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Paper Tape

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Paper Tape from Macfarlane Packaging

Paper tape is an eco-friendly alternative to standard plastic packing tape. Our range includes self-adhesive paper tape, gummed paper tape and masking tape – so we stock an eco-friendly tape option for everyone!

Macfarlane Packaging offers an extensive range of roll widths and lengths to choose from, and all our paper tapes can be recycled in the paper waste stream. Paper tape is a more sustainable choice for any business concerned about reducing its carbon footprint as it can be recycled and is an alternative to plastic for those looking to reduce their plastic waste.

Quick facts about our range of paper tape

  • An eco-friendly alternative to standard plastic packing tape
  • Choose from self-adhesive paper tape, gummed paper tape and masking tape options
  • • Extensive range of roll widths and lengths to choose from
  • • All our paper tapes can be recycled in the paper waste stream

Our Range of Self-adhesive Paper Tape

Self-adhesive paper tape works just like regular packing tape – you load it to a dispenser and you’re ready to seal your packaging. This tape comes with a hot melt adhesive, so while it can be recycled, it is not suitable for home composting or biodegrading.

(mm x m)
Size (mm)
Buy or Enquire
301998Kraft PaperHot Melt48 x 755036BUY NOW
340000Kraft PaperHot Melt25 x 507572BUY NOW
340002Kraft PaperHot Melt75 x 507524BUY NOW
1001047Kraft PaperSolvent48 x 507536BUY NOW
1001060Kraft Paper Reinforced with FibreglassHot Melt50 x 257536ENQUIRE NOW
1001062Kraft Paper – Printed “Fragile” Hot Melt50 x 507536BUY NOW
340003*Kraft PaperHot Melt48 x 500756BUY NOW
347313Kraft Paper Alternative to Crossweave Reinforced TapeHot Melt50 x 507536ENQUIRE NOW

*Product code 340003 is for use with in line tape machines.

Our Range of Gummed Paper Tape

Gummed paper tape, also known as water-activated tape, requires moisture to activate its adhesive. It comes in rolls with a dry adhesive on one side. You can moisten this with a damp sponge, or a specialised tape dispenser equipped with a water reservoir. When you moisten the tape, it activates the adhesive, which creates a strong bond with the carton or package.

(mm x m)
Size (mm)
Buy or Enquire
005462K70Plain48 x 2007530ENQUIRE NOW
005461K60Plain70 x 2007520ENQUIRE NOW
005463K70Plain70 x 2007518BUY NOW
1001081K130Reinforced48 x 1007524BUY NOW
1001083K130Reinforced60 x 457516ENQUIRE NOW
1001084K130Reinforced60 x 457516ENQUIRE NOW
100471K130Reinforced70 x 100758ENQUIRE NOW
002126K130Reinforced70 x 152756ENQUIRE NOW
002127K130Reinforced70 x 305756ENQUIRE NOW

Our Range of Masking Tape

We all know masking tape is for masking, but it is also ideal for temporary marking. General purpose masking tape is easy to tear and removes cleanly after use. Macfarlane Packaging’s range of masking tapes is manufactured from flexible crepe paper and can be used in temperatures up to 60ºC.

(mm x m)
Size (mm)
Buy or Enquire
00315512 x 507572ENQUIRE NOW
00110818 x 507548ENQUIRE NOW
00109924 x 507536BUY NOW
00108438 x 507524ENQUIRE NOW
00106248 x 507524BUY NOW
00105374 x 507516ENQUIRE NOW

Environmental Impact Rating – Paper Tapes

Our Environmental Impact Rating (EIR) shows an OPRL recycling label, the recycling category of the packaging material and the recycled content contained in the material.




22 pap

Recycled Content

0 recycled

Download our FREE packing tape guide

Image shows the cover of Macfarlane Packaging's packing tape guide. It shows colourful blocks as well as two rolls of packing tape.

Our FREE guide to packing tape will help you:

  • Find information about different packing tape available from Macfarlane Packaging including polypropylene tape, paper tape and more.
  • Learn about packaging automation, packaging and recycling in relation to packaging tape.
  • Find answers to some of the frequently asked questions related to packing tape.
  • Help find the right packing tape solution for your business with guides to material type and packing tape adhesives.

Paper Tapes FAQs

What is paper tape used for?

