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National Stationery Week is upon is, with April 24-30 marking this year’s celebration of writing and office materials.

Below, we have complied a list of 20 fun facts about stationery. As ever, feel free to share your opinions over on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

1. An average sized pine tree can make just over 80,000 sheets of paper.

2. Before erasers were invented in 1770, the preferred method for removing pencil was actually stale bread.

3. The world’s first pencil was invented way back in 1565.

4. The average office worker handles around 10,000 sheets of paper per year.

5. Pencil leads actually contain no lead whatsoever – just graphite and clay

6. The Egyptians invented scissors back in 1500BC.

7. In the UK, around 45 million printer cartridges are send to landfill every year.

8. During the Second World War, paper clips were used to help fight the Nazis.

Norwegian resistance members wore paper clips on their lapels as a discreet sign to show that they were fighting Hitler’s men.

9. Talking of World War II, this was also where ballpoint pens rose to fame. The Royal Air Force needed an alternative to the fountain pen as it couldn’t handle high levels of altitude without leaking.

10. The average ballpoint pen can draw a line two miles long.

11. However, a typical lead pencil can draw one that is 35 miles long – providing you sharpen it every now and then, of course.

12. Pencils can write in zero gravity and while underwater.

13. The first known stapler was made for King Louis XV of France in the 18th century.

14. Joseph Priestley, the man who discovered oxygen, also helped to invent erasers.

15. The Fulgor Nocturnus is the most expensive pen in the history of the world. Decorated with 945 black diamonds, the pen sold for the equivalent of£6.2mat a Shanghai auction back in 2010.

16. 2,500 pencils can be made from one average sized tree.

17. The word ‘pen’ comes from an old French word for the tail feather or long wing of a bird.

18. Pencils didn’t have rubbers attached to the end of them until around 100 years ago. This was due to teachers feeling as though they would encourage students to make errors.

19. Talking of which, the metal band that now attaches a pencil to a rubber is called a ferrule.

20. Mick Clay invented the drawing pin back in 1903. Sadly, that didn’t stop him from living in poverty as shortly after, he sold the invention.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT


To celebrate St George’s Day, we have compiled a list of five key facts about England’s Patron Saint…



St George was actually born in Cappadocia in the year 280.

In case you were wondering, Cappadocia is the area now known as Turkey.

Even though St George wasn’t from England and probably never set foot in the country, he is still the country’s Patron Saint – representing courage and bravery.



The famous legend originates from the Libyan town of Silene.

Silene was apparently guarded by a dragon and in order for the town’s residents to get water, they had to offer a sacrifice to the ferocious beast every day.

One day, the residents agreed to offer their princess up for sacrifice.

However, on the day she was due to be killed, St George came riding by on his white horse, before killing the dragon with his sword, saving the princess in the process.



St George was a soldier of the Roman Army, however after protesting against the pagan Emperor for his persecution of Christians, he was beheaded on April 23rd in the year 303. 

Albeit it over a thousand years later, iconic poet and playwright, William Shakespeare died on the same day in 1616, aged 52.



Since 1415, St George’s Day has been celebrated yearly, on the 23rd April - unless Easter Sunday falls on the same day.

St Georges Day is England’s National Day, however it is not a public holiday and hasn’t been since 1707.

However, that doesn’t stop the more patriotic citizen from flag waving, Morris Dancing and tucking into some traditional foods, such as fish and chips.



Portugal, Venice, Beirut, Malta, Ethiopia, Georgia, Serbia, Lithuania and the Palestinian territories.

However, his Patron Saint duties aren’t exclusive to countries.

St George is also Patron Saint of Scouting. So every year, on the Sunday nearest to the St Georges Day, scouts and guides throughout England parade through the streets in honour of him.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT


Just five days after UK Coffee Week ended, it is now time for tea to take centre stage. April 21st is National Tea Day and as we gave you 15 interesting facts about coffee last week, we only though that it was fair to do the same with our beloved tea!

1. Tea was discovered in China back in 2737BC, when an Emperor reportedly found that tea leaves accidentally fallen in his hot water.

2. All tea (other than herbal) is made from the ‘Camellia Sinensis’ plant.

3. When served without milk and sugar, tea contains no calories and has only half as much caffeine as an equal sized serving of coffee.

4. The average tea drinker consumes three cups per day.

5. The UK imports and consumes 140,000 tonnes of tea every year.

6. Between us here in the UK, we drink a staggering 62 billion cups us every year.

7. However, we are not the biggest tea drinkers in the world – that title goes to the United Arab Emirates.

8. According to a recent survey, 98% of tea drinkers add milk - but only 35% add sugar.

9. Some forms of tea has been proven to prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.

10. Iced tea was first served during a heatwave at the St Louis World Fair in 1904.

11. Of all the tea variations in the world, green tea is said to have the best health benefits.

12. The most expensive tea in the world is grown in the Sichuan province of China. This tea costs the equivalent of around £155 for a small cup.

