Paper Tape vs Plastic Tape

By Sam Smith

October 11th 2021

Whether you’re moving house, sending goods to clients or putting items into storage, Smith Packaging is here to meet all your packaging needs. Packaging plays a big role in our lives – from cardboard boxes to bubble wrap, packing tape to extra protection, we provide eco-friendly packaging materials for everyone from e-commerce businesses to big industry players and individuals.

And that includes two important types of packing tape – paper tape and plastic tape – because there are pros and cons of each, depending on your parcel. Let’s take a look…

What is Packing Tape?

Packing tape is used for securing boxes and envelopes, whether you’re planning to store or send items. It helps keep your packages safe and secure, free from tampering, and can even help to keep moisture out. There are two main different types of packaging tape – paper and plastic – and we are here to help you decide which kind of custom packaging tape is right for you.

The Pros of Plastic Tape

If you want an easy and readily available solution, you can pick up plastic tape for your packaging needs in either brown tape or clear tape versions. Plastic tape is the standard tape and being made from a bonded material means it’s less likely to come loose from your box or shipping container. Plastic tape is also cost effective.

The Cons of Plastic Tape

First and foremost, for the eco-conscious consumer, plastic tape isn’t as environmentally-friendly as paper tape. Plastic adhesive tapes can take longer to break down and are less recyclable than paper. They may also rely on more complex resources and energy systems in the creation process.

Plastic tape could also be easier to tamper with than paper tape. It’s easier to lift up and cut without being super obvious, which may leave your packages at heightened risk.

The Pros of Paper Tape

Brown paper tape is a great eco-friendly alternative to plastic packaging tape. Sometimes referred to as Kraft tape, this paper shipping tape is sturdy, safe, and sustainable to boot. Paper tape can also be less expensive in the long run than plastic tape as you tend to use less when shipping your packages. Cost aside, paper tape is without a doubt the most sustainable option. Paper is completely recyclable and even the adhesive is usually made from corn starch which will do no harm to the planet.

Paper tape is also much more tamper-proof than its plastic counterpart. The bond between package and paper tape is extremely strong, meaning that any attempt to gain access or tamper with the package will be immediately obvious.

And finally, paper tape is also much more resistant to varying degrees of heat than plastic. High temperatures can cause plastic tape to peel or become unstuck, whereas paper has a much higher temperature tolerance.

The Cons of Paper Tape

There are very few cons that come with paper tape. Cheap, durable, and good for the planet – there’s not much to pick apart.

Which Kind of Packing Tape Should You Choose?

Businesses looking to go green with eco-friendly packaging can make use of paper packaging tape. As more and more consumers are looking to companies that are going green, opting for paper tape over solely using plastic is a step in the right direction. Even individuals wanting a strong packaging tape will find added strength, durability, and flexibility in paper tape.

Smith Packaging offers several kinds of packaging tape for both heavy and lightweight packaging needs. From strong bonded brown packaging tape, with a wide surface area and acrylic adhesive, to eco-friendly self-adhesive Kraft paper tape with a natural rubber adhesive, you can find the right seal for your shipping solutions.

Check out our shipping tape solutions at Smith Packaging online today.