Why choose water activated paper tape?

Why should I choose water activated tape (WAT)?-Woodruff and Co
Water activated paper packing tape [or the industry-term WAT] has been used overseas for many years. In Australia however it's a relatively new packaging alternative that's rapidly growing in popularity. We've attempted to detail below some of the benefits of using paper tape [vs traditional plastic packing tape: petroleum based PP or PVC tape].

1. Environmental benefits
By far, this is the leading reason driving most people to make the switch to paper tape. Water activated paper tape is not only easier to make from a production point of view, but also 100% recyclable and can be certified as biodegradable. This helps reduce the environmental impact of using a petroleum based product and is the main reason so many people make the switch.

2. Speed of application
Another key benefit of water activated tape is quicker and lower cost application to packages.
Better Packages, the leader in water activated paper tape dispensers claim a "20% increase in packer productivity when using water-activated tape and a gummed paper tape dispenser versus using and a hand-held tape gun."* Although 20% may not sound like a lot, in high volume packing environments this can make a significant impact on overall productivity. Water activated tape dispensers can range from a simple desktop model that which be moved to different packing stations such as the Packer 3S, to the much larger BP-333 (#1 WAT dispenser in the world) or the electric BP-555 which "shoots" out lengths of paper tape at pre-determined sizes.
In the below video by Intertape Polimer Group they claim a 25% increase in efficiency of WAT vs poly tape.

3. Increased design options
It is possible for poly tape to be customised with your brand design, however given the flexographic process which requires plate production, this is only an option for bulk poly tape purchases. Water activated paper tape can be ordered with a custom print in as little as one role, making it a cost effective branding option. Base tape colours can be either kraft [brown] to subtly blend in with your box, or a white base that allows for printing of multiple colours.

4. More secure seal for theft reduction
One of the main functions of using carton sealing tapes is the reduction of potential item theft. Unlike standard poly / PP or PVC tape, water activated tape actually bonds with the cardboard resulting in a much more secure seal. Some packaging companies suggest their WAT tape is 2 or 3 times stronger than poly tape, making it a much more secure option when considering theft of goods. WAT uses a super strong adhesive when activated with water. This makes it difficult to remove the tape without leaving obvious signs of intrusion.

5. Greater strength for heavier packaging
Water activated tape is deceptively strong! Just one strip on non-reinforced paper tape is suitable for sealing packages up to 15kgs in weight. If you're looking for an even stronger and more secure option, the addition of fibreglass strands in water activated tape increase the maximum parcel weight to up to 25kgs.

* Independent research conducted by SGS North America, 2014.

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