13. Although coffee is their main beverage, Americans gulp over 50 billion cups of tea every year.

14. Because of the high levels of antioxidants in tea, you are unlikely to have the same caffeine highs and lows that you will get after drinking coffee. This is because the antioxidants regulate the body’s absorption of the caffeine.

15. Until the Second World War, bricks of tea were used as a form of currency in Siberia.

Don’t forget to vote in our National Tea Day polls on Twitter and Facebook

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT



We live in day and age where everyone is looking to save money. We are constantly told to shop around in order to find the best deal.

But one thing you shouldn’t sacrifice when looking for a bargain is quality, and printer cartridges are no exception to this.

While counterfeit printer cartridges can save you a huge amount compared to Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or remanufactured versions, they can cause huge problems to your print quality, hardware and even your personal safety.

Below is a list of the reasons why purchasing counterfeit cartridges should be avoided at all costs.


So many people make the mistake of thinking they can ‘get away’ with poor quality, counterfeit printer cartridges – but the truth is you can’t.

The first problem if you are going to encounter is whether the cartridge will actually work at all. In all honesty, you are dodging a bullet if it doesn’t!

However, if it does pass the initial test, then expect a really poor print compared to original or remanufactured cartridges.

Poor colour quality, splotches and streaks are among the many complaints from counterfeit cartridge users.

Also, expect your counterfeit cartridge to be empty pretty quickly after purchase, as there are rarely fully filled during their slapdash manufacture.


If you get away with only poor quality printing then to be honest, you should be thankful.

The next, more impactful consequence, is damage to your printer. Counterfeit cartridges can cause a variety problems, at that is usually down to poor quality components used in their manufacture and the fact that they are ill-fitting when inserted into your printer.

Expect leaks, bursts and spits from your counterfeit, all of which can cause permanent staining and damage to the hardware.

Physical damage to both your printer, and yourself should also be taken into account as it is a real possibility.

While remanufactured cartridges are far cheaper than OEM versions, they should never be confused or associated with counterfeits.

Here at Red Bus Cartridges, we source used OEM cartridges from our sister company, The Recycling Factory, before remanufacturing and eventually selling.

If a cartridge does not pass any one stage of our testing process, then they are discarded - as are any counterfeits that we ever come across.

For a greater insight into our remanufacturing process, watch the video above.


If you are reading this article then there is a good chance that the above two points may already be something that you have encountered - in which case you might be searching for your printer warranty at the same time as reading this!

Don’t for a second think that your printer manufacturer will uphold your printer warranty if it has broken while you were knowingly using counterfeit ink or toner cartridges.

They won’t – it really is as simple as that. As soon as you knowingly use a counterfeit cartridge, you are essentially voiding the warranty on your printer there and then.

That said, if you have made an innocent mistake, and you are able to prove that you didn’t intentionally go out to buy counterfeit cartridges, then you might just be lucky – depending on the make and model of your printer.


Counterfeit cartridges are generally manufactured overseas, meaning that to reach the United Kingdom, they must be shipped long distances.

The lengthy supply chain involved in shipping these items across the world can be extremely harmful to the environment.

The same cannot be said for our remanufactured cartridges, as we complete all of our manufacturing, from start to finish, right here at our purpose built Lincolnshire factory. This enables us to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum and create a closed loop recycling system, as cartridges can be refurbished on numerous occasions.


That’s right, the manufacturers of these counterfeit cartridges have illegally copied an original design and have more than likely broken UK Patent Laws along the way.

Counterfeit cartridges are illegal to produce and sell – something you really don’t want to get involved in for the sake of saving a few extra quid!

No matter how cheap they are, counterfeit cartridges should always be avoided. We understand that OEM versions can be very expensive, so if you are looking save money, why not try remanufactured versions?

Visit to find remanufactured printer cartridges and save up to 70% compared to OEM versions.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT


April 10-16 is UK Coffee Week and to mark the occasion, we have provided you with a list of 15 interesting facts about the world’s most popular hot beverage.

1. Approximately 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world on a daily basis.

2. Coffee is now more popular in the UK than tea. That’s right, according to a recent report, Brits spend 60% more on coffee than they do tea. Wowzers.

