To be honest with you all, finding eco-friendly tape is pretty tough. Finding biodegradable tape is even harder. It doesn’t seem like there is much of a market for tape that focuses on the environment, though I suppose there is a reason for that.
It’s hard to compete with traditional forms of tape. It’s the same problem that plastic alternatives are facing – plastic is just really useful and cost-effective. Regarding tape, it functions best when made from synthetic rubbers and plastics. Unfortunately, these materials don’t biodegrade and can leach chemicals into the environment depending on what else was added to them.
The worst part? It’s so easy to not think about it. How many times have you considered the environmental impact of plastic tape? I know that I certainly hadn’t for the longest time. It’s so small and clear that it’s hard to imagine it making any impact at all. But don’t be fooled – that plastic can be as harmful as any other. The lack of good eco-friendly alternatives doesn’t help, either.
But I’m not one to give up. I scoured the internet and found my picks for the top 6 best biodegradable tapes. The tapes that I found don’t skimp on quality and will serve you just as well as other forms of tape. And if you want to know how to do what I did when crafting this list, you can refer to the buyer’s guide near the bottom of this list.
With that out of the way, let’s go ahead and jump into the top recommendations!
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Top 6 Best Biodegradable Tapes
#1 – ADHES Biodegradable Kraft Paper Tape
- Made from kraft paper
- Easy to tear – can use hand or scissors
- Writeable surface – can use pencil, pens, and markers
What I like most about the ADHES Biodegradable Kraft Paper Tape is its similarity to traditional forms of tape. It’s sticky and has high tensile strength, which is pretty important for holding things together.
Despite this, it’s pretty easy to snap. The paper is designed in such a way that allows for easy tearing. No more having to struggle with getting a piece of tape out of a roll (looking at you duct tape).
And thanks to its paper makeup, you can write directly on the tape too. So if you wanted to use the tape for labeling purposes, you can knock yourself out – no additional labels required. You can use pencils, pens, sharpies, markers, and pretty much any other writing tool. But I recommend sticking with either pens or sharpies, as pencil markings can fade and markers may end up smearing.
Best of all, it’s biodegradable or compostable. According to the company’s claims, it will break down by 62% over the course of 64 days. They don’t specify whether or not this is from natural degradation or composting conditions; as such, I assume it is in composting conditions.
This tape is a no-brainer if you are looking for a quick eco-friendly alternative. This is a solid option for people who want some easy-to-use masking tape.
#2 – Lichamp Brown, Gummed Tape for Packing Boxes
- Made from kraft paper
- Does not make much noise
- Is thin
If you are looking for some paper tape that is on the thinner side, then the Lichamp Brown, Gummed Tape is perfect for you. Thin tape is better for projects where you might not want a fat strip of tape, such as for delicate arts & crafts.
Since it’s made from kraft paper, it’s biodegradable and compostable. There are no inks or other chemicals added that you need to be concerned about, either. It’s just plain ol’ paper tape.
By nature of being made from kraft paper, this tape is made to be fairly noiseless. So if you wanted to tape stuff together without waking everyone up (late night/early morning gift wrapping, perhaps?), this is perfect for the job.
However, you should be aware that this tape can be a bit hard to pull off the roll. The thinness may result in accidental tears if you aren’t careful – slow and steady is what you will need.
While this tape has its uses, it’s definitely more of a specialty option rather than an all-purpose one. But for those projects that require a lighter touch, this tape is an excellent choice.
#3 – Taotenish Roll Adhesive Tape Kraft Paper Tape
- Made from kraft paper
- Has a strong adhesive
- Designed to be multi-purpose
The adhesive strength of Taotenish Roll Adhesive Tape Kraft Paper Tape is a cut above the rest. It’s seriously sticky, though it doesn’t stick to itself very well. Walls won’t have their paint ripped off of them, but other things may not be so fortunate when using this tape.
You could even say that it’s too sticky, but I think the benefits outweigh the detriments. Because of the high adhesive strength, this tape can be used for packing, shipping, bundling, and even storage along with other projects that masking tape is good for.
This makes it a better all-rounded type of tape. And hey, I personally love super sticky tape. It just feels more reliable. And I don’t have to worry about whether or not my moving boxes can actually be called eco-friendly with some tape attached to them.
Again, it’s biodegradable/compostable because it’s made from kraft paper. The company doesn’t make any claims, but because it’s made from The environment will thank you for using this tape, and you won’t even notice a difference. Sound good to you? Then feel free to check it out!
