Can packing tape be recycled? It depends on what type of tape it is. If you’re seeking a "green" packing tape to make recycling your boxes easier, paper tape is your best bet. Unlike PVC or polypropylene, it’s a non-petroleum-based tape.
But no matter what kind of tape you use, you can still recycle cardboard boxes with tape affixed to them. Removing tape typically isn’t needed unless your municipality or trash hauler requires it.
Tape – along with labels and other materials – are removed as part of the recycling process. When cardboard arrives at a recycling center, they’re typically soaked with water and reduced to pulp, causing the tape to fall away.
However, boxes that have too much tape can get snagged in the recycling machinery. Again, this is where paper tape has an edge: one strip should be enough to secure your box, preventing you from having to overload your package with tape.
Although this information will be true for many people, this page is only a guideline. We encourage you to contact your local Materials Reclamation Facility, sometimes otherwise known as a recycling center, to see what kinds of tape they will accept, and in what condition your boxes must be to be recycled. If you are unsure where your recyclables end up, your municipality should have information on trash and recycling – online, by phone, or in person. In many states, cardboard is considered an item that must be recycled.
If you’re not sure what type of tape to use for your packaging, contact Phoenix Tape. Our paper tape is durable and eco-friendly, and forms an easy, secure bond to new and recycled cardboard.