What are the different types of packaging tape?

It goes without saying that boxes and tape go hand in hand. They’re not mutually exclusive – think, for example, of shoe boxes and tell us where the tape is – but imagine trying to move house without tape to seal your boxes. But as you well know that chances are you are not using standard everyday Sellotape, you’re using parcel tape or duct tape, as they’re sturdier.


But what are the different types of tape available, and which ones are relevant to your needs?


Let us start with Sellotape, the general all-rounder. You will be hard pressed to find a home without it, and it suddenly becomes invaluable when Christmas arrives. But the reason for its ever present popularity is the general everyday need for it. Wrapping a present? Grab the Sellotape. Have an open bag of coffee that wont close? Sellotape will help reseal it. It’s amazing how much we take it for granted until we have none.


You then have the cousins of Sellotape. Take, for instance, masking tape, which is made from paper, and purposely designed to apply enough grip to adhere to any surfaces but weak enough not to leave any glue residue once removed. It makes it perfect for redecorating, as it doesn’t peel the paint away with it.


Packing tape is ultimately the larger more durable version of Sellotape. In fact, Sellotape, the company, sell a version that functions in exactly the same way as the brown coloured counterpart, however the brown ones tend to be more popular. Ultimately, it’s no more ridged than its smaller brother, however the change in size allows for more surface to be covered, therefore, more adhesion. This is why it’s perfect for packing.


The universal nature of packing tape makes it incredibly versatile in terms of design. It is utilised for the likes of fragile parcels, safety and warning tape, as well as, oddly, fire exit markers.


If, however, you want stronger stuff, and we’re talking much stronger, there is always duct tape. The design of duct tape is really quite excellent: the plastic is much thicker and is reinforced with string for additional durability. However, all along the ream the tape is perforated enough for anyone to tear a piece off should they need it.


This use of string for reinforcing has recently been taken up by companies such as Amazon to help in their bid to reduce plastic pollution. Packing tape, at least the plastic kind, is no longer used, and has been replaced with paper, which is infused with string to make it more structurally sound.


There are many more we can talk about, like electrical tape, building tapes, and we haven’t mentioned double sided. Just remember that there is tape out there for every occasion, so get what’s write for you.

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