Reduce your Cost per Carton with Water Activated Tape (WAT)

How much is it costing you to seal your corrugated cartons? Did you know that you could save money, speed up the process, improve your packaging security and green credentials just by changing to water activated tape?

We’re not talking about new technology here – gummed paper tapes have been around since Thomas Edison was credited with inventing them. But sometimes technology turns full circle and now they are ousting the plastic tapes that almost totally replaced them.


One big factor in the rebirth of water activated tapes is their excellent eco credentials. They are made of kraft paper coated with natural starch adhesive, so are responsibly sourced from sustainable materials. They easily recycle without having to be separated from cartons and don’t leave any residue that pollutes or causes damage to recycling plant.


They are also extremely strong and will hold a carton’s rigidity and seal a lot longer than plastic tape, so they are better at protecting contents from damage and deterring tampering and pilferage.


But a key factor – particularly for large volume users – is that per carton, water activated tape works out cheaper than plastic. You may not think so by looking at the price per metre, but it has a few tricks up its core.

Water activated tape has such a strong grip that one strip of tape is all it needs to securely hold together two carton flaps. Study any manual carton sealing operation and you will find that packers routinely apply several overlapping strips of plastic tape to make sure the seal holds, particularly if the carton is pre-used or made of lower quality corrugated.

The actual amount of tape used per carton is immediately doubled, tripled or even more and the time taken to apply the tape is increased – for most businesses, time is money too. By now, water activated tape is gaining the cost-saving edge on plastic tape, but it doesn’t stop here.

What about the hidden costs of contents damaged or lost because cartons have come unstuck? How much is it costing you in terms of goodwill when consignments turn up looking like they’ve been savaged by the neighbour’s dog?

Of course, this cost saving isn’t entirely down to the tape itself.

  • The starch adhesive on gummed kraft tape needs water to activate it; heating the water will ensure all the adhesive is fully activated so that the tape gets its best grip on the carton.
  • Dispensing the tape in pre-programmed lengths speeds up the process even more and prevents wastage due to the tape being too long, or too short and needing an additional layer.
  • If you’re H-sealing cartons, it’s useful to have the differing tape lengths dispensed in the correct sequence.
  • A high-capacity water reservoir extends the time between refilling and keeps production moving.

All these features and more are seen on the advanced BP555 electronic water activated tape dispenser from Hub Packaging – the world’s leading gummed paper tape shooter. The productivity and ruggedness of the BP555 is cleverly concealed in its compact, stylish construction. Designed to meet or exceed FCC, UL, CE and CSA (CUU) requirements, it uses minimal space on a busy pack station or trade counter.

Contact Lester Coldrick to arrange an on-site demo of the BP555 and Water Activated Tape – we challenge you to find a better way to seal your cartons!

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