materials then a switch to on-demand packaging could free up space, improve efficiency and make a significant difference to your bottom line.


  1. Less wastage

Whether it’s waste through using poor quality or too much packaging, or waste through damaged goods, the fact is waste costs. Automated packaging systems and machinery can help to address all of these issues and more. Not only will it produce packaging to a consistent and more secure standard, it does it with just the right amount of material, too.


  1. Better health and safety

Manual handling is a significant factor in workplace injury. It is worth bearing in mind that automated packaging solutions can help to reduce risk. However, if you do decide to invest in packaging machinery, or perhaps you already have some in use, it is important to ensure it is well-maintained.


  1. Upskilling your people

As automation becomes more prevalent in manufacturing and packaging facilities, so does the need to upskill team members to operate systems themselves. Automation can provide an opportunity for specialised training. An automated system therefore benefits twofold – it can increase speed of production and helps improve staff wellbeing and career progression.


  1. Sustainability

Using automated packing process will mean exactly the right amount of packaging is used every time. This will massively reduce the amount of waste you’re creating and drive down your material costs, as you won’t be using material unnecessarily. Another benefit of this is that your impact on the environment will be minimised too!


How Ribble’s Right-Size packaging can help

Whether you are a manufacturer of one product or a retailer of many, using the Right Size packaging allows you to create a more sustainable packaging process while reducing your packaging costs.
Right Size solutions combine Ribble’s industry leading Fanfold material and state of the art technology to create the perfect size box for all your products.

Contact us today to find out how Ribble can help with your packaging needs.

How Right Size Technology can save you thousands on fuel and energy costs

In 2020 1.27 billion tonnes of goods were carried by trucks and HGVs across the UK, covering 16.2 billion road miles.

Due recent socioeconomic and political factors the cost to fuel these HGVs has risen by £173 per week. Diesel has hit a record high of £1.70 per litre, while petrol now costs an average of £1.61 per litre.

With fuel and energy costs soaring; Inflation is at its highest level for over 30 years, with much of these rises passed onto the consumer as firms simply cannot absorb such significant increases (Elizabeth de Jong, Logistics UK).


What’s Happening Now?

Fuel accounts for a third of an HGV’s annual operating cost.”  So ‘The Road Haulage Association’ wants the Government to freeze fuel duty for two years. It also wants an “essential user” rebate for lorry and coach firms of 15p per litre introduced.

Rising fuel prices are putting further pressure on retail supply chains. This adds to cost pressures from labour shortages, commodity price increases and rising energy prices in consequence, until some pressures ease, it’s likely prices will continue to rise.

Meanwhile, analysis shows the annual average cost of running a typical family car, including fuel, has shot up by nearly £300. Many consumers are having to choose between purchasing food, heating their homes or putting petrol in their cars.


How Ribble Right Size Can Help?

Many people overlook the importance of packaging when it comes to shipping goods, but an efficient and effective packaging supply is essential to keeping the product safe and most importantly keeping customers happy.

Ribble Right Size solutions improve vehicle utilisation by 25%. This means companies who have implemented Right Size can fit 25% more product in each vehicle drastically decreasing fuel consumption.

By Right Sizing your packaging supply you will gain the ability to create the perfect size box for all your products on-site, on-demand, eliminating any wasted space in your packages and therefore any wasted space in your transport vehicle.

With Right Size there is no need for additional protective packaging materials such as bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts as your boxes will now fit your products perfectly, increasing product protection, decreasing the weight of your packages, and making your packaging process fully sustainable.

There are also many other benefits of using our Right Size solutions. These include up to a 30% reduction in packaging costs, savings on labour costs through increased automation, increased warehouse space and more.

Every cubic inch of your packaging that doesn’t contain your product is costing you money. By introducing Right Size Technology, you can get more boxes in each vehicle, meaning fewer journeys and less money spent on fuel and diesel.


How to eliminate plastic packaging from your business

Now that the plastic packaging tax has come into effect, many businesses should be thinking about ways to reduce or eliminate plastic packaging. Getting rid of plastics from your business’ everyday practices can make a huge impact, and it’s easy to do with a few small changes.

Many businesses find that amending their policies is a powerful way to reduce single-use plastics. This might include asking suppliers to pack without plastic and requesting reusable, returnable, or sustainable packaging such as recycled cardboard boxes or ‘jackets’ to replace plastic wrap on pallets.

If that’s not possible, you might want to look beyond your current suppliers and see if there are others out there offering more sustainable packaging and solutions.

When it comes to doing business, you can make a difference by offering reused packaging to your customers. For example, some retailers keep cardboard boxes on hand for customers who forget their bags instead of throwing them away. Some companies that ship orders use shredded paper to protect products instead of bubble wrap.


