Monday, May 6, 2019

Intertape Polymer Group has partnered with How2Recycle®

What is How2Recycle?

How2Recycle is a project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. How2Recycle is a voluntary, standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public.

How2Recycle's goals are to:

✔ Reduce confusion by creating a clear, well-understood, and nationally harmonized label that enables industries to convey to consumers how to recycle a package.
✔ Improve the reliability, completeness, and transparency of recyclability claims.
✔ Provide a labeling system that follows Federal Trade Commission Green Guides.
✔ Increase the availability and quality of recycled material.  See more at:

The labels tell consumers:

✔ How to prepare material for recycling
✔ If the product falls into one of How2Recycle’s four categories – widely recycled, check locally, not yet recycled, or store drop-off
✔ The type of material the product is made of
✔ The specific packaging component that the label is referring to

Intertape Polymer Group and How2Recycle

The following IPG product lines have been approved to use the How2Recycle labeling system. These products are typically not accepted through curbside recycling or community recycling centers. All these products are recyclable at store drop off locations (where applicable) for plastic bags:
  • Polyair Fastpak courier envelopes feature polyethylene with superior tear and puncture resistance. The silver/grey inner layer provides contents privacy and the white outer surface is ideal for high quality printing. Fastpak envelopes are made from 100% polyethylene and are store drop off recyclable.
  • Polyair Xpak bubble mailers combine the tear, weather and puncture resistance of a courier envelope with the cushioning of a Duraliner bubble lined mailer. XPAKs are also made from 100% polyethylene. The white outer surface is ideal for high-quality printing.
  • Polyair Durabubble RP has been engineered to stretch beyond its original size. This unique feature provides Durabubble RP an unmatched ability to be tightly wrapped around the contours of products, regardless of shape and size; protecting edges and sharp corners from damage. Available in both standard and anti-static form, Durabubble RP is highly puncture resistant, and is made with non-slip polyethylene film.
  • IPG’s exclusive high-performance line of Polyair AirSpace™ air pillows are user-friendly and cost-effective void fill packaging material. They can also be printed on for a customized “inside-the-box” solution. Our AirSpace G-Series machines produce air pillows for low- to high-volume e-commerce packaging operations with a small footprint and light weight for portability.

IPG also offers protective packaging products that are curbside recyclable and have been approved to use the How2Recycle labeling system:

  • Polyair PaperSpace systems offer paper protective packaging solutions that are versatile, cost effective, easy-to-use, and eco-friendly. PaperSpace products can be used for blocking, bracing, cushioning and void fill. PaperSpace products are made with 70-100% post-consumer recycled content and are 100% curbside recyclable!
  • HexcelWrap™ Fragile Wrap is an innovative, patent-pending cushioning material for wrapping glassware, ceramics, cosmetics, electronics and anything fragile. This easy-to-use, protective packaging solution is made of paper and is 100% curbside recyclable.

IPG is proud to partner with How2Recycle to make it easier for consumers to understand how to recycle our products!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

How to Prevent Package Theft with Water-Activated Tape

According to a 451 Research forecast shared by Forbes, worldwide e-commerce sales will approach $6 trillion by 2022. With the number of packages making their way through the distribution stream and onto front porches all across America skyrocketing, the risk of “press and grab” package thefts will likely be rising as well. Fortunately, there is a way to thwart opportunistic thieves.

This type of theft involves criminals taking advantage of poorly adhering shipping tape by pressing down on a carton flap, pulling out an item, and allowing the box to flex back into shape. This typically results in the loss of the item not being detected until long after the thief and/or the package has moved on. Water-activated tape is an effective package theft deterrent that gives press and grab thieves second (and third!) thoughts.

What is Water-Activated Tape?

