Which tapes are more environmentally friendly?

There are so many different types of tape available, it is not always easy to understand which varieties are better for the planet. 

Our guide will help you learn about what makes a tape more eco-friendly and what can be recycled.

What makes a tape environmentally-friendly?

There are several things that determine whether a tape is more environmentally-friendly than others, including the materials the reel and core is made from, the type of adhesive backing used and the packaging it comes in.

It’s also equally important to consider how tape can be disposed of. Ideally, it should be reused as much as possible, but that isn’t always practical as it will lose its stickiness. 

It is more eco-friendly if a tape is recycled, instead of being thrown into general waste.

Reel materials and adhesive

A lot of tape contains polypropylene, which is a particular type of plastic that can’t be recycled in normal facilities. A tape is better for the environment if it is made of paper or plant-based materials. 

Cellulose, an organic compound made from plant protein, is used to make most paper-based tapes.

Most standard tapes contain synthetic rubber or acrylic-based adhesives. Natural rubber adhesive is manufactured using sap from rubber trees, so is plant-based. Tape made using natural rubber is more eco-friendly as it can be recycled. 

Synthetic rubber, like the type used in our duct tape, does have some advantages; it tends to be more durable and can withstand a higher range of temperatures.

Brown paper packaging tape

Our brown paper packaging tape is an ideal alternative to standard packaging tapes because it is recyclable. It is made of 60gsm Kraft paper - paper made from processed wood pulp - and its adhesive is made from natural rubber. It’s also easy to tear by hand, and can be written on.

Plastic-free clear tape

Sellotape recently launched a version of their best-selling clear tape, made with zero plastic. The tape is 100% plant based and made with cellulose film and natural glue. The tape is fully compostable, while the packaging is recyclable. 

Water-activated tape

Water-activated tape, also known as gummed tape, is made of Kraft paper, a water-based chemical adhesive and reinforced fibers. 

It is different from traditional tapes which only stick when you apply pressure. When you moisten water-activated tape, it becomes semi-liquid and soaks into the fibers of the carton, parcel or box it is applied to, creating a permanent bond. Its materials mean it is suitable for recycling.

Can I reuse tape?

You can reuse tape but it will lose its stickiness the more times it is used. 

How to dispose of tape

Check the packaging to understand how to dispose of it correctly. If in doubt, check with your local recycling facility or put it in general waste.

Other types of tape and their uses

We stock a huge variety of low-cost tapes here at GTSE, and we offer savings for orders made in bulk. Here is a guide to the tapes available and what you can use them for:




PVC tape 

  • Protective jacketing

  • Insulating wires, cables, connections and connectors to stop them from conducting electricity

  • Making repairs to damaged cable sheathing

  • Harnessing and bundling cables together

  • Sealing and marking cables for identification

Packaging tape

  • Seals and secures packages for transport

  • Marks fragile packages to avoid breakages

Masking tape

  • Shields skirting, mouldings, fixings, switches and sockets from paint

  • Enables crisp, straight paint lines

Silicone tape

  • Repairing leaking pipes and pipe joints

  • Repairing vacuum hoses or joints

  • Seal out moisture from electrical connections

  • Insulate and repair cable sheaths 

Hazard tape

  • Highlighting hazards indoors and outdoors

  • Prevents accidents in the workplace

  • Used by emergency services

Aluminium tape

  • For pipe lagging, duct sealing and repairing holes in HVAC systems

  • To cover thermal insulation, join foil-faced fibreglass and making repairs to roofs and drains

Duct tape

  • Patching holes

  • Sealing joints

  • Waterproofing

  • Strapping

  • Fixing cables to the floor

  • Repairing broken windows


Buy GTSE tape

We sell an extensive range of low cost tapes and we offer savings for orders made in bulk.

If you have any more questions about duct tape, or any other cable management products, please contact us via live chat, email or phone.