The alternatives to plastic packaging

There are also many alternatives to plastic packaging. Anything that a business does to become more sustainable is ultimately helpful. This is particularly true with bubble wrap, as there are many alternatives that your business can use. Some alternatives include:

  • Compostable mailers
  • Corrugated packaging
  • Biodegradable packing peanuts
  • Mushroom packaging
  • Seaweed packaging
  • GreenWrap

There are more than these, and many of them can be reused or recycled, so they are kept in use for longer and help reduce waste.


Ribble’s solution to plastic packaging

Ribble also has ways to eliminate or at least reduce plastic packaging. Our Right Size packaging is an easy way to reduce the amount of packaging you use, and therefore reduce the amount of waste. Right Size solutions combine Ribble’s industry leading Fanfold material and state of the art technology to create the perfect size box for all your products.

We have a simple 4-step process for our Right Size solutions.

  1. Enter your box style and dimensions.
  2. Select how many you require.
  3. The box is produced within seconds.
  4. Your products are packaged in the perfect sized box.

There are also various benefits of using our Right Size solutions. These include up to 30% reduction in packaging costs, labour saving, increased warehouse space, elimination of void fillers, and more.


To find out more about how Ribble’s Right Size solutions can help your business reduce or eliminate its plastic packaging usage, contact us today.

The plastic packaging tax is almost here – Are you prepared?

In the UK, the plastic packaging tax comes into effect on 1st April, and will be charged at a rate of £200 per tonne. If you manufacture or import 10 or more tonnes of plastic packaging within a 12-month period, or if you will do so in the next 30 days, you will need to register for the tax. From 1 April 2022 to 30 March 2023, the 12 months threshold will be worked out differently.

Plastic Packaging Tax only applies to manufacturers and importers of plastic packaging components which contain less than 30% recycled plastic.

Packaging should only contain recycled plastic where it is permitted under other regulations and food safety standards.


When is packaging considered plastic?

For the purposes of the plastic packaging tax, plastic is a polymer material to which additives or substances may have been added, including calcium or dyes. It doesn’t include cellulose-based polymers, which have not been chemically modified.

Plastics include polymers which are biodegradable, compostable, and oxo-degradable. If a plastic packaging component is made from multiple materials, including glass, steel, wood, paper, and aluminium, but contains more plastic by weight (including additives which form part of the plastic) than any other substance, it will be classed as a plastic packaging component for the purposes of the tax. You also need to keep records of the substances that are in plastic packaging for the purposes of the tax.


Recycled plastic

Plastic packaging components containing 30% or more recycled plastic are not chargeable for the tax. However, they still count towards the 10 tonne threshold for packaging you manufacture or import in a 12 month period, and you must still keep records of it.

For the purposes of Plastic Packaging Tax, all plastic is assumed to be made using non-recycled (virgin) material, unless there is evidence that recycled material has been used.


Packaging subject to the tax

There are 2 types of plastic packaging subject to the tax. These are packaging designed to be suitable for use in the supply chain, and single use by the consumer.

Individual packaging components are generally manufactured separately before being assembled into a packaging unit. Examples include:

  • bottles, caps and labels are manufactured separately before being assembled to make packaging units for drinks and liquids
  • trays, boxes and plastic windows are manufactured separately before being assembled to make packaging units for certain foods, such as pies and cakes
  • packaging designed to be suitable for use in the supply chain

Examples of packaging components include plastic:

  • trays used to contain and protect food, such as a ready meal tray
  • film to protect goods, such as film around raw meat
  • pots designed to handle and deliver products, for example yoghurt pots

Packaging designed to be single use consumer packaging include plastic bags, disposable cups, plates and bowls, gift wrapping such as ribbon and sticky tape.


What you can do to prepare

The best things anyone can do to prepare for the plastic packaging tax are to check everything. Check how much plastic your company manufactures or imports, check whether each plastic packaging component that you manufacture, or import is subject to Plastic Packaging Tax.


How using Ribble packaging can help

At Ribble, one of our key focus areas is the environment and leaving the planet a richer place than we found it. All of our products are 100% recyclable and, can be used again and again through the supply chain.

Our business is heavily focussed on not just maintaining our own standards of environmental responsibility but helping our customers to develop their packaging processes to operate more sustainably. Our core services allow our customers to responsibly source their packaging material, eliminate the need for excess void fill as well as stopping customers returned items from ending up in landfill.

By using our services, you can eliminate the need for plastic void fill packaging and create a more sustainable packaging process while saving money at the same time.



Flexibility is Key With Right Size Solutions

Having worked at Ribble for two years in the marketing department, about six months ago I had the wonderful opportunity to move into a new role as Business Development Manager. A very exciting change, and I couldn’t wait to take a crack at selling Right Size automated packaging solutions – something I had been marketing for the last two years.