Water-activated tape (WAT), also known as gummed paper tape, is made of paper with a starch-based adhesive on the back. When moisture is added to WAT by a water-activated tape dispenser and the tape is applied to a shipping carton, the adhesive penetrates the surface and creates a permanent bond by physically welding itself to the paper fibers on the box.
Paper-only water-activated tape is strong, tamper evident tape. However, it is also available with embedded fiber reinforcing filaments that make it exceptionally robust. Plus, its seal is proven to endure even the most challenging of environmental conditions including cold and humid climates.
WAT is also easy to use. A manual or electric water-activated tape dispenser moistens the tape and cuts a strip of the desired length. The packer then lays the strip across a seam, runs a hand over it, and the adhesive does the rest. It takes only one strip of tape on the top and one strip on the bottom to effectively seal and secure the contents of your shipment.

How Water-Activated Tape Reduces Package Theft

Water-activated tape serves as a deterrent to would-be thieves in multiple ways. First, the strong seal it forms with the carton surface makes it virtually impossible for a thief to press their way into the box. They either have to tear off the tape, taking a significant chunk of cardboard with it, or slice the tape. Either way, there is no disguising what they’ve done. The risk of being caught tends to make most criminals choose a “softer” target.
In other instances, thefts are “crimes of opportunity," as a poor seal with another type of packing tape allows a carton’s contents to force its way out when the box is dropped or jostled, and the thief simply grabs and goes. Here again, a strong WAT seal keeps package flaps down and prevents this type of temptation. So, companies considering how to stop package theft should start by considering water-activated tape.
“Water-activated tape is an effective package theft deterrent that gives "press and grab" thieves second thoughts.” TWEET THIS

Other Benefits of Water-Activated Tape

Even as water-activated tape is doing its part to keep package theft statistics low, it is also providing other benefits. For example, most cartons can be sealed with a single strip of tape. This gives packages a clean, professional look that reflects well on your company. Plus, water-activated tape can be printed with your company branding, making it a very visible and effective “moving advertisement” for your products.
Water-activated tape can also be applied very quickly, which increases packing productivity. In addition, because it is adhered by hand, packers are not exposed to the risk of repetitive motion injuries that can occur when using a packing tape gun for an extended period.

When Will Your Next Package Theft Occur?

If your organization is fortunate, you haven’t had to deal with package theft often. However, the reality is that it will affect most e-commerce companies eventually, and the cost of replacing stolen goods and repairing damage to your reputation can be high. Switching to water-activated tape, on the other hand, is very affordable and easy to do.   
To learn more about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How to Protect Your Business with Shipping Insurance

For e-commerce businesses, lost, stolen, and damaged packages represent a cost that, if not controlled, can cripple a company. How common is it that a shipment doesn’t arrive at its intended destination in good condition? Shipping companies are, of course, reluctant to share these types of stats. But, it’s safe to say that undesirable outcomes occur frequently.

As an example of just one component of “undesirable outcomes,” Shiphawk reports that 2016 research by Fast Company Magazine found that 11 million packages were stolen from porches in the U.S. the prior year. That number should concern e-commerce companies. Fortunately, in many instances, shipping insurance can cover the replacement cost for lost or damaged shipments.
“For #ecommerce businesses, lost, stolen, and damaged packages represent a cost that, if not controlled, can cripple a company.” TWEET THIS

Understanding Shipping Insurance

Insurance in general, and shipping insurance in particular, can be confusing. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads companies to go without it and simply “hope for the best” when they ship their merchandise. However, shipping coverage really isn’t as complicated as it seems. With a brief overview, some research, and then conversations with providers, you can get affordable insurance that protects your business from the financial impact of lost or damaged goods. 

The first thing to understand is that there are two basic options when it comes to shipping insurance: simple “declared value” coverage and “cargo insurance.”
  • ✔ Declared value coverage. The key term here is “declared.” This is the dollar amount you have told the carrier the package is worth as you are giving it to them. That declaration establishes the figure for which the carrier will be liable if two conditions are met. First, loss, damage, or theft must occur while the package is in the shipper’s possession. Second, in order to be reimbursed by the carrier, you must prove that they were negligent in the way they handled your package. This, of course, is difficult since you are not observing them throughout the process.
  • ✔ Cargo insurance. When companies think of “shipping insurance,” typically cargo insurance is what they have in mind. This is insurance in the standard sense. It provides compensation if a package is lost, stolen, or damaged at any point in the delivery process and may include coverage beyond the declared value for other expenses. Plus, you may not be required to prove negligence on the part of the carrier. Cargo insurance can be either “inland transit insurance” (covering shipments only by land transport such as truck or train) or “marine cargo insurance” (covering shipments by any mode including sea, air, truck, and train).
Understanding these differences gives you a good foundation for moving forward with your decision regarding shipping insurance.

