Choosing Packing Tape: Plastic or Paper?

Choosing Packing Tape: Plastic or Paper?

Shipping out your products to customers is an exciting part of running a small business, but ensuring that they arrive safely and securely can be a challenge. Choosing the right packing tape is one of the most important decisions you'll make as a small business owner, as it can make the difference between a happy customer and a damaged product. With so many options available, from plastic tape to water-activated tape, it can be tough to know which one to choose. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the pros and cons of each type of packing tape, and help you decide which one is the best fit for your small business needs. Get ready to make shipping a breeze with the perfect packing tape!


What is plastic packing tape?

Plastic packing tape is a type of adhesive tape that is commonly used for packaging and shipping. It is made of a thin, flexible plastic film (usually polypropylene) with a layer of adhesive on one side. The tape is used to seal boxes, packages, and other containers, and helps to keep the contents secure and protected during transport.


A person is wrapping the package with plastic tape.



What is paper packing tape?

Paper packing tape, also known as water-activated tape or gummed tape, is a type of adhesive tape that is used for packaging and shipping. It is made of a paper backing, which is coated with a layer of water-activated adhesive. When the tape is moistened, either with water or a specialized tape dispenser, the adhesive is activated and the tape forms a strong, permanent bond with the surface it is applied to.

Compared to plastic packing tape, paper packing tape is considered to be more environmentally friendly, as it is biodegradable and recyclable. However, it can be more expensive and may require special dispensers or equipment for application.


A person is wrapping a package with paper tape.



Pros of plastic packing paper

Easy to use: Plastic packing tape is very easy to use and can be applied quickly and efficiently to packages and boxes. It can be easily cut and applied with a dispenser, making it a convenient option for small businesses that need to process a high volume of shipments quickly. Unlike water-activated tape, plastic tape does not require any additional equipment, such as a dispenser or water source, which can save time and effort.


Cheaper than paper packing tape: Plastic packing tape is often more affordable than paper packing tape. It is a cost-effective solution for small business owners who want to save on their packaging costs. Additionally, since plastic tape is widely available, it is easy to find and purchase in bulk, making it an even more economical option for businesses that ship frequently.


Easy to be peeled off: While plastic packing tape is designed to be strong and durable, it can also be easily peeled off if needed. This can be a useful feature for businesses that need to remove or adjust tape during the packaging process.


Cons of plastic packing paper


Not good enough for heavy items: While plastic packing tape can be strong and durable, it may not be suitable for heavier or bulkier items. When shipping large or heavy items, the tape may not be able to withstand the weight and may begin to peel or tear, which can compromise the integrity of the packaging. In these cases, businesses may need to consider using reinforced packing tape or other packaging materials to provide additional support and security.

Non-biodegradable: One of the biggest environmental drawbacks of plastic packing tape is that it is non-biodegradable and can take hundreds of years to decompose.


Pros of water-activated packing tape

More eco-friendly: Water-activated tape, also known as gummed paper tape or Kraft paper tape, is a more eco-friendly option than plastic packing tape. Made from renewable materials such as paper and natural starch-based adhesive, it is biodegradable and can be easily recycled or composted. This makes it an excellent choice for small businesses that prioritize sustainability and want to reduce their environmental impact.

Easy to customize: Water-activated tape is easy to customize and can be printed with branding, logos, or other designs. This can help small businesses to create a more unique appearance for their packages,

Strong for large packages: Water-activated tape is strong and durable, making it an excellent choice for shipping larger or bulkier items.


Which one is better for small business?

The choice of packing tape ultimately depends on the specific needs and preferences of the small business owner, including the types of products being shipped, the frequency of shipments, and the desired level of security and branding. However, here are some factors to consider:

If environmental sustainability is a priority, then water-activated packing tape is a better choice since it is made of paper and is biodegradable and recyclable.

If ease of use and versatility are a priority, then plastic packing tape may be a better choice. It is easy to use and available in different sizes and styles, making it suitable for a wide range of packaging needs.

Both plastic and water-activated tape have their own set of pros and cons that small business owners should carefully consider when selecting a packaging option. While plastic tape may be more convenient and cost-effective, water-activated tape is a more eco-friendly choice that provides excellent customization options and is strong enough to support larger packages.

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