The Best Eco-Friendly Tape of 2023

Seal the deal with sustainable materials.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Taping a cardboard box

Courtesy of Getty

Tape is not something we think about much when it comes to living a green lifestyle. But it’s something we can go through a lot of in our lifetimes, from shipping and receiving packages to wrapping gifts for birthdays and holidays to stripping off the roll for daily office tasks. Unfortunately, many types of tape are not recyclable unless they’re made from paper. However, there are more sustainable tapes out there, many of them made from paper and other biodegradable ingredients.

Here, the best eco-friendly tapes.

Best Overall

Life Without Plastic Kraft Gummed Paper Tape

5
Kraft Gummed Paper Tape

Life Without Plastic

This kraft tape from Life Without Plastic is made with a natural latex glue adhesive and natural kraft paper that becomes sticky when moistened. Since it’s made from paper, this tape is 100% recyclable and compostable. Simply tear off the desired amount, apply water with a wet sponge or cloth, and use it for daily tasks or even packing up boxes for a move.

Because of the strength of gummed paper, you can use much less of it compared to traditional, plastic-based tape. You can also rest easy knowing that this tape won’t lose its strength under extreme weather such as humidity, extreme heat, and cold temperatures. Plus, it lasts for years and keeps boxes closed and safe.

Price at time of publish: $13

Best for Shipping

Ecoenclose Industrial Compostable Cello Carton Sealing Tape

4.7
Industrially Compostable Cello Carton Sealing Tape

EcoEnclose

When shipping larger or fragile boxes, it’s nice to have a little reassurance that your enclosed items will stay put and not go missing if the tape comes off the box. This tape from EcoEnclosure pairs a cellulose backing with a rubber adhesive to bring you a plant-based, renewable, and compostable packing tape. The tape is 100% plant-derived, and pressure sensitive to seal well. This tape is safe to use on rough, smooth, and printed surfaces, and comes with 72 yards of tape per roll.

Price at time of publish: $9

Best Customizable

noissue Tape

noissue Tape

Courtesy of noissue

Want to put an original illustration or painting on tape? Or maybe a logo, favorite design, or quote? You can do so with noissue Tape. Simply upload your design, choose the size of tape you want and a base color, then wait for your custom tape to arrive. The main downside is that the upfront cost is high, but if you buy in bulk, the per roll cost comes down.

The paper products that make up noissue tapes are sourced from forests and supply chains approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and all of its tapes are 100% recycled. These tapes are water-activated and free from gloss and wax, which aren't biodegradable. Use the sponge provided to activate the stickiness of your tape, or use a water-activated tape dispenser.

Price at time of publish: $90 for 5 custom rolls ($18 per unit)

Best Kraft Tape

Package Free Kraft Tape

4.9
Package Free Kraft Tape

Package Free

Sometimes, if there’s too much tape on a box at a recycling facility, the box gets thrown out instead of being recycled in order not to clog recycling machinery. You won’t have to worry about that with this kraft tape, as it’s recyclable and approved by the U.S. Postal Service, UPS, and FedEx. It’s also self-adhesive, non-reinforced, and 60 yards long—a real bang for your buck for eco-friendly tape.

Price at time of publish:
 $9

Best for Gift Wrapping

Worthwhile Paper Recycled Paper Washi Tape

Worthwhile Paper Recycled Paper Washi Tape

Worthwhile Paper

This tape is made with recycled paper and a non-toxic and natural rubber adhesive. Since it’s washi tape, it has a medium level of stickiness, and can be removed and repositioned with minimal residue. It’s available in a number of different prints, including confetti, moon phases, and an eye print. This also means you can go with simple wrapping paper (like repurposed packing paper), since your printed tape will be the star of the show.

We also love that Worthwhile Paper is dedicated to sustainability, making many of its products in the United States and working with a paper mill that runs on hydropower. 

Price at time of publish: $5

Best Printed

Impack Water Activated Tape

 Impack Water Activated Tape with floral print

Courtesy of Amazon

This pretty paper tape is available in three different floral designs. It’s another gummed tape, which means the adhesive activates when you apply water. It’s good for shipping lightweight items, and adheres best to paper and cardboard, and can also be used for gift wrapping. The adhesive is plant-based, and the product is biodegradable. It comes in a 50 meter roll and is 5 centimeters wide. 

Price at time of publish: $18

Final Verdict

We love noissue for it’s totally customizable tapes, and eco-friendly materials. We also give a thumbs up to the kraft gummed paper tape from Life Without Plastic, as it’s versatility means you can use it for numerous things.

What to Look For in Eco-Friendly Tapes

Materials

Paper tape is a much more eco-friendly alternative to conventional tape, which is made from plastic.

Cellulose tape is harder to find, especially in the United States, but it is available through select retailers and online stores. Cellulose tape is biodegradable and used in medical tape.

Gummed vs. Self-Adhesive

Water-activated tape (WAT), also known as gummed paper tape, is traditionally made of paper and a water-based chemical adhesive. This type of tape is activated using water—you can use a sponge or a custom water tape dispenser. WAT doesn’t leave any sticky residue and removes easily. Non-reinforced WAT is usually used for shipping smaller and lighter objects, while reinforced WAT, made with embedded fiberglass strands, is used for heavy items and tough jobs. Reinforced WAT is still recyclable, as the fiberglass is filtered out during recycling. 

Self-adhesive kraft paper tape is also made of paper but uses natural rubber for bonding. It does not require a custom water tape dispenser and comes in reinforced versions if needed. 

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger is committed to helping our readers reduce the environmental impact of their day-to-day lives. To build this list, we extensively researched materials and certifications for find the most sustainable tapes on the market.

Author Amanda Ogle is a veteran reporter who loves writing about sustainability and believes it is important that we all strive to be as environmentally friendly as we can. She enjoys giving readers an honest idea of where to buy sustainable products online that make a difference in our environment.