Water Activated Tape

What Are The Benefits Of Water-Activated Tape?

By: Better Packages on November 12th, 2015

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Water Activated TapeAs a result of the explosion in e-commerce selling, many businesses have begun using water-activated tape (WAT) to seal their shipping cartons.

Some people initially resist using WAT because they think that plastic, pressure sensitive tape (PST) is less expensive to use. If, however, one looks beyond the “cost per foot” equation of using PST vs WAT, there are so many benefits to using water-activated tape that it may be worth your while to switch.

This post will discuss some of the benefits of water-activated packaging tape.

Theft Prevention With Effective Carton Sealing Tape

When applied, water-activated tape literally “bonds” to the carton and provides a tamper-evident seal on your corrugated cartons. Cartons are protected from theft, eliminating the need for you to replace and resend the products “lost”.

If theft does occur, your company faces the additional risk of customer dissatisfaction. Customers buying online expect to receive their e-commerce items quickly and intact. If this expectation is not met, customers can be disappointed and may decide to purchase from another company next time around. This is a high price to pay.


Want to dive deeper into how to choose the right tape? Check out our comprehensive guide:


Increased Productivity With Water-Activated Tape

Packers sealing cartons with PST use a hand-held tape gun. To use water-activated tape you need to use a water-activated tape dispenser.

Hand-held tape guns can be relatively heavy, especially when used repetitively. This repetitive use can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, which limits the productivity of your packers and may result in needing to replace them while they are healing.

Water activated tape dispensers tend to be stationery and can be set to dispense the exact length of tape needed to seal a box.

Independent research demonstrated that there is a 20% increase in packer productivity when using water-activated tape and a gummed paper tape dispenser versus using PST and a hand-held tape gun.*


Less Material Wasted With Carton Sealing Solutions

Plastic, pressure sensitive tape floats on top of the carton and does not create a secure seal. As a result, many packers use multiple strips of tape to create some semblance of package security. There can even be a tendency to “mummify” the box.

Water-activated tape is made from paper and is often fortified with multiple layers with fiberglass reinforcement providing added strength. When WAT’s starch-based adhesive is activated with water, it penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the carton. Only one strip of tape is need to form a secure seal resulting in significantly less material usage.


Water-Activated Tape Customizable For Brand Recognition

Many companies using water-activated tape like the fact that they can print their logo or a message on the tape. This enhances the branding of their company and their professional image.

It is difficult and expensive to create printed plastic tape and if a company needs more than one strip of tape, it typically undermines the company’s branding efforts by appearing sloppy.


* Independent research conducted by SGS North America, 2014.