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What is Water-Activated Tape?

The Method that is Helping Industry Leaders Provide Tamper-evident Packaging

What’s the Big Deal about Water Activated Tape?

There are many different ways a carton can be sealed for shipping. For the sake of product safety, you might want to use tape known by a variety of names: water-activated tape, gummed tape, gum tape, paper tape. You may not be sure what this tape is, but, if you order items on the internet, you’ve seen and experienced it. It is the brown or white tape that often seals your boxes, and is a challenge to open. That challenge is definitely part of its charm.

What is Water-Activated/Gummed Tape?

Water-activated tape is made primarily of white or natural colored paper and starch-based adhesive.  It can be made exclusively of paper, but may contain multiple layers of paper with fiberglass or polyethylene strings for added strength. When the adhesive is “activated” with water, it penetrates the carton material and the tape forms a permanent bond with the carton, making it challenging to open.

Top Five Benefits of Water-Activated Tape:

  1. Extremely strong and protects carton contents by bonding with the corrugated carton
  2. Discourages theft by providing a tamper-evident seal
  3. Easy print on with logos or messages, in either color or black and white
  4. Minimizes worker injury (which can be a huge operational expense) because it is applied with a tape dispenser rather than a hand-held tape gun
  5. Recyclable

Why Better Packages Tape Dispensers?

To use water-activated tape, you need a water-activated tape dispenser. The tape-dispenser cuts and ejects the tape to your preferred length and wets it with water so the tape is ready to apply to your carton.  Both manual (non-electric) and electric tape dispensers are available, depending upon your application. The company’s dispensers are the choice of companies large and small.

Customers include Amazon, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Neiman Marcus, Kohl’s, Crate & Barrel, LL Bean, and Disney.  Built with unrivaled safety features, Better Pack tape dispensers are built to meet or exceed UL, CE and CSA regulatory requirements for electronic and operational safety.

Guest Post written by Better Packages


Crawford Packaging is a full-service packaging company located in London, Brampton and Waterloo, Ontario. From packaging to packaging equipment, installation and upgrades, and in-person equipment training and repair, we're focused on your business success every step of the way.