Does My Company Need Shipping Insurance?

There are a number of factors to consider in deciding whether your company needs shipping insurance, including:
  • ✔ Legal obligations. If you have a legal agreement with your recipient that you will insure the shipment, then you must provide insurance. That’s stating the obvious, but it is important that you understand your obligations.
  • ✔ Shipment value. If the value of the merchandise in a particular package is fairly low, then insurance may not be necessary. What is “low”? You have to make that determination. But, for example, a company shipping $700 cell phones might understandably see insurance as essential whereas one that ships $10 toys might be comfortable with the risk of loss and choose not to have insurance.
  • ✔ Item type. Some merchandise is more susceptible to damage or more likely to be stolen. Evaluating those risks is important.
  • ✔ Destination. If you are shipping packages locally and to areas where package theft is uncommon, shipping insurance may not be a high priority. However, if you are shipping regionally, nationally, or globally and/or to locations where theft is common, you should certainly consider insurance.
As ShippingEasy points out, there is also a formula for assessing the business case for shipping insurance. Essentially it is the number of shipments lost/damaged/stolen divided by the total number of shipments and multiplied by the average order value to arrive at the average insurance cost per item. Calculating that number can help you look at shipping insurance from a financial perspective.
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The Importance of Packing Shipments Properly

There are two main reasons it is critical to pack your shipments properly. The first is that doing so can help reduce the risk of damage (in all forms, including poor handling or inclement weather) and theft. You might say that the most affordable insurance is the insurance you don’t need! The second is that adequate packaging may be required in order for your insurance claim to be honored. Some insurance policies will have verbiage saying that shipments must be “properly packaged” in order for reimbursement to be issued.

For both of these reasons, you should always pack your merchandise in sturdy cartons (corrugated cardboard is both strong and lightweight) and take the necessary steps to secure the merchandise inside the box with adequate cushioning or void fill. There are several types of void fill that include foam for surface protection, bubble cushioning to absorb impacts and air pillows to properly fill the voids in the box and prevent unnecessary jolts to the merchandise.
Even more popular these days are paper solutions that accommodate sustainable packaging needs and are usually curbside recyclable. Sealing those cartons with water-activated tape (WAT). WAT creates a powerful, tamper-evident bond with cartons, and can do so with a minimal number of strips. Plus, it can be printed with branding or messaging, making it effective both at sealing packages and branding your company. 

So, the combination of proper packaging and shipping insurance, where appropriate, can help protect your company from the high cost of lost, stolen, and damaged shipments. To learn more about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

Interested in trying a free sample roll of water-activated tape? 
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[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Protecting Shipments with PE Foam

Protect Your Shipments

Some of the nation’s largest transportation companies have recommendations that are tried and true when it comes to surface protection and large bulky shipments. Many products, such as home furnishings, are now made overseas. So, they need to be packaged to withstand ocean transit.  Transportation can have extensive effects on the level of product damage, this includes everything from travel distance to road conditions. Shock and vibration can affect trailers, which combined with rough roads, can magnify the compressive stress on boxes by a factor of ten. Polyethylene (PE) foam can dampen the effects of vibration. This makes it an excellent protective packaging solution for products that may receive indelicate handling or involve long distance transportation.

At least 30% of all products ordered online are returned. Of those, 20% are returned because they were received with damage. TWEET THIS

Polyair Laminated Foam - Lamifoam diagram
Polyair Lamifoam combines the cushioning properties
of foam with a film for greater resistance to punctures

A Fully Customizable Solution

PE foam is used in a variety of industries including the electronics, furniture, cabinetry, appliance, and automotive industries. This is because, like corrugate packaging, foam is easily customizable and non-abrasive. Laminated Foam Solutions come in different film thicknesses, offering customized strength, combined with different foam thicknesses for a fully customizable solution. It is also reusable, which can cut costs for products that are created and assembled in different locations. This makes PE foam an affordable solution for many businesses.