#4 – SmartSolve Water-Soluble Tape
- Made from a patented paper-like material
- Designed to dissolve in water
- Leaves no adhesive or residue behind
Before making this list, I had no idea that there was a tape that dissolved in water. But after doing some research on it, I have to say that SmartSolve Water-Soluble Tape is seriously impressive.
It functions just like any other paper-based tape, except it’s not made from kraft paper. The company does not say what exactly this product is made from, but its utility suggests a paper-like material. It can be written on and is perfectly adhesive, just like kraft paper tape.
The difference is in its ability to dissolve in water. According to the company and customer reviews, this tape will fully dissolve in water after only 30 seconds. It will just “melt” into the water, and it doesn’t even leave behind any adhesive or other residue.
This is the most eco-friendly tape out there. It’s one of the few tapes that can be truly biodegradable, and so easily too! And unlike so many other eco-focused products, this tape doesn’t sacrifice performance either.
The only downside is that the tape obviously won’t do well in wet environments. Tape in general already doesn’t fare well when exposed to a splash of water, but this tape will completely disintegrate. Humid locations may also struggle to use this tape. With that in mind, this tape is best for indoor use.
Still, this has to be my favorite biodegradable and sustainable tape product. I highly recommend that you check them out for yourself.
#5 – Baokai Biodegradable Clear Packing Tape 6 Rolls
- Made from cellophane
- Designed to hold things together for a long time
- Is UV and moisture-resistant
The Baokai Biodegradable Clear Packing Tape 6 Rolls are made to last a long time. This is, in part, thanks to the material it’s made out of – cellophane. Cellophane is very tough, but it’s also biodegradable and compostable. Just make sure to note that it can’t be recycled.
Because of its long shelf life, this tape is ideal for storage and bundling. It’s especially useful in situations where you have a separate label on your box. The cellophane is clear, so you’ll be able to easily see what you’ve written even if it was covered by tape.
This is great, considering that cellophane is a material that can’t really be written on. The risk of smudging and other writing difficulties is high when you try to label with cellophane.
Going back to its strengths, cellophane is UV and moisture-resistant. This makes it a fantastic option for moving to a variety of locations, especially ones where UV concentration is high (think places that get a lot of the sun). The resistance to moisture makes it a slam dunk when moving in wetter environments. You can also store this tape in humid areas too.
Overall, this tape is good for people who want consistency across a minefield of options. I would also recommend this tape for people who are moving long distances, as that can expose your boxes to widely different environments.
#6 – minliving Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Tape
- Made from naturally cellulose rubber
- Designed to be extremely strong
- Thicker than most other tapes
The minliving Biodegradable Eco-Friendly Tape is the only tape on our list to be ASTM D6400 certified, which basically means that it will break down in ideal composting conditions. This makes it compostable but not biodegradable; to clarify, it’s compostable at a dedicated composting facility. If you don’t have one of those nearby, then this isn’t the best eco-friendly option.
The company claims that it’s 90% made from renewables, which is pretty good. It’s still great for the environment as long as certain conditions are met.
With that said, this is the tape to choose if you need a ton of sticky strength. This tape is thick, durable, and very adhesive. It will stick on to anything, including itself, and not let go without taking something with it. I would love to use this tape for long-distance moves or for holding heavy items in place. On the other hand, I would caution you to keep this tape away from any delicate projects. It’s no joke.
It’s water-resistant, UV-resistant, low-noise, and more. This tape has a combination of many other useful qualities found in other types of tape. To me, it feels like the nuclear option of eco-friendly tape.
If you want to be sure that your tape is going to stand up to anything life throws at it, then you can’t go wrong with this one. Be sure to check it out!
What to Look For in Biodegradable Tape
Here are a few things that you should keep an eye on when shopping around. Personally, I like to treat the following as sort of a checklist that I can refer to whenever I look at a new biodegradable tape product.
Materials That the Tape is Made From
This is a big one. You should definitely be aware of the different types of materials that can go into tapes. A few common ones include:
- Paper (usually Kraft Paper)
- Biaxial-Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP)
BOPP is the most common type, but it’s not biodegradable or compostable. So if you throw away your average roll of tape, or things that have been taped together by said tape, then you’ve contributed to environmental harm. BOPP is recyclable, though this information is only useful if you actually recycle tape. And if we are being honest with ourselves, how often do we remember to do that?