Here are the primary uses of paper tape in packaging:

  • Carton Sealing: tape made from paper is utilised for sealing cardboard boxes and cartons, ensuring the secure closure of packages during storage and transit. Its clean removal attributes make it ideal for packaging applications where residue-free opening is crucial.
  • Labelling: It is a practical choice for labelling packages. With its easy write-on surface, information such as contents, dates, and handling instructions can be written directly onto the tape, aiding in efficient package identification.
  • Colour Coding: Different colours of paper tape can be used to colour code packages, facilitating organization and sorting in warehouses and distribution centres.
  • Tamper-Evident Sealing: Paper tape can be employed for tamper-evident sealing, providing a visible indication if a package has been compromised or tampered with. This enhances the security of valuable or sensitive shipments.
  • Recyclable and Eco-Friendly Packaging: For eco-conscious packaging solutions, paper tape is favoured because it is biodegradable and can be easily recycled, contributing to sustainable packaging practices.
  • Retail Packaging: In retail settings, paper tape is used to seal and secure packaging for consumer products, providing a professional and eco-friendly appearance while maintaining the ease of opening for customers.
  • Promotional Branding: Some businesses use branded paper tape to incorporate their logos, slogans, or promotional messages into their packaging, creating a distinctive and recognisable package design.
  • Gift Wrapping: For gift packaging, paper tape is a popular choice due to its clean and unobtrusive appearance. It allows for secure wrapping while retaining the aesthetics of the package.
  • Easily Customisable: Paper tape is adaptable and can be easily torn by hand, making it suitable for customising the length as needed without requiring additional cutting tools.
  • Secure Bundling: When multiple items need to be bundled together within a package, paper tape is employed to secure and hold them in place, preventing shifting or separation during transit.
  • Mailing and Shipping: For lightweight and small packages, paper tape can be used for mailing and shipping, ensuring that the contents are secure and protected during their journey.

In the context of packaging, paper tape stands out as an eco-friendly, versatile, and easily customisable solution. Its properties cater to the needs of both businesses and consumers, ensuring that packages are not only secure but also environmentally conscious and user-friendly.

Is paper tape the same as masking tape?

Tape made from paper and masking tape are similar but not necessarily the same. They both fall under the category of adhesive tapes made from paper backing with an adhesive layer, but there are distinctions between the two:

Masking Tape:

  • Adhesive Type: Masking tape typically uses a pressure-sensitive adhesive that is relatively easy to remove without leaving residue. This adhesive is designed for clean, temporary adhesion and is commonly used in painting and masking applications.
  • Crepe Paper Backing: Masking tape often has a crepe paper backing, which provides flexibility and conformability. This makes it suitable for curved or irregular surfaces.
  • Painting and Masking: Masking tape is primarily used in painting projects to mask off areas that should not be painted, such as window frames, baseboards, and edges. It provides clean, sharp paint lines and can be easily removed without damaging the underlying surface.
  • Labelling and Temporary Repairs: While masking tape is not specifically designed for packaging, it can be used for labelling and temporary repairs in a pinch.

Paper Tape:

  • Packaging and Sealing: Paper tape is often used for packaging and sealing purposes. It can provide secure closure for cardboard boxes and cartons, offering options for both permanent and removable adhesion, depending on the specific tape chosen.
  • Adhesive Type: Tape made from paper can have different types of adhesives, including rubber-based or acrylic-based adhesives. The adhesive properties can vary, and some paper tapes may be designed for permanent sealing, while others are for temporary use.
  • Labelling: Some types of paper tape are suitable for labelling packages, as they provide a writable surface. This can aid in package identification and organisation.

In summary, masking tape is primarily designed for painting and masking tasks, offering clean removal and temporary adhesion. Tape made from kraft paper, on the other hand, has a broader range of applications, including packaging, sealing, labelling, and more, with varying adhesive properties depending on the specific type of tape chosen.

Is gummed paper tape eco-friendly?

