In our recent posts on the sustainability/recyclability of packaging tapes, we covered the broad strokes of 4 of the most common packaging tapes. Yes, there are certainly more than 4 types of tape out there, but we’re in the business of packaging and most likely you’ve come across this post because you’re in the same industry.
When it comes down to it, you are probably reading this because your job is to pick the right tape for the job you have to do. No matter your role – purchasing, sourcing, sales, or marketing – the packaging experts at BestPack can help you understand what your options are when it comes to picking the right – and most sustainable – tape for your business. In addition to the types of tape to consider, it also comes down to what kinds of packages you are looking to seal, what their contents are, and the level of security that is needed.
So, let’s dive into some more detail on the most sustainable of common packaging tapes out there – paper.
In general, it’s probably not surprising to hear that paper tape gets the gold star for sustainability. After all, before single-stream recycling was a thing, paper was one of the few things people recycled without being reminded to do so. Broken down the right way (shredded, or boiled into pulp for instance) you can quite literally put it back into the earth as compost or upcycle it into something else. It’s one of the most biodegradable materials in our industry, by far.
In fact, any local town dump, drop-off center, waste management company, recycling center, and more will accept paper to recycle. Bonus: the paper tape can stay right on the cardboard boxes it ends up on, and it can be recycled as one unit.
However, perform a quick search and you’ll find that not all paper tapes are created equal, nor are they equally recyclable. For example, reinforced water-activated tape (WAT) uses fiberglass strands for strength, which are not recyclable and actually use more energy to process (More on this in our blog on WAT.).
Besides the obvious, what makes paper packaging tape potentially the most sustainable and appropriate choice for your business?
In addition to its sustainable attributes, it’s a high-performance option.
While we all strive to do our part to run the most sustainable businesses we can and adopt “greener” practices, the reality is that paper tape may not be the best option for what you do. You will have to weigh the options – cost, use, application method – and decide what makes the most sense, and then make your sustainability and recycling plan accordingly.
It’s also important to remember that there are some inconsistencies from the recycling perspective depending on who you ask, or where you look for answers. For instance, a recycling center in Colorado may have different rules than one in Florida. The financial resources available and the equipment used to sort, filter, and process materials vary greatly from one municipality to another. So, a single stream is not always a single stream. We suggest doing your homework so you know you are being as conscientious as possible when making the best choice for your business and the environment.
We are excited to have broadened our own product assortment and are now taking orders for paper packaging tape. Contact us to request a sample.
To learn more about other packaging tape options view our posts on: