Paper Tapes and Dispensers

BP222 Water Activated Tape

Water-activated tape (also known as gummed paper tape) is quickly becoming the carton sealer of choice in the order fulfilment sector, with the world’s largest operations using it exclusively in favour of plastic tapes.

Xtegra® Tegrabond® tapes are made entirely from renewable natural resources, which enables it to be easily recycled along with cardboard.

The benefits of Water Activated Tape include:

  • An integral closure
  • Tamper evidence
  • 100% recyclability

An integral closure

Water-activated adhesive becomes semi-liquid when moistened and soaks into the carton’s fibres, so that as it dries and cures it becomes an integral part of the cardboard. It is almost impossible to reactivate, requiring so much moisture to do so that the carton itself would be destroyed, and possibly its contents.

The benefits of this are threefold: less tape is needed to create a far superior, more permanent bond; permanently taped seams add to overall carton strength and rigidity, so they are less likely to collapse when stacked; it is impossible to remove the tape without leaving some evidence, so the carton’s tamper-resistance is improved.

Tamper evidence

Tamperage and pilfering cost businesses millions of pounds every year. This could be avoided with the use of water activated tape for carton sealing. It is shockingly easy to soften the adhesive of standard pressure-sensitive plastic packing tapes, so that the tape can be temporarily removed without trace and new tape applied.

The properties of WAT being semi liquid when sealing means that when setting it soaks into the carton fibres. As a result, when it dries it bonds and becomes an integral part of the cardboard. To remove this tape by hand would leave an evident mark on the packaging and if someone attempted to soak the tape and break the seal, the amount of water needed would destroy the carton.


A simple and cost-effective solution to sustainable packaging, is water activated tape. Kraft paper tape made from fully sustainable, managed softwood and a natural starch adhesive. It is entirely biodegradable and can be left on cartons sent for recycling, as the kraft paper is compatible with the cardboard for creating new, recycled materials and the adhesive simply dissolves in the water used in the process, leaving behind no residue that will damage equipment or threaten the environment.