If you want to pick tape that is both better for the environment and easier to dispose of, then you’ll want to gravitate towards paper or cellophane. Both are biodegradable and compostable, so you can toss them without too much worry. But if you have a compost bin, then you definitely will want to opt for that to ensure proper degradation.
Different Types of Tape
It’s not just the materials that you have to be aware of. You’ll also want to be sure that you are selecting the right kind of tape for the project at hand.
For eco-friendly tapes, there are 3 main options to choose from:
- Masking Tape
- Packaging Tape
- Clothing Tape
Masking tape is pressure-sensitive and thin, making it easy to tear. This is ideal for painters who want to line certain areas or protect sections from paint. You can also use masking tape for a variety of unique purposes, such as a race track on the floor for tiny toy cars or hanging streamers for your next birthday party.
Since masking tape is designed to be temporary, it’s not recommended for long-term use – you should not use it for packaging and the like.
Packaging tape, on the other hand, is specifically used to move other stuff around. When you are moving out of an apartment and needed something to hold all of those boxes together, packaging tape is exactly what you need. It’s strong, sticky, and tough to tear.
Just don’t use it on any surface that wants to be left in one piece. If you try to use packaging tape on your walls, for example, then you’ll probably take the paint off of the walls. I’ve done that before accidentally, and I do not recommend it – it’s a pain to fix.
Clothing tape is a bit unique. It’s primarily used by people who create or repair clothes. It’s strong enough to hold fabrics together while not being so sticky that it removes fabric in the process.
But again, you really shouldn’t need this kind of tape unless you are into making or fixing clothes.
Recyclable vs. Compostable vs. Biodegradable
This ties into the materials section, but it’s important enough to warrant it’s own section. If you are interested in eco-friendly tape, then you need to know WHICH type of eco-friendly your tape is.
Scanning the product details should be enough to tell you how to best approach disposing eco-friendly of tape. If it claims that it’s recyclable, then all you have to do is toss the tape into a recycling bin. It’s pretty easy, all things considered. The important part is knowing whether or not the material that makes up the tape can be recycled.
Biodegradable tape and compostable tape may be used interchangeably, but I am going to warn you now. They are NOT the same.
The term “biodegradable” means that it can break down in nature and, to some extent, in a landfill. For all intents and purposes, water-soluble tapes are also biodegradable.
The term “compostable” means that the tape is designed to break down in composting conditions. This may or may not require you to send the tape to a dedicated composting facility.
If a company claims that its product is biodegradable and lists an ASTM number (usually ASTM D6400), this means that the product is NOT biodegradable but instead certified compostable under ideal conditions. This product NEEDS to be sent to a dedicated composting facility. If it isn’t, then it’s no better than plastic.
Now, I don’t mean to say that compostable is worse than biodegradable. I’m just trying to say that you should be aware of the differences before you go out and buy eco-friendly tape. Without this knowledge, you could be harming the environment while thinking that you are helping it.
You should also be wary of products that claim to be recyclable and compostable/biodegradable. The materials that work for one class generally don’t work for another, so careful research may be required to see if the claims are accurate.
Over 90% of customers will look at a review of a product before purchasing it. It’s clear that we value the experiences of people who have come before us and for good reason. We can use their experience to judge whether we are making a wise decision by following in their footsteps.
With that said, I believe that the best approach to reading reviews is to take a critical stance. It’s easy to fake a review and have it be meaningful when there are only a few, but this becomes much harder to do when there are hundreds. If a product sucks, people will definitely let you know.
On the other hand, satisfied customers rarely leave reviews. It’s usually the disgruntled consumers who are posting, though consumers who have had their expectations exceeded will also comment. You will need to be able to sift and sort through the noise to determine the truth.
If we are talking about Amazon, one section I like to focus on is the questions section. You can learn a lot about a product from the questions people have asked. Sometimes you’ll even find answers that contradict what the product advertises.
Bottom line? Use your good judgment to look through reviews and gauge a product’s usefulness from it.
All right, that wraps up our list of the best biodegradable tape.
There is definitely a lot to consider when choosing the most seemingly mundane things. It’s kind of crazy to think about all of the products that we enjoy that may not even be good for our planet. It’s only when you start thinking about the alternatives does it seem a bit overwhelming.
But as long as you take it one step at a time, you’ll find yourself becoming an eco-pro in no time. And if you need a nudge in the right direction, you can always refresh yourself on how to be eco-friendly. Reminders always help me, at least.
I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Let’s continue to strive for a greener, better way of living!