Right Size solutions is a packaging process which allows the customer to create the perfect size box, on demand, in house. One thing I have found when talking to prospective customers, is the versatility and flexibility of the machines is often one of the most attractive aspects of the solution and probably the most underestimated. They are surprised to hear how this machine can offer 40 different styles of box, in any size required, in addition to the option for bespoke designs. Not to mention the fact you can create any box whenever you need it, whether it is 1 box or 1000. Just imagine, an urgent/unexpected order comes through and there’s no need to wait for supplier lead times, no adhering to MOQs – just pop your requirements into the Panotec machine and out comes exactly what you need, when you need it. The power of flexibility cannot be understated. When combined with all the other benefits of Right Sizing, the solution becomes a no brainer in my opinion.

  • Reduces your annual corrugated spend (generally by 20-30%)
  • Eliminates the need to stockpile boxes which are the wrong size for your product
  • Improves vehicle utilization by up to 25%
  • Saves huge labour costs
  • Hugely reduces the requirement for void fillers and other plastic packaging
  • Creates an environmentally sustainable packaging process

It is fair to say that over the past year, every business will have seen huge changes in the way they operate. We have all had to adapt to the everchanging situation whether that is supply chain issues, unexpected peaks and troughs in demand, or labour concerns. Having a packaging solution which has the versatility to adapt in unprecedented conditions has been key for so many of our customers. It has given them the control they need to navigate these tricky times.

At risk of repeating myself, the importance of flexibility should not be understated. I am sure every salesperson has their go to spiel they use to impress clients, and this is quickly becoming mine! It has been incredibly exciting working in my new role, and what a time to be in the corrugated packaging industry. The pandemic has catapulted sustainable, corrugated packaging to the forefront with a huge boost in demand from Ecommerce. Since I have been part of the company, Ribble has made some huge changes to keep up with this demand, including a £6 million investment to our Oldham site throughout 2020/21. Not to mention, further investment projects which are lined up over the coming years – and one biggie in particular to keep your eyes peeled for going forward… Watch this space!

Grow your business by improving your furniture returns process

You sell a piece of furniture and for one reason or another, it ends up being returned. However, it can’t go back in its original opened & damaged packaging, so what happens now?


We have these discussions with customers on a regular basis regarding their returns process. If for example, a customer returns a piece of rattan furniture to the supplier or manufacturer, the likelihood is that it has been opened and will no longer be able to be sold in its original packaging. So, companies need to source fresh packaging in order to resell.

This means businesses either need to order in new packaging, send it off to have the product repackaged or dispose of the product completely. None of which sounds efficient, both financially or environmentally. If the solution currently being used is to get the items repackaged, this means businesses could be spending an additional 20-30% on their packaging costs!


So, what’s the solution?

Bring your returns packaging process in-house! By bringing your returns packaging process in-house, you can take back full control. Our Panotec machines allows you to scan the barcode of your product and input the exact dimensions needed to create the perfect sized box for your product.


But what does this mean in practical terms?

By using Ribble Right Size packaging, you can:

  • Reduces your annual corrugated spend (by around 20-30%)
  • Eliminate the need to stockpile the wrong sized packaging for your products
  • Make huge savings on labour costs
  • Reduce the requirement for void fillers and other unnecessary plastic packaging while being safe in the knowledge that your returns are packed safely & securely
  • Make better use of your vehicle space by up to 25% – allowing you to fit more in and reduce the number of journeys needing to be made
  • Reduce waste and create a sustainable packaging process


Ribble Right Size is the perfection solution for furniture companies who are fed up with the added expense involved in their returns process. If saving up to 30% on your packaging costs sounds like something you would like to know more about, get in touch today!

Protective & sustainable packaging

Have you ever thought about how much excess packaging comes with new furniture?

The truth is that sometimes we get more than we need, and it’s understandable because the manufacturer only includes the extra foam, bubble wrap or tissue paper to protect the items whilst in transit to their destination. However, Right Size solutions offer a more effective and sustainable alternative to furniture packaging.

What are the Ribble Right Size solutions?

Right Size solutions enable the customisation and creation of the correct sized box for pieces of furniture.

Create protective and sustainable furniture packaging.

At Ribble Packaging, not only is our priority creating packaging that is kind to the environment, we also create packaging that protects the products inside. With custom made, recycled fittings that are placed around the product inside, customers can rest assured that their product will arrive to them safely.

The secure and protective fittings mean that products arrive at their destination, undamaged while still reducing excess fillings and saving space.

Perfect-sized boxes are created within minutes using Ribble’s fanfold corrugated board and Panotec machine technology.

The box on-demand service can be installed on-site and gives manufacturers a choice to input the size of the product manually or automatically through a barcode or a 3D scanner system.

Additionally, manufacturers can enter the works order to ensure the correct number of boxes is made for the particular piece of furniture.

