plastic free tape

091: Switch to non-plastic packaging tape and sellotape

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL or LOW

This is another one of those simple switches that can significantly reduce plastic contamination, plus there are other benefits too.

It’s all well and good us recycling our birthday wrapping paper and cardboard boxes, but have you ever thought about the amount of plastic that is entering the recycling systems in the form of parcel tape and clear sticky tape (like Sellotape) still attached. Even if a small few of us are diligent about removing it first, in reality the majority of tape stuck to paper gets chucked into the recycling bin.

The answer is for us all to switch to non-plastic packaging tape. We were very pleased to see that Sellotape have made this available, and there are others, but it really needs to become the norm.

Why is this important?

Plastic that goes into the recycling system in this way ends up being shredded and though much will be filtered out of the paper pulp, microplastics are not. They then end up in our recycled toilet paper and other products made from recycled paper, ultimately ending up in our water systems, landfill, wider environment and (even worse!) our food chains.

The benefits of using non-plastic packaging tape

  • Reduced contamination of our environment with microplastics
  • Reduces contamination of our paper recycling facilities
  • Consumer demand will drive producers to switch to non-plastic
  • Awareness raising: some non-plastic tape is labelled as such (see the Amazon link below)
  • Reduction in microplastics reaching the human food chain (primarily via seafood)
  • Less use of fossil fuels in plastic manufacture
  • No more expensive than plastic tape
  • No less adhesive than plastic tape

What do do

There are two measures to take …

  1. When you recycle cardboard boxes, please remove the packaging tape first
  2. When packing up items yourself, use a non-plastic alternative

Please use these links to buy your own non-plastic packaging tape.

Thank you for taking this simple, free action which can really help.

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