Packing tape is an essential part of any business that deals with packaging and shipping. With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your business needs. Brand image and sustainability are becoming ever-increasing factors for businesses to consider, with many choosing to step away from the traditional plastic packing tape and opting for a more eco-friendly paper-based tape instead.
We use packing tape every day in our own dispatch operations, so we’d say we’re quite the tape experts. We’ve compiled a handy guide to help you on your way to choosing the right packing tape for your operation.
|Packing Tape||Strength||Pros||Cons||Eco Score|
Can be layered
|Unsuitable for heavy duty applications||1|
|Hot Melt||Light-Medium||Self-Adhesive||Unsuitable for warm or humid environments||1|
|Waxy exterior, unsuitable for layering||5|
|Water Activated||Medium-High||Extremely Sticky|
|Dispenser required to activate||5|
|Crossweave||Extremely High||Tamper Proof|
BOPP Tape: The Economical Choice
Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (or BOPP for short) Packing Tape is the most popular choice for many warehousing and packing operations. It’s economical, easy to store and fits industry standard handheld packing tape dispensers. Offering a high gloss and high clarity finish, it is most commonly used for light carton sealing operations. BOPP Tape is available in a multitude of colours, prints and styles. For a barely noticeable seal, choose Brown or Clear Packing Tape. Or for a two-in-one seal and warning, we also offer printed polypropylene tapes.
BOPP is typically a noisy packing tape, so for an office or high dispatch operation, we’d recommend Low Noise BOPP Packing Tape. Like its noisy counterpart, this tape also provides a flat, barely noticeable seal, just minus the noise.
BOPP is suitable for a multitude of packing operations, but can have a few sticking points. It’s not suitable for use on every surface and can peel under certain conditions. Despite its popular use for cardboard and paper surfaces, if the goods are made from a high recycled content, BOPP tape can occasionally lift. For the most secure BOPP carton sealing, we’d recommend taping all the way around the box, not just to an inch either side of the lid.
Things to look out for: Not all BOPP Packing Tapes are the same! There are several factors which influence both the effectiveness and price point and from first glance, this can be hard to decipher. Most distributors typically offer BOPP tape in an industry standard 48mm x 66M roll, but this is occasionally sold as less. The second and most influential factor is the micron thickness. The micron total is a combination of the film thickness, coupled with the adhesive glue. The higher the micron, the thicker and therefore stronger the packing tape is overall. Be sure to compare the micron thickness when undertaking your price comparison!
Low Noise BOPP Tape: Ideal for Quiet Environments
For businesses operating in quiet environments or high dispatch operations, Low Noise BOPP Tape is an excellent option. It provides a flat, barely noticeable seal, without the noise that comes with traditional BOPP tape.
Hot Melt Tape: Instant Adhesion for Storage Items
Providing a high clarity, high stick packaging solution, Hot Melt offers a synthetic adhesive rubber (hot melt) suitable for many types of carton sealing operations. Hot Melt tape offers an instant, superior stick to all paper and board surfaces with long-lasting adhesion. This makes it a suitable contender for sealing items which are kept in storage and other cooler warehousing and distribution environments.
Things to look out for: For warehouses which are subject to fluctuating temperatures, or those in warm working environments, hot melt is not recommended. Warmer temperatures (above 30 degrees) can cause a loss of bond strength at higher temperatures. If your warehousing temperatures are warm or inconsistent, we’d recommend Crossweave or Gummed Tape instead.
Adhesive Paper Tape: Eco-Friendly Option
Paper Packing Tape is a popular choice for distributors wanting a more eco-friendly solution for sealing. With all of our Paper Packing Tapes suitable for tearing by hand, the requirement for a dispenser is mitigated.
We have many self-adhesive styles to choose from; adhesive eco paper tape masking tape. Both are used for significantly different purposes, but hold similar eco and adhesive properties. Masking Tape is most commonly used by painters and decorators, with eco-tape used for carton sealing. It’s worth noting that our eco-tape offers a superior stick but the outside has a waxy seal. This means it isn’t suitable for layering, but the extra strong adhesive means layering isn’t necessary. You get the perfect seal whilst still using a minimal amount of tape.
Things to look out for: It’s easy for companies to market their products as eco-friendly. Paper tapes are made from (you guessed it) paper and glue. Sometimes, the glue can be made from non recyclable or biodegradable material. Make sure to check the full details to ensure you really are getting an eco-friendly adhesive!
Gummed/Water Activated Tape: Tamper-Proof Seal
Gummed tape is by far the most up-and-coming packaging solution. Offering a permanent adhesion to cardboard and other paper materials, gummed tape ‘melts’ into the box, offering a high security, tamper-proof seal which can be relied upon.
We offer plain and reinforced water activated packing tape, both of which are from 100% recyclable material, making them the perfect choice for eco-conscious businesses.
Things to look out for: as gummed tapes are water activated, not self-adhesive, you will need to purchase a Water Activated Tape Dispenser. These can range from very cheap, manual dispensers with a simple tear-off mechanism to automatic, pre-set length dispensers, more suited to the higher volume shipper. It’s worth noting that the pre-set lengths are an excellent solution to preventing waste and saving money on packing tape over time.
Crossweave Tape: Extra-Strength for High-Security Sealing
Crossweave Packing Tape is the king of tamper-proof, extra strong packing tape. This tape is bilaterally reinforced with glass fibre strands, offering tear resistance and a high tensile strength. The glass fibres coupled with the rubber resin adhesive makes crossweave the ultimate choice for high-security, moisture-resistant packing tape which is suitable for use on a multitude of surfaces.
Things to look out for: Due to its extra-strength properties, crossweave is almost impossible to tear! This means you either need a packing tape dispenser, or scissors to cut the tape to the required size, adding a small step to the packing operation.
When it comes to choosing the right packing tape for your business, consider your specific needs and requirements, including cost, strength, and convenience. Don’t forget to consider sustainability and brand image as well. By understanding the different types of packing tape available and what to look for when making your selection, you can ensure that your goods are packaged and shipped securely and safely.