Self-Adhesive Paper Tape: A Comprehensive Guide

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Self-adhesive paper tape has emerged as a versatile and eco-friendly alternative to plastic tapes.

This type of kraft paper tape has become popular in recent years because of its ease of use and eco-friendly credentials. Plus, it can provide a professional and attractive finish on top of sealing your packaging!  

If you’re curious about paper tape and its applications, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll be exploring everything you need to know about self-adhesive paper tape. Read on to find out what self-adhesive paper tape is, if it’s different to gummed paper tape and learn about the advantage of choosing this product as your packing tape of choice.

self-adhesive paper tape

Understanding Self-Adhesive Paper Tape

What is Self-Adhesive Paper Tape?

Self-adhesive paper tape is a type of packaging tape made from a kraft paper backing lined with an adhesive. It is also known as sticky paper tape or pressure-sensitive paper tape.

At the moment, the two most common adhesives used with paper tape are hot melt and solvent. These adhesives have slightly different properties, so may impact which self-adhesive paper tape you opt for. We explain them in our free packing tape guide download, which you can find here.

Composition and Eco-Friendly Properties

One of the standout features of paper packing tape is its eco-friendly composition. Typically made from natural fibres like kraft paper, it is easy to recycle.

Another benefit of paper tape is that, as it’s made from a wood derivative, it is manufactured from a sustainable resource. It’s also worth noting that you can obtain paper tapes that are made from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sustainably managed forests, further adding to the eco-credentials of this product.

While paper tape can be recycled, it is worth noting that some paper tapes are not suitable for home composting or biodegrading due to the adhesives they use. The same goes for reinforced tapes where glass fibres are used within the paper backing.

However, for businesses looking to reduce their ecological footprint, paper tape is still a great sealing option, as it can provide a plastic-free alternative to traditional packing tapes.

The difference between self-adhesive paper tape and gummed paper tape

When you’re searching for paper tape online, you’ll be presented with lots of options including gummed paper tape, masking tape and self-adhesive paper tape. So, what’s the difference between them?

  • Self-adhesive paper tape – this is tape made from a flatback kraft paper backing lined with a ready-to-use adhesive. Essentially, this means you can use it straight away. Once it’s loaded onto a tape gun, you can use it like regular plastic packing tape. This type of tape is also known as pressure-sensitive tape, and is available in longer rolls for machines, as well as standard rolls that work with hand dispensers.
  • Gummed paper tape – another popular paper tape, this type has a water-activated adhesive. This means you need to moisten the adhesive with water before it can be used. There is an array of gummed paper tape dispensers on the market, both manual and automated, which help you to easily moisten and apply the tape.
  • Masking tape – primarily used in decorating to enable a straight-line finish to painted surfaces, this tape is designed to form a quick bond to the surface which can be easily removed without leaving a sticky residue.
self-adhesive paper tape

The advantages of self-adhesive paper tape

As mentioned, the eco-friendly nature of self-adhesive paper tape is a significant advantage compared to plastic-based alternatives. But did you know that despite its paper-based composition, self-adhesive paper tape offers impressive strength and durability? When properly applied, it forms a robust seal that can withstand temperature changes and rigorous transportation conditions.

The smooth, matte finish of self-adhesive paper tape also provides a professional and aesthetically pleasing appearance. It’s an ideal choice for businesses looking to create a polished and distinctive brand image.

It can be custom printed with your company logos or messaging, providing you with an eco-friendly platform to tell your brand story too, making this type of tape a good option if you want to promote your brand on your packaging.

self-adhesive paper tape

Applications of self-adhesive paper tape

The primary application of paper tape is in packing and shipping. It provides a secure seal for boxes, envelopes, and a variety of materials, ensuring that contents remain intact during transit. 

You can apply self-adhesive paper tape to multiple surfaces, including cardboard, plastic, or polythene. It differs from gummed paper tape, which primarily sticks to cardboard surfaces.

Before applying tape to a pack, ensure the surface is clean and dry, then press it down firmly to create a secure bond.

Store paper tape in a cool, dry place to maintain its adhesive properties. Avoid exposure to excessive moisture or extreme temperatures.

self-adhesive paper tape

Help choosing packing tape for your business

The eco-friendly composition of paper tape, along with its strength, and versatility, make it a valuable addition to any packing operation.

At Macfarlane Packaging we offer a wide range of self-adhesive paper tapes which have been responsibly sourced, we can even provide an option for inline tape machines.

Contact us today to enquire about a switch to paper tape and experience the benefits for yourself! Why not download our FREE packing tape guide to get hints and tips about what tape is best for you too?