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 (below) and biodegradable packing peanuts.
Keep all tape away from pets and young children. 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.
The Danes Meadows and Wildflowers Tape is perfect for any time of year. Each roll has a generous 50 metres and it can be recycled after use.
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.
Snail Mail Paper Tape is made from renewable sources and can be recycled after use. Easy to tear by hand, it’s as strong as standard tape but plastic-free. Uses water-soluable inks in FSC-certified paper, featuring hand-drawn garden snail illustrations. Also in a Be Cool, Shop Small edition.
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.
Packing Tape & Twine
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.
Never leave string/ribbon (even if biodegradable) in the garden for as birds could be harmed, if they pick it up to make nests (strangle or choke, as can human hair or pet fur (too much scent, chemicals and medicines often) or lint from washing machines. Birds have been making nests for thousands of years, without our help.
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.
Recycled Bubble Wrap
Honeycomb Protective Wrap is made from biodegradable paper, and good to pack fragile items like bottles, glass, ceramics and jars. The cells interlock and expand to firmly secure products (the 5m length expands up to 8m, when stretched).
This recycled paper bubble wrap is an eco alternative to plastic bubble wrap, which never biodegrades. Sold without packaging, it’s made sustainably in the UK with natural ingredients, to protect goods from damage. Sold in a roll that is 3 metres long by 500mm wide.
Use it to wrap goods and office items that you would normally use plastic bubble wrap for. At end of use, you simply recycle it or use it again.
The Honeycomb Protective Wrap is perfect to pack fragile items like bottles, glass, ceramics and jars. The cells interlock and expand, to firmly secure the products. The 5m length expands up to 8m when stretches, and is 380mm wide.