Sticky Situation: Which Packaging Tape to Use?

Whether you are shipping copy paper or expensive jewelry, securing your valuables is vital to a successful and safe delivery. Packages get tossed around in transit, and there is nothing worse than losing items due to a faulty seal. Making sure you close your packages with the right packaging tape is crucial, and with so many tapes on the market it is hard to decide which type to use.

Discovering Water Activated Tapepackaging tape

Water activated packaging tape is a great alternative and creates a fast, long lasting permanent adhesion. It is known for its excellent performance in high speed, overfill and under-fill applications. The paper moisturizer reduces curl, increases tape stretch and makes the tape more flexible. This gummed paper tape is either starch based or sometimes coated with animal glue. A specific type of this packaging tape is called reinforced gum tape. Reinforced gum tape has a backing with two layers of paper with a cross pattern of fiberglass filaments laminated in between. This laminating adhesive was previously asphalt but is now more commonly a hot-melt atactic polypropylene. (Atactic polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is rugged and unusually resistant to many chemical solvents, bases, and acids.) Before applied to the surface it is sealing, this packaging tape is moistened to activate its adhesion.

The water activated packaging tape TOTALPACK offers works will all paper gum tape machines and ensures a faster application, saving you valuable time. We offer this reinforced tape in two colors: white and tan. Six rolls are shipped per case and they are 3”x500 yards. For more information about different quantities and prices available, please visit our store or call 1-866-760-7866 and place your order today!

A Look Inside International Paper

corrugated boxes miamiHere at TOTALPACK, we keep a substantial amount of products in stock in our Miami warehouse. These products include janitorial supplies, stretch film, corrugated boxes and sheets, among many others. We do produce some of these products in-house (like our custom tapes and labels) but most are delivered by a third party and stored in our warehouse until distribution. One company that produces corrugated boxes is International Paper (IP). International Paper is the leader in the paper and packaging industry with operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia, and North Africa.

International Paper manufactures a plethora of products besides corrugated boxes. Production from IP ranges from paper to cups to fluff pulp, even retail displays. We carry two types of their cardboard shipping containers: single and double wall. The main difference between the two is the number of corrugated sheets in each panel of the package. Corrugated boxes with a double wall can support more weight and are sturdier than those made with only one wall.

We take pride in our brands and are excited to know that International Paper is one of North America’s largest recycler of office paper and corrugated boxes. With 21 recycling facilities across North America, 15 containerboard mills, and a significant national brokerage system, IP collects, consumes, and markets more than 6 million tons (approximately 10%) of all paper recovered annually in the United States. International Paper collects and processes this recovered paper and corrugated boxes at their own plants as well as purchases recovered items from outside sources. The recovered paper is then used by their mills to create new paper products or is sold to other manufacturers across the globe.

If you’re looking for shipping containers in the Miami area and don’t want to spend a fortune at your local office supply store, we offer a variety of shapes and sizes. Corrugated boxes from TOTALPACK ensure quality and cost savings for your company, all while supporting recycling trends!

What Sticks: The History of Adhesive Tape

What Sticks: The History of Adhesive Tape

adhesive tape

On average, consumers buy more than 6,000 tons of duct tape each year. That amount is enough to travel to the moon and back! Adhesive tape can be used for almost anything: arts and crafts, posters, and repairs, just to name a few. The concept of adhesives can actually be traced back all the way to 4000 B.C. Archaeologists once discovered clay pots that were repaired with glue made from tree sap dating back to this time. Not far behind were the Greeks, who concocted glue from ingredients such as egg whites, blood, bones, milk, cheese, vegetables, and grains. The Romans also developed their own version of an adhesive by using tar and beeswax.

The first adhesive tape was invented in the 1920’s by a man named Richard Drew. Drew lived in Minnesota and worked as an engineer for 3M, which was a sandpaper manufacturer at the time. The process of manufacturing intrigued him, and in 1923 he invented the first masking tape to be used in industrial environments.

adhesive tape
An old 1920's advertisement for the newly invented Scotch tape

This adhesive tape was produced from cellophane paper and didn’t have adhesive in the middle, only on the edges. In its first trial run, it fell off the car and the frustrated auto painter growled at Drew, “Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it!” (By “Scotch,” he meant “stingy”.) The nickname stuck, both to Drew’s improved masking tape and to his 1930 invention, Scotch Brand cellulose tape. Once launched, the adhesive tape made the adaptation from an industrial tool to a common household instrument. Luckily, economic circumstances were on his side. Due to the Great Depression of 1929, many Americans began using Scotch tape to repair items rather than replace them in an effort to save money. This caused a huge increase in demand for the adhesive tape and allowed Drew achieve success. According to 3M, Drew also invented the first waterproof, see-through, pressure-sensitive tape, which was practical for grocers, bakers, and meat packers.

Fast forward to 2012: there are over 20 different types of adhesive tapes in a variety of sizes and colors. From water activated to pre-printed, there is a specific type of tape for every possible project. Tape can be found in almost every store and most types are standardized for easy use in a tape dispenser. (The tape dispenser was created by another 3M engineer, John A Borden.) The next time you are searching for tape, thank those stingy “Scotch bosses” for contributing to the creation of such an essential household object.

The Latest Cardboard Trend

cardboard shipping containerIndividuals choose cardboard shipping containers everyday as a method to ship both personal items and business products across the country. The two most common types of boxes are single wall and double wall. The wall refers to the number of corrugated boards each side is comprised of. Of course, double wall is much sturdier than single wall and can support up to 150 lbs more.

Already more than a $17 billion industry, the demand for cardboard shipping containers is predicted to rise annually 2.4% through 2014. Since concern for the environment is an ever-growing issue, the need to recycle such products is essential. Over 90% of products in the U.S. are sent in cardboard shipping containers, 70% of which are recovered to either recycle or reuse. Fortunately, the boxes are produced without any wax or chemicals so they are an extremely easy material to salvage. These containers can be transformed into paperboards, clipboards, paper towels, or just simply reused for shipment of other items.

A Work of Art

cardboard shipping containers
This paper artist paints the inner cardboard tubes from toilet paper and folds them into expressive faces, each distinct and charming despite their humble origins.

Who doesn’t love art that breaks the mold? Many professional and aspiring artists have been turning these cardboard shipping containers into their own masterpieces. Cardboard is an effortless material to paint on and allows the artists to express themselves while providing real solutions for cost and eco-friendliness. From toilet paper rolls to industrial cardboard, everything is a potential canvas. You don’t have to be Pablo Picasso to create a work of art, and your materials have never been more accessible. Why not create a beautiful painting or 3-D animal while consciously helping promote eco-friendly activities?

cardboard shipping containers
This colorful imaginary world is titled 'Cartoonlandia,' created by Ana Serrano. She explains, “Recently I’ve been working with cardboard because I find it easy to handle and manipulate, but also I like that it’s a mundane and familiar material.”

Where To Buy

Here at TOTALPACK, Inc., we offer a variety of different shapes and sizes of cardboard shipping containers. Typically our products are used for shipping purposes but as you can see, there are no limits to the imagination! Our boxes have a high crush resistance and are extremely sturdy, ensuring your artwork will last for years. Whether you would like to try a new, innovative style of art or simply ship gifts and supplies to a friend, the uses for cardboard shipping containers are boundless!

VISIT our store located under the “Shop” tab on our home page at or call 1-866-760-7866 for numerous cardboard options.