What are the benefits of using Right Size?

No more excess packaging 

Right Size packaging will protect assembled or flat-pack furniture, which removes the need to add unnecessary and excessive protective fillers, including plastic cushioning material, ultimately creating a 100% recyclable packaging process for all your furniture products.

Savings on packaging costs 

Right Size solutions can create a 30% saving on packaging costs and remove the need to fill minimum order quantities from suppliers. Furthermore, the box on-demand creates the perfect-size box every time, so there is no longer the need to stock-pile wrong sized boxes.

Customer satisfaction 

Presenting customers with the perfect-sized, 100% recyclable packaging for their furniture is sure to put a smile on their faces, in addition to showing that you are taking steps to fulfil your corporate social responsibilities.

If you’d like more information on how you could save up to 30% on your packaging costs, get in touch with us today.

How sustainable is your Christmas packaging?

It’s that time of year again. The time that we do everything in excess, from food, to spending.

But does that mean you have to have an unsustainable Christmas?

As we all know, Christmas can be a time for spending time with loved ones and exchanging gifts, but with it is estimated that around 1 in 4 households will be generating up to 5 bags of rubbish this Christmas!

Much of children’s toys are packaged in plastic or oversized packaging which is bulky and often unnecessary for the size of the present inside. On top of that, there is wrapping paper which, often, you are unable to recycle, which then doubles the amount of waste.

Let’s not forget about the Christmas dinner. Single use plastics have come to the forefront of the sustainable packaging discussion, many of which occur as a result of food packaging.

How can you make your Christmas more sustainable?

It is everybody’s responsibility, to make small changes this Christmas in an effort to reduce the amount of waste created within the household. So, we have put together a few pointers that may help you make some more sustainable choices.

Recyclable wrapping paper

If you’re unsure about what wrapping paper can be recycled and what can’t, it’s important to check with your local recycling centre. Recycle Now have some great pointers on what you can do to ensure that your paper does actually get recycled if accepted at your local centre, including:

  • Making sure all sticky tape, bows and ribbons are removed before recycling
  • Only recycling simple wrapping paper that doesn’t have any glitter or foil as these cannot be recycled.

Present sacks

Another way to reduce the waste this Christmas is to purchase some present sacks & stockings. These can be brought back out every Christmas and eliminate the need to wrap your gifts or find recyclable wrapping paper.

Food & drinks using sustainable packaging

Many supermarkets are introducing refillable packaging services within their stores and this is likely to continue. Why not check out your local supermarket to see if there are any ingredients in your Christmas dinner that could be switched out for a more sustainably packaged option?

Ribble Right Size

At Ribble our aim is to introduce Right Size packaging to more and more manufacturers so that we can help reduce the overall waste when it comes to cardboard packaging.


Get in touch today to find out more about the benefits of Right Size.

Packaging in 2022 – The key solutions for the New Year

Since the beginning of the pandemic, retail has seen a significant shift to ecommerce shopping methods. With that brings increased need for additional packaging when transporting and shipping goods.

As a result, this will continue to increase the need for more sustainable and environmentally friendly packaging solutions.

We have been exploring the key packaging solutions that we believe will become increasingly popular in the new year.

Packaging Automation

With COVID 19 continuing to be a threat across the globe, the automation of packaging will continue to be important for many manufacturers and distributors. This will reduce the amount of workers needed within one space and overall costs to the business too.

Not only that, automating your process will allow the business to increase their targets, which will continue to improve efficiency.

Ecommerce Packaging

The shift in consumer behaviour since the beginning of the pandemic is highly unlikely to ever return to pre-COVID levels. As a result, consumers will continue to expect a smooth and flawless experience – from browsing their purchase to placing their order and its delivery.

This means every detail, right down to the packaging must impress. Consumers are aware of the environmental issues facing the planet and with that they expect to see changes to the ways in which their goods are packaged and delivered to them. Reducing unnecessary and excess packaging is a crucial step in that process.

Reusable Packaging

Reusable packaging has become very popular in recent years and can be seen in more and more shapes and forms. Whether that is reusable plastic for cleaning products or paper bags that can also be used as wrapping paper.

When packaging isn’t necessarily reusable, it is important for consumers that it is made from recycled materials or can be recycled once used.

Ribble Right Size

At Ribble our Right Size Packaging solutions allows you to reduce excess packaging and create a sustainable alternative that reduces costs by creating custom packaging solutions to meet your needs. We use 100% recycled cardboard that is 100% recyclable, meaning it is the perfect sustainable solution.

The benefits for choosing Right Size can be seen in the reduced need for void fillers within your boxes due to the packaging being custom created for whatever you are distributing; you can improve your vehicle utilisation by up to 25% and the creation of a more environmentally sustainable packaging process.

Get in touch today to discuss how Right Size can improve your business packaging solutions.

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