Customer Peace of Mind

Foam is one of the best ways to secure products for shipping, but it’s not all about protection. It adds a professional aspect to the packaging that can create a positive, trusting image in the consumers’ minds. Consumers will have future peace of mind knowing that their items will arrive safely and undamaged.

Laminated Foam Goes a Step Further

At least 30% of all products ordered online are returned. Of those, 20% are returned because they were received with damage. Foam and Laminated Foam solutions (including Cohesive and Adhesive alternatives) exist to help reduce shipment damage. Your company won’t need to worry about your products getting scratched, dented, or damaged. It combines the cushioning of foam with a film laminated to the back side for strength. This imparts greater resistance to puncture and enhances ability to withstand tearing and scraping, which will allow the use of thinner foams. Thinner foams mean less foam is needed and a smaller warehouse footprint overall. One roll of Polyair 1/32” Lamifoam has the ability to replace multiple rolls of standard foam. It provides affordability and strength, while offering peace of mind and a positive image to consumers.

[This post republished from the
Polyair Blog]

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

What You Need to Know About Padded Mailers vs. Boxes

Padded envelopes vs. boxes: Which is the better choice for your operation?

For e-commerce businesses, packaging is a significant expense. Consequently, the choices you make regarding the materials you use can have a big impact on profitability. Two popular options are padded envelopes and boxes. Which is the better choice for your operation? That depends on a number of factors.

Padded Mailers vs. Boxes: The Advantages and Disadvantages

In order to decide whether you get greater ROI from padded mailers or boxes when it comes to shipping your merchandise, you must first consider the pros and cons of each. From there you can determine which characteristics will have the biggest impact on your shipping process and make your choice.New Call-to-action
However, before you decide which form fits your specific need you must take into account what you are shipping in the first place. If you find that your operation is shipping more textiles, then the option toward mailers is a smart and logical one. If, on the other hand, your operation is shipping breakable merchandise, then the option for box packaging with the proper internal void fill is critical to the customer experience and the likelihood that you may win the next purchase from that customer.

Padded Mailers

The advantages of padded mailers include that they are:
  • ✔ Lightweight. This means that generally they cost less to ship.
  • ✔ Inexpensive. Padded mailers tend to be competitively priced.
  • ✔ Produced with built-in item protection. Because they are padded, these mailers may not need any additional structural support.
  • ✔ Speed of packaging – In a business that counts on every second to get as many packages mailed, padded mailers pack out very quickly.
  • ✔ Small. Padded mailers take up less space when they are shipped to you by the manufacturer, which can result in cost savings. Plus, they take up less space in your warehouse or packing station. 
Like all types of packaging materials, padded mailers have disadvantages as well, including that they are:
  • ✔ Susceptible to crushing. While the padding provides a certain level of protection, padded mailers and their contents can be crushed if they wind up under a heavy box or pressed between boxes.
  • ✔ Easily torn or punctured. Padding does not prevent padded mailers from being torn or punctured and having their contents damaged. They also provide little protection from liquids.
  • ✔ Not recyclable. For companies focused on sustainability, that fact that padded mailers can’t be recycled can be an issue.
  • ✔ Unable to accommodate large items. While you can buy fairly large padded envelopes, there are still many types of items that are too large to fit into even the biggest size.
  • ✔ Not designed to handle heavy items. Padded mailers that contain heavy items are prone to tearing.
  • ✔ Best at holding one item at a time. Shipping more than one item in a padded mailer increases the risk that one or both will be damaged.


