Whether you use it to seal envelopes or wrap gifts, switch to plastic-free packing tape. Most packing tapes on the market are made from plastic and cannot be recycled at end of use. They also tend to easily tangle into a sticky mess that you often have to throw in the bin, and due to not being biodegradable, discarded plastic tape is even more a a choking hazard for pets and children. If packing something more substantial, use with biodegradable bubble wrap and packing peanuts.
If used, Coccoina Glue Stick is less toxic (still toxic to pets and supervise children). Don’t buy the tin version, as the brush contains pig hair.
Another idea if wrapping gifts is to not use tape at all, and discover the Japanese wrapping art of furoshiki. This is like ‘origami with fabric’, where you use fabric to easily wrap books, bottles and other gifts, and just knot the fabric. The recipient can use the wrap again. Or for families, just stash the wrap in a drawer afterwards, and use for the next gift-giving occasion.
Helen Round’s Bee Kraft Packing Tape is made in the UK and is a self-adhesive tape with a gorgeous honey bee design. Ideal for sealing parcels, crafts and gifts, you can tear by hand or with scissors, and recycle with your paper or cardboard waste.
Plain Kraft Eco Paper Tape is ideal to seal envelopes or wrap gifts. Keep a roll or two of this to hand in your home or office, to be plastic-free, also good for framing pictures. You can write on it, and it tears easily and peels off, leaving no footprints. Water and solvent resistant, and acid-free. This company also sells clear biodegradable tape.
Twin Pines Creative Eco Gift Wrap Tape is sold on a roll, made from Kraft paper. It’s also printed with eco-friendly water-soluble inks.
Packing Tape & Twine
Don’t leave twine (or ribbon, human hair, lint, pet fur) out for birds, as all can harm chicks (choking, strangulation, chemicals). Birds have been making nests for thousands of years, they don’t need our help.
The Danes Eco Conscious Tape & Twine contains a set of brown Kraft paper tape, a roll of biodegradable clear tape, 1 ball of recycled natural cotton twine and 1 ball of natural flax twine. As the name suggests, this company is based in the UK, but run by eco-friendly Danes.
Illustrated Washi Tape
Washi tape (the word means ‘paper’ in Japanese) is simply made from the fibre of bark of trees and other plants. It’s popular with crafters because although not as strong, unlike sticky tape it doesn’t leave yellow marks and is much easier to peel off, if you change your mind or need to remove the tape.
This wildflower garden illustrated washi tape is made from Japanese rice paper. Perfect to use for crafty projects (it does not stick that well for professional use), this is designed in Cornwall and handmade in Britain. Biodegradable after use. Sold in compostable packaging.
You can buy pretty ribbon made from recycled plastic bottles, This is attached to a cardboard reel with paper tape, and finished with a recycled label. Printed with water-based inks. Keep this away from pets and children. It’s not biodegradable, but you can save it and use it the following year.
Never leave any string or ribbon (even if biodegradable) out in the garden for birds’ nests. It can strangle or choke, as can human hair, pet fur (usually too much scent, chemicals, medicines) or lint. Birds have been making nests for thousands of years, without our help.
Natural Balls of Wrapping Twine
These natural balls of wrapping twine, are all ideal to wrap gifts. Also see plastic-free packing tape, for biodegradable alternatives to Sellotape.
Keep all scraps and packing tape, ribbon and jute away from pets and children. Don’t leave ribbon, jute or twine out for birds’ nests, as it can choke or strangle (other things to not leave out for birds include lint, human hair and pet fur (they all either choke or harm due to medications, scents etc).
Cotton Bakers Twine is ideal to wrap gifts, made from cotton that is biodegradable, in a strong 4-ply strength. Choose from 17 colours in different lengths. The cardboard spool is not included, unless you buy a full spoon of 220 metres. Also in retro striped.
Baker’s Twine Lasercut Bobbin is a gorgeous twine presented on a rustic recycled bobbin, made in Britain and beautifully wrapped. Choose from red/white or green/white or combine the two for a festive touch. Also in candy cane style.
Jute Craft Twine is ideal when used with simple papers for wrapping gifts, in different lengths. In 10 colours.
These balls of natural flax twine are sold in random colours. Strong and reusable, this is a mix of natural and synthetic fibres saved from landfill. Ideal to craft or wrap gifts, the reusable twine can be recycled where facilities exist, at the end of its useful life. Also in natural and recycled cotton.
Paper Twine is sold in beautiful colours, ideal for wrapping presents. Light and sturdy, this is easy to use and control, and you can use several colours together, for a unique look. Made from European wood, it then biodegrades or recycles, after use.
This festive message ribbon is made with biodegradable cotton in the Peak District. Choose from various designs and messages. Choosing biodegradable ribbon is far better, as it is naturally biodegradable after use.
Never leave string or ribbon out in the garden for birds’ nests. It can strangle or choke, as can human hair, pet fur (usually too much scent, chemicals, medicines) or lint. Birds have been making nests for thousands of years, without our help.