The standard width of pressure sensitive box sealing tape is 48 mm (2″). The standard width of paper box sealing tape is 72 mm (3″). These standards are both compromises, and as a result, they lead to an unnecessarily high amount of packaging material entering the waste stream.
Extreme Pressure Sensitive Tape Solutions
1. For machine applied PST applications, use 36 mm (1-3/4″) wide tape. Unless the box is particularly heavy and/or subject to rough shipping conditions, the reduced width will not compromise box integrity. When in doubt, test. It is worth the time to test, though – the payoff is a 12% reduction in the amount of material entering the waste stream.
2. For hand applied PST applications, go to the other extreme – 72 mm (3″) wide tape. Though it is counter intuitive, this option may reduce material usage far more than what is outlined in the first scenario. Why? Because when people apply tape by hand, they tend to overuse it, either because they feel the tape is too flimsy or because they are unable to lay the tape squarely down the center of the RSC (Regular Slotted Container). Using 72 mm tape almost always ensures a one-strip application.
Extreme Paper Box Sealing Tape Solutions
1. Try 2-1/2″ wide tape. If your box is lightweight or moderate weight and/or subject to mild shipping conditions, the narrower width may well do the job. The result – 17% source reduction versus the standard 3″, and 12% source reduction versus the slightly narrower “metric equivalents”.
2. Sorry – there is no extreme wide solution for paper box sealing tapes. 3″ is pretty much as wide as it gets. The good news, however, is that 3″ is so widely use, there are probably thousands of applications where narrower tapes have not been tried.
Bottom line – It’s worth the time to test. Not only do these extreme options enhance sustainability, they reduce your cost. That’s a winning sustainable packaging combination.