Frequently Asked Questions

Does recycled paper smell?

Recycled Paper can have a slight smell, especially if it has been recycled multiple times. If there is a smell from your current paper packaging, it could be due to recycled process water, which includes starch dissolved from the recycled papers. Protega paper however is made from a higher grade of recycled paper to maximise strength and does not have any unpleasant odours.

Does recycled paper look cheap?

Once a paper has been recycled multiple times it can start to look ‘cheap’ and washed out.  However, higher grades of recycled paper have a very similar colour and feel to Virgin Kraft paper. You may see imperfections in recycled paper, but with consumers having a keen eye for sustainable packaging, using recycled paper can benefit your brand.

Is paper voidfill more expensive than plastic voidfill?

The simple answer is that it doesn’t have to be. For example, you can save costs by reducing the amount of packaging used.  With training packers will be more efficient and increase their speed of packing, and by implementing correct packing technique you can reduce breakages. If done right, you can save money by switching from plastic to paper packaging.

Is Paper bubble wrap more expensive than Plastic Bubble?

On a direct square metre for metre comparison Hexcel is more expensive than bubble. However, it is much faster to use than bubble, and does not require tape to secure it.  In one recent trial when time to pack was costed in alongside the material cost, Hexcel worked out 10% cheaper than bubble.

What if my packers overuses paper and stuff too much in the box?

If you are using (Amazon style) flat paper it is very easy for packers to overuse the product by stuffing every corner of the box. It is a subjective judgement how much you put in, and to play it safe most packers will over fill the box.  In contrast with structured paper cushions such as Protega paper packers are less inclined to ‘stuff’ the box.

Having said that, packers can sometimes over-pack when using this type of paper packaging for the first time. This is often due to a lack of confidence in its strength. However, this will easily be overcome with training and experience.  Packers can be guided to use enough paper to protect the products, without ‘cramming’ paper in the box.  Once packers become confident in the strength of Protega cushions paper usage will naturally reduce.

Will Paper bend/damage delicate products?

As with any form of void fill, if used incorrectly there is a chance a delicate product can be damaged by paper. However Protega paper can form a ‘wall’ around a product and ‘absorb’ shock from movement inside and outside of the box.  This is in contrast to airbags which are very rigid and tend to transfer shock and potentially cause damage. Protega paper has a track record of reducing breakages in transit by 50%.

Is paper biodegradable?

Yes, both Kraft and recycled paper are fully biodegradable. Most often paper will biodegrade within 12 weeks.

Where is the Hexcel and Protega paper made?

Both in the UK!  Hexcel Wrap is the first UK made ‘paper bubble wrap’, manufactured in our Andover site. Protega Paper is FSC Certified and made from 100% recycled paper in local paper mills in the UK.

Will paper require more room to store than plastic bubble or airbags?

Hexcel Wrap will use dramatically less storage space than bubble wrap (90%) as it is supplied flat. It is only after it passes through the expander/dispenser that it becomes three dimensional. Protega paper takes up slightly more space to store than plastic airbag rolls. (However it will take up a lot less space than traditional paper void fill because it is pre-folded and stacks better on a pallet than wide rolls).

Is paper heavier than plastic – will it increase my carriage costs?

Yes, paper is generally heavier than plastic.  However, paper void fill is often less bulky than bubble or airbags so you are able to get more of your products in a box, so if anything you can end up reducing your carriage costs.

How do I make sure the packaging products I am buying are sustainable?

You are generally safe buying paper packaging. it is 100% biodegradable and 100% recyclable. (As long as it is not laminated with a plastic coating which should be obvious to the eye). Crucially 80% of paper is recycled in the UK in contrast to plastic, of which less than 10% is recovered for recycling. In addition, looking out for certifications such as FSC or PEFC guarantees the paper is obtained from sustainable sources.  You can also try and find out whether your packaging is made in the UK or imported. The closer to home the packaging is produced the lower the carbon footprint.

Avoid Plastic airbags and bubble which are made from LDPE plastic and not widely recycled – if you despatch to consumers this is likely to end up in landfill.  Even less sustainable are so called ‘biodegradable’ plastics.  This material cannot be recycled, and rather than ‘biodegrading’ breaks down into microplastics.  Whilst it may not be longer visible it is still present and at risk of entering water supplies and food chains

What is the most sustainable form of packaging?

There are many forms of sustainable packaging.  If you are in the UK recycled paper packaging produced in the UK is one of the most environmentally friendly and carbon saving types of material. Ultimately, being sustainable is as much about minimising the amount of packaging you use, as well as using the correct material. With the use of videos, or potentially on-site training, Protega can help you minimise the amount of void fill you use in a box.

I am only a small user but want my packaging to become sustainable – what products are best for me?

You can visit the Protega online shop. We would recommend looking at our Hexcel range such as the Hexcel Minipack and HexaFil – both are supplied in dispenser boxes and do not require any additional dispensing equipment so there is no extra set up costs.

Is paper tape as strong as plastic tape?

It depends on what type of paper tape you select. Reinforced gummed paper tapes such as Amazon use are much stronger than plastic tape.  Standard self-adhesive paper tapes are slightly less durable than plastic tapes when it comes to tear strength, but adhesion is usually the same.