The advantages of boxes include that they are:
  • ✔ Strong. Corrugated cardboard boxes in particular are very sturdy.
  • ✔ Designed to hold heavy items. Especially when sealed with water-activated tape (WAT), boxes can be used to safely ship weighty merchandise, such as automotive aftermarket parts
  • ✔ Reusable and recyclable. Cardboard boxes can be used multiple times and then ultimately recycled.
  • ✔ Available in many sizes. From very small to very large, there is a box to meet most shipping needs.
  • ✔ Ideal for shipments that include multiple items. With the right padding, many items can be shipped in one box.
The disadvantages of boxes include that they:
  • ✔ Typically cost more than padded mailers. Boxes tend to be more expensive.
  • ✔ Typically cost more to ship than padded mailers. This is especially true when dimensional weight pricing is used.
  • ✔ Require padding. To ensure merchandise is protected when you ship it in boxes you must wrap items and fill voids.
  • ✔ Take up more space. Boxes are rigid, bulkier, and harder to store.

Choose Wisely

There are many instances when either a padded mailer or a box will work equally well. However, in others, it clearly makes sense to use one or the other. Taking the time to make these determinations will pay off in the long run. Remember as you do your assessment to consider the cost of handling returns and providing refunds when merchandise is damaged.
In situations that call for a box, WAT is the right choice for sealing the carton. Strong, tamper-resistant, and brandable, it provides the functionality e-commerce retailers need and creates a polished, professional look.
Likewise, in situations where mailers or padded mailers are the right choice, finding a reliable source of well-designed and secure mailers is critical. The rate of use is increasing daily and your operation cannot afford to be slowed or stalled for lack of packaging materials and suppliers.
To learn more about our water-activated tape, water-activated tape dispensers, and other products, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

6 Ways to Improve Your Shipping Strategy

There are steps you can take to evaluate and enhance your shipping practices

The explosive growth of e-commerce in recent years is a double-edged sword. While it has created tremendous opportunity for retailers, that opportunity has likely enticed many competitors into the market. Consequently, shipping merchandise effectively and efficiently is more important than ever.

With customers increasingly vocal about their purchase experience, if at any point complaints start to rise or your shipping ROI starts to fall, it’s time to reassess your shipping strategy.

“When complaints rise or shipping ROI falls, it’s time to reassess your shipping strategy. TWEET THIS

6 Ways to Improve Your Shipping Strategy

As everyone responsible for e-commerce business knows, shipping costs play a major role in determining a company’s profitability. If you aren’t getting merchandise to customers on time and undamaged, your financial results will suffer. Every hour spent on inefficient processes or responding to customer complaints about lost or damaged shipments cuts into your bottom line.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to evaluate and enhance your shipping practices. To ensure your shipping processes are optimized and your shipping team is contributing to the company’s overall success, do the following:
  1. Determine your goals and whether you are meeting them. How long should it take to properly pack merchandise? How many times should a box be touched as it moves through your shipping area? How many units should go out the door each day? It’s important to have well-defined goals and to continually assess your efforts in relation to them. Also, if your goals aren’t currently documented, take the time to write them down, discuss them with your team, and post them prominently in your shipping area.
  2. Review your shipping processes. Your standards for how merchandise is wrapped, padded, and secured within a carton have a significant impact both on how long it takes to prepare a package for shipping and the in-transit damage rate. Be sure you are doing all you can to minimize packing time while maximizing the protection of your merchandise.
  3. Assess your packaging materials. Are you using strong, lightweight corrugated cardboard cartons? Are you sealing your cartons with water-activated tape (WAT)? Your shipping team needs the right materials to do their job properly.
  4. Evaluate your shipping company. You should be looking at things like whether your contract should be renegotiated, whether the company’s errors are the cause of an unacceptably high number of customer complaints, and whether using one shipper or multiple shippers is to your advantage.
  5. Review your free shipping policy. Many e-commerce companies today offer free shipping, but it’s costly. If yours does, are you sure it’s a good strategy? Take another look at your books, your competition, and your customers to determine the right tactic going forward. It may be that a free shipping policy is crucial but that you can offset the expense in other ways. 
  6. Inspect your packing station. Taking the approach that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” may mean you are missing out on opportunities to improve the way you prepare cartons for shipping, and that can mean you are losing money on every package shipped!

Do Your Shipping Practices Position Your Company to Capitalize on Growth?

