Water Activated Carton Sealing Tape

We love all of our carton sealing tape options, but are particularly excited about Water Activated Tape. Water-activated tape (WAT) feels dry but is then reactivated by water. Why do we love WAT at EcoEnclose? Our non-reinforced water activated tape is made with 50% recycled paper. All WAT is tamper resistant. Unlike Pressure Sensitive Tape, it cannot be peeled off a box and must be broken. It provides a strong seal and requires less material per seal than Pressure Sensitive Tape, leading to equivalent or even lower total cost. Click here if you think our eco-friendly pressure sensitive tape options will better meet your needs.

Water activated tape would ideally be used in conjunction with a special dispenser that applies the water for activation. EcoEnclose offers high quality dispensers that range significantly in price and level of automation. Once this type of dispenser is purchased, utilizing water activated tape is typically more operationally efficient than pressure sensitive tape.

EcoEnclose offers two main water activated tape options:

  • Non-reinforced: Made with 50% recycled content! Certified recycle-friendly. Ideal for presentation style ecommerce boxes that weigh 10lbs or less. Available blank or custom branded.
  • Reinforced: Reinforced with fiberglass. Ideal for presentation style and standard ecommerce boxes that weigh 20 lbs or less. These are available blank, pre-printed with our "Thoughtfully Eco-Friendly" design, and custom branded.

Looking for something heavy duty? Contact us today! We can provide water activated tape options for boxes up to 60 lbs. Stronger water activated tape is often used for wholesale shipments. 

All of our water activate tape can be Custom Branded! If you are ordering 6 cases or more of this sealing tape, you have the option to custom print it! Custom water activated tape is a great way to help ensure your box stands out from the crowd! We can custom print your WAT in one, two, three or four color designs.  

Volume Discounts. Applicable to all non-custom printed water activated tapes. 
Purchase...And Save...
2-4 units 2%
5-9 units 5%
10-14 units 10%
15+ units 15%

Still not sure if Water Activated Tape is right for you? Not sure which one to select for your business? Read on for more guidance...

Water Activated Tape vs Pressure Sensitive Tape

There are two main categories of carton sealing tape. Water-activated tape (WAT), also known as gummed tape, is a form of paper tape with a water-based chemical adhesive that is reactivated by water. Water-activated tape can be found in plain Kraft paper or with several layers of paper and fiberglass reinforcement. When the water-activated adhesive is applied to a carton, a capillary action bonds the tape to the carton. Pressure-sensitive tape (PST) consists of film and a tacky substance that adheres to a given surface when light pressure is applied. Most tapes you use at home - masking tape, duct tape, Scotch tape – are all PST.

This handy chart shows the pros and cons of each type of tape. Bottom line: WAT is stronger, tamper evident and performs well under all weather conditions. EcoEnclose uses WAT for its outgoing shipments for this very reason, because we typically ship out heavy boxes. However, for most small businesses that ship fairly lightweight items, PST is typically sufficient and allows for simpler operations.

 Water Activated TapePressure Sensitive Tape
Tamper Resistant Extremely tamper resistant, as it cannot be peeled off and must be broken. If you’re received a box sealed with water activated tape, you know this! No box is completely tamper resistant though, as a fresh layer of tape on top of the tampering can hide this. Less tamper resistant, as pressure sensitive tape can be peeled off.
Strength Provides a strong seal. Typically, the box itself will break well before the tape will. Seal is not as strong; though is sufficient for most standard, lightweight boxes.
Ease of use Requires tape to be activated by water, ideally with special dispensers designed for WAT. Does not require any special dispenser to use.
Cost Often (though not in the case of EcoEnclose’s WAT), it is more expensive per foot than its PST counterparts. However, many argue that less WAT is used because of the strength of its seal, leading to equivalent or even lower total cost. Again, WAT would ideally be used in conjunction with a special dispenser, so it does have a higher up front cost than PST. Often (again, though not in the case of EcoEnclose’s tape options), it is less expensive per foot. however, people often double seal or use more tape than is needed leading to higher actual cost of use.
Weather WAT’s adhesive or strength does not change in cold or heat. PST’s adhesive effectiveness sometimes decreases in extreme – hot or cold – weather conditions.


The vast majority of packing tape is made with virgin materials. Additionally, options (like some of our ours) are technically biodegradable and/or recyclable. However, when you’re looking for the most sustainable tape option, it is important to understand the disposal process for the material. The majority of boxes in the US are recycled (rather than composted).
The process of recycling corrugated boxes involves churning it up with water to make a slurry. In this process, adhesive and any polymers rise to the top and are skimmed off and disposed of. For this reason, the majority of materials in packing tape are likely to end up in a landfill, even if they are technically recyclable or biodegradable. Therefore, we recommend focusing predominantly on how tape is made when choosing the most sustainable option.

Shipping and Lead Times

Stock items will ship 1-2 days after your order is placed. Check out our current lead times for our custom branded water activated tape. Free shipping to the continental United States is available at 60+ cases.