The Tale of The Tape -Part 1: The Basics of Tape

If you’re thinking about shipping anything in a stock or custom box you’re going to want to secure all the openings with some type of tape. Which type of tape depends on the application and the results you expect from each tape. Since Colt Paper is all about shipping and packing we’re going to focus on packing tapes, the most common being plastic (poly) or paper (kraft).


Plastic packing type or carton sealing tape is a single piece of film which spans many meters in length. The cost effective construction makes it perfect for general use where the load won’t exceed 30lbs.

Paper tape is just that – made of paper the difference is that it can be reinforced with additional strands to allow more than 30lbs loads. Paper tapes can also offer a tamper proof seal since it’s more difficult to remove and reapply. All tapes are spun onto a cardboard tube which is the finished form every uses on a daily basis.


Acrylic adhesive is mainly found on plastic tapes and can operate in multiple conditions with a select few designed for less than favourable conditions such as temperature or surfaces. Water activated is found more on paper based tape which might seem as a pain but when used in the correct application is a must for continuous runs and secure sealing.

Custom / Branded

Both tapes can become custom as in terms of colour and graphics printed as most companies see this as an opportunity to market themselves and rightfully so as it’s provides so many advantages compared to simply using white, tan or even clear tape unless it’s the part of the clever marketing scheme you hope your customers will understand once the parcel is in their hands ready to be unboxed.

Want to know the reason your tape isn’t sticking? Part 2: A Sticky Issue gives you a couple reasons why.