Forbes quotes Euromonitor International in saying that e-commerce is on pace to be the world’s largest retail channel by 2021, accounting for 14 percent of retail sales by that time. If your company offers quality merchandise backed by effective shipping practices and support, you are well-positioned to capitalize on this growth. But the time to evaluate and optimize your processes is now so that you stay ahead of the curve. Companies that choose not to act on their product fulfillment issues until “crunch time” will likely pay a hefty price, both financially and in terms of customer loyalty.
If you have questions about how our water-activated tape and water-activated tape dispensers can play a role in your successful shipping operations, please contact us at your convenience.

A Guide For Tape Dispensing Performance Solutions

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Use Genuine Better Packages Parts for Best Results

Genuine Better Packages water-activated tape dispenser parts

If you use a Better Packages’ water-activated tape dispenser to seal your water-activated tape (WAT), you understand how well-constructed and durable it is. You also perceive the many advantages of the super-strong shipping carton seal that you get from using water-activated tape (WAT) — from better protection of package contents to increased security. But, did you know that to keep your dispenser humming, you need to use genuine Better Packages parts?

4 Important Reasons to Use Better Packages Replacement Parts

Equipment parts wear out over time and must be replaced, and this is also true of Better Pack water-activated tape dispensers. In fact, because these machines have such a long life-span, you will surely need to obtain new parts at some point in their long operational life.

There are many reasons to choose genuine Better Packages parts. Below are four of the biggest.
  1. Better Packages parts are made specifically for Better Pack machines. Imitation parts simply won’t work as well in your water-activated tape dispenser and will not last as long. If you use knock-off parts, you may suffer both lower productivity and higher long-term total cost of ownership.
  2. To maintain your Better Packages’ warranty, you must use genuine Better Packages parts. That warranty provides valuable protection that you do not want to void simply because you failed to obtain the proper replacement parts.
  3. You must use genuine Better Packages parts to maintain the safety certifications of your device and ensure the safety of your dispenser.
  4. Official Better Pack parts are built to the extremely high Better Packages’ standard. With knock-off parts, you never know what you will get.

4 Easy Ways to Buy Better Pack Parts

  1. Shop online at our website.
  2. Contact your local Authorized Distributor.
  3. Call our Customer Service department at 203-926-3700 or 800-237-9151.
  4. Email us and we’ll connect you to an Authorized Distributor.
Genuine Better Packages Parts + Routine Maintenance = Serious ROI
Your Better Pack water-activated tape dispenser is designed for easy care and exceptional reliability. It doesn’t require frequent or extensive maintenance. However, performing periodic cleanings, making minor adjustments, and swapping out worn items with genuine replacement parts will allow your dispenser to continue operating faithfully not just for years, but for decades. There probably are not many devices you use as part of your business operations that can make that claim!
“Performing periodic cleanings, making minor adjustments, and swapping out worn items with genuine replacement parts will allow your dispenser to continue operating faithfully not just for years, but for decades. TWEET THIS
Wondering how to perform key routine maintenance operations? We’ve got you covered! Our website has a large library of helpful maintenance videos that provide step-by-step instructions. This extensive collection of educational materials is updated regularly to ensure you have all the information you need to maximize the return on your WAT investment. You can also download a parts drawing or Operator Manual from our website.
Accept No Imitations — Check With Us First
In some cases, it may be hard to tell if the provider from whom you intend to buy Better Packages parts is an Authorized Distributor. Before you make your purchase, be sure to talk with our Customer Service department. They can point you in the right direction. You can reach them at 800-237-9151 (in the U.S.) or 203-926-3700 (around the world).

Making the Switch to WAT With Better Packages

Not yet using water-activated tape and considering making the switch? It’s easy to get up and running with WAT. We can answer any questions you have about our products, tell you about some of our many happy clients (from small startups to major corporations), and help you prepare your first order. We’re confident that once you make the switch, you’ll never look back! Contact us at your convenience.

Which tape dispenser is right for you? GET STARTED

[This post republished from the 
Better Packages Blog]