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Water-activated tape (WAT) was invented by Thomas Edison in 1912 based on a need to secure boxes with something better than twine. It’s stood the test of time and remains one of the best and most popular ways to secure shipments, especially in the e-commerce industry.
Water-activated tape is a paper tape that contains a water-based chemical adhesive that is reactivated when it comes in contact with water. Upon application to a corrugated box, it securely bonds to the carton.
1. Theft Prevention
Water-activated tape deters theft during transit better than traditional packaging tape. When the water-activated tape is applied to a carton, it creates a secure bond and becomes part of the carton, making it nearly impossible to open without visual evidence of tampering.
2. Application Consistency
Cartons that contain heavy or bulky items would typically require multiple strips of plastic tape. Water-activated tape is so strong and stable that a single strip can protect these types of shipments. With the use of a dispenser, it’s also easier for workers to apply the tape consistently to each box with less tape waste.
3. Environmentally Friendly
Plastic tape is made from petroleum and is difficult to recycle. Water-activated tape is made from kraft paper, making it just as recyclable as a corrugated box.
4. Branding Benefits
Aside from the fact that water-activated tape looks cleaner than plastic tape on a box, it also offers the ability to be printed on. Your logo or a promotional message can be added to the tape for a branding boost.
5. Better Ergonomics for Workers
If boxes are currently being taped by hand with a traditional tape gun, stress and injuries to the wrist are common. This can result in slower production speeds and medical expenses.
The easiest and most efficient way to use water-activated tape is with a dispenser. It is possible to manually activate the tape, but you would need to apply water to the bottom of the tape by using a sponge. Tape dispensers designed especially for use with water-activated tape or gummed tape do this automatically.
Better Pack 333 Plus
The Better Pack 333 Plus manual water-activated tape dispenser is for lower volume sealing of fewer than 50 cartons per day.
Better Pack 555eS
This Better Pack 555eS electric water-activated tape dispenser is for high volume sealing of more than 50 cartons per day.
If you’re struggling with boxes opening during shipment, tampering issues or just looking for a more secure tape, contact us for more information on water-activated tape.