3. In the UK, people between the ages of 50 and 64 are the most likely to consume and spend money on coffee.

4. Coffee is also hugely popular across the pond with 54% of Americans drinking at least one cup on a daily basis.

5. On that note, the average American spends a whopping $1092 on coffee per year.

6. You are most receptive to the effects of caffeine between 9.30am and 11.30am, with 10.30am being the ideal time to consume a cup of coffee.

7. Contrary to belief, energy drinks still don't have as much caffeine as the coffee sold in chain outlets such as Starbucks and Costa.

8. Black Ivory coffee is the most expensive in the world. But guess what? It’s actually made from elephant dung!

9. According to a study back in 2013, drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee can significantly improve blood flow.

10. The term ‘Americano’ comes from World War II. Government Issued soldiers from the US would order an Espresso before diluting it with hot water.

11. Unless consumed in very large quantities, coffee doesn’t actually dehydrate you.

12. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the word, with oil being the first.

13. Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world, and has been so for the last 150 years.

14. George Washington invented coffee - but not that one! A Belgian man living in Guatemala by the same name invented it way back in 1906.

15. Coffee has been found to reverse the liver damage caused by alcohol. And before you ask - no, this doesn’t mean Irish coffees are healthy!

Remember to share your opinions with us over on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT


Almost 16 million people in the UK work in some form of office. While office work may not leave the body battered and bruised like a manual role, it can play havoc with an individuals’ mind.

April 1st marked the start of Stress Awareness Month, so we have decided to compile a helpful list containing ways to combat stress in an office environment.

As ever, please share your opinions over on our Twitter and Facebook pages.


Around 54% of workers in the UK regularly work through their lunch break, with 20% feeling pressure from managers to do so. You have a lunch break for a reason, and you should be contractually obliged to one. If you are able to leave your place of work then you should – go for a walk or have your lunch away from the office. If you work in a purpose built environment that is nowhere near anything, then go to a break-out area for your lunch. Take a book, magazine or just talk to colleagues – leave your work at your desk and relax for the allotted time.


The right amount of sleep can help your brain function properly. It has been scientifically proven to help you pay attention, make decisions and improve creativity.

Studies also show a direct link between sleep deprivation and increased stress levels. The National Sleep Foundation recommend that working adults need between seven and nine hours sleep each night to function to the best of their ability the following day.


Can’t figure out how to do something? Struggling to meet a deadline? Why not call in your co-workers for help? The chances are, they either know the answer to your problem or they have some spare time to help you out. Communication is key in any job, and this will help you bond with your colleagues and build relationships. Just be sure to return the favour!


Sometimes stress in the office can have nothing to do with your actual work. Slow internet or a dodgy keyboard can be just as stressful as meeting an important deadline. As soon as you discover a problem with your workstation, report it to your IT or HR team and get it fixed as quickly as possible.


While very small amounts of caffeine can lift your mood and give you a boost, it certainly isn’t something you should rely on. In fact, caffeine can cause sleep loss, cravings and negative health consequences, which in turn, raises stress levels. If you can quit caffeine completely then that’s great, but if not, try to limit it. And whatever you do, don’t consume any after 2pm.


There is nothing worse than working all day on a document, pressing print to find out that a dodgy copy or compatible cartridge has either ruined your work, or worse still your printer. If you are looking to move away from expensive, original cartridges, then don’t go for compatibles, chose a remanufactured option instead. Remember, you can save up to 70% on your printing costs and get free next day delivery at


Are you facing one of those days, weeks or months where work is so busy that you can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel? If so, then prioritizing your workload is absolutely vital to prevent stress. The first thing you need to do is make a list of everything you need to do, calculating rough completion times in the process.

Then put the list in priority order, taking deadlines and importance into account. This way, you will be able to analyse the hours in your workload compared to your working hours. If it isn’t doable, then ask for assistance or delegate the lesser tasks.


Where possible, try to separate your work and home life. You should associate the office with working and your home for relaxing. In some jobs this isn’t always possible, but weekends in front of your laptop are never a good idea.


It works the other way too – you shouldn’t bring your home life into work. The minute you walk through the door to your office, you should be positive and focused on your work. The more you check your phone for messages or social media, the more you will become distracted, or in some cases, angry. All of which will contribute to high stress levels.


Don’t get stuck in the ‘only five days until the weekend’ mindset. You should enjoy your job, after all, you spend more time in your office environment than you do whilst awake at home. If you dislike your job so much that you have such feelings, then look around for something. A lack of job satisfaction can be an almost instant trigger to stress, anxiety and even depression.

Article written by Calum Chinchen – Social Media Executive at Red Bus Cartridges163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT163, Beaconside, South Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE34 7PT