Are you considering switching to paper tape. Or maybe already using self-adhesive paper tape and noticed the gummed tape. Or maybe you’re just researching out of interest.
It’s a common question, what is gummed tape and how is it different to self-adhesive?
Even though gummed paper tape was patented in 1946, not many people know what it really is. Today, we are going to address the pros, cons, good, and ugly of gummed and self-adhesive paper tape.
By the end, we hope you’ll have a better knowledge and understanding which choice is best for you.
Let’s get started …
No doubt you’ve used some sort of tape in your life, most likely the plastic version.
Nearly every business worldwide using the stuff to seal and secure cartons, boxes, bags and many items.
But tape can come in different materials, from paper to plastic to foam to foil.
Plastic tape is by far the most common, being used since around the 1930’s.
Cost, easy to use, and availability.
Plastic tapes are often the cheaper option for many businesses, there available all the time, and only require a hand-gun to use.
But, that’s not what we are here to talk about, let’s get on with paper tape.
There are many different materials for paper tape, a lot of them with a Kraft paper backing and a synthetic rubber (Hot Melt) adhesive.
If you were to google “Self-adhesive paper tape”, many companies would claim the “100% Recyclable” clause, but in fact they are wrong. Just because it is made with paper doesn’t mean it’s fully recyclable.
Wow! Wait a minute! Does that mean self-adhesive paper tape isn’t more eco-friendly than plastic tape after all?
There’s 2 parts to the paper tape. The adhesive and the backing.
OK, right now you’re probably thinking, “Paper tape isn’t worth it, it’s not recyclable, so not eco-friendly”. WRONG!
This type of paper tape is definitely worth knowing about. There are a few big businesses out there using it, including Amazon and Aldi.
This tape is eco-friendly, and when we say eco-friendly, we mean eco-friendly.
But, it is a bit more complicated than standard self-adhesive tapes. Let’s find out a bit about what it actually is.
Gummed paper tape is made from a natural resource, either paper or potato starch. It has a natural glue which becomes sticky once it has been moistened with water. Hence why it’s also called water-activated tape (WAT). The tape requires more than just a standard hand held gun, but we’ll talk about that later.
So, what is good about it?
How does gummed paper tape work?
This is where gummed paper tape becomes more complicated.
It requires a small machine to make it sticky.
There are many types of machines, from electric, automatic, manual, pull & tear, you name it.
These dispensers do require a slight investment, with the pricing being from around £50 for a pull & tear to £2000 for a fully electric machine.
But it’s worth the investment. That’s why companies are starting to use it more. Amazon being the biggest user as you’ve probably seen.
That’s it, the main differences between the two paper tapes.
If you have eco goals, sustainable tapes are definitely worth considering. You just need to know which one!
In our opinion, if you’re a small business, a good place to start is the self-adhesive paper tape, it doesn’t require the machine investment, but it’s still a great sustainable alternative.
For bigger businesses, shipping out many orders a week, a gummed paper tape is definitely worthwhile.
Hopefully that’s given you a rough idea of gummed vs self-adhesive paper tape. So, if you’ve made up your mind, ready to become more sustainable, do your bit for the planet, you can get started.
P.s. Our internal friendly team are well-up for a chat anytime to discuss your paper tape needs! ????
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I like that you talked about how gummed paper tape is surprisingly cost-effective. I received quite a lot of delivery packages before and I wondered what kind of tape they were using for the boxes, and from what I’ve heard, it seems to be gummed paper tape. Also, according to what I researched before, gummed paper tapes usually need dispensers, like Better Pack 755es.
Yes it’s becoming more popular in e-commerce businesses because of its sustainability and efficiency. Yes correct, the gummed paper tape does require a paper tape dispenser like our Electric one (https://sustabio.com/product/electric-gummed-paper-tape-dispenser/)