Yes, gummed paper tape (also called water activated tape) is considered an eco-friendly tape option for several reasons:

  • Biodegradability: Water activated tape is made from natural fibres, primarily paper. Paper is biodegradable and breaks down naturally over time, making it an environmentally friendly choice.
  • Recyclability: Not only is water activated tape biodegradable, but it is also recyclable. When used on cardboard boxes, both the tape and the box can be recycled together, simplifying the recycling process.
  • No Plastic: Unlike many other packaging tapes, water activated tape is entirely free of plastic. It doesn’t contribute to plastic pollution or microplastic contamination in the environment.
  • Water-Activated: Gummed paper tape requires water to activate its adhesive. This feature eliminates the need for solvent-based adhesives found in some plastic tapes, which can release harmful chemicals into the environment.
  • Minimal Environmental Impact: The production of this type of tape typically has a lower environmental impact compared to the manufacturing of plastic tapes, which involve the use of petroleum-based materials.
  • Suitable for Reused Boxes: Gummed paper tape works well for sealing reused boxes because it adheres effectively to various surfaces. This promotes the reuse of packaging materials, reducing waste.
  • High Performance: This type of tape provides strong, tamper-evident seals for packages, making it a practical choice for eco-conscious businesses without compromising security.
  • Compostability: Gummed paper tape with water-activated adhesive is certified compostable, further enhancing its eco-friendliness.

Be aware that some gummed paper tapes are reinforced with fiberglass threads for added strength. While these tapes are still eco-friendly in terms of the backing material, they may not be suitable for composting due to the reinforcement. Always check the product specifications and disposal guidelines provided by the manufacturer to make environmentally responsible choices.

Can paper tape be recycled?

Yes, paper tape can typically be recycled, and it is considered a more environmentally friendly packaging tape option compared to many plastic-based tapes. Recycling paper tape is relatively straightforward and aligns with eco-friendly practices. Here’s how you can recycle paper tape effectively:

  • Cardboard Box Recycling: If you’re recycling cardboard boxes sealed with paper tape, the entire package can usually be recycled together. Most recycling facilities can process cardboard boxes that have paper tape attached. However, it’s a good idea to check with your local recycling program or facility to confirm their specific guidelines.
  • Paper Tape Itself: this tape can be recycled along with other paper products. Simply include it with your paper recycling collection. Ensure that the paper backing is clean and free from any non-paper contaminants.
  • Adhesive Residue: Sometimes, this type of tape may leave behind a small amount of adhesive residue on surfaces. While this residue may not be ideal for recycling, it’s usually minimal and shouldn’t cause significant issues during the recycling process.
  • Avoid Contamination: It’s essential to prevent contamination of tape made from paper with non-recyclable materials, such as plastic or metal. Any contamination can reduce the quality of the recycled paper.

Keep in mind that some variations of tape made from paper may have specific properties, such as water-activated adhesive or reinforced backing, which could impact recyclability. In most cases, standard tape made from paper made from uncoated paper should be recyclable without issue. However, it’s always a good idea to verify with your recycling service provider for any unique considerations regarding paper tape recycling.

Ask us about packing tape customisation

Macfarlane Packaging’s range of gummed and self-adhesive tapes made from paper can be customised to add an extra dimension to your branded packaging. You can add logos, patterns, or messages, and there is no limit to the range of colours.

Custom Paper Tape Macfarlane Packaging, masking tape, paper packaging tape, kraft paper tape.

Paper Packing Tape wholesale available across the UK and beyond. You can have tape delivered to you from one of our regional distribution centres. UK delivery is available to and around the following locations:

Aberdeen, Aylesbury, Banbury, Barnsley, Bath, Bedford, Bicester, Birmingham , Bolton, Bradford, Bridgewater, Bridport, Bristol, Burton-upon-Trent , Cambridge, Chelmsford , Cheltenham, Chester , Chichester, Colchester Cornwall, Coventry, Crewe, Derby, Devon, Dewsbury, Dudley, Dundee, Durham, Edinburgh, Essex, Exeter, Fareham, Gateshead, Glasgow Glossop Gloucester, Grantham, Harlow, Heathrow, Hemel Hempstead, Hereford, High Wycombe, Horsham, Hull, Inverness, Isle of Wight, Kent, Kidderminster, Lancaster  Leamington Spa, Leeds, Lincoln, Liverpool , London , Luton , Manchester, Middlesborough, Milton Keynes, Newbury, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Norfolk, North Wales , Northampton, Nottingham , Oldham, Oxford , Plymouth, Reading, Salisbury, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury, Slough, Somerset , Somerton, South Shields, South Wales, Stafford, Stockport , Stoke-on-Trent , Stratford-Upon-Avon, Sudbury, Sunderland, Surrey, Sussex , Teesside, Telford, Uxbridge, Wakefield, Walsall, Warrington, Warwick , Watford, Wigan, Windsor, Wolverhampton, Worcester, Wrexham, Yeovil, York.

You can also have tape from Macfarlane Packaging delivered across Ireland and Continental Europe. Click to find your closest UK location or nearest Continental European site.