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The Stretchiest Tape in the World?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 9:15 am CDT

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You probably don't think of tapes being stretchable, but most packaging tapes can stretch about 130 percent more than their original length before breaking — fairly standard for a single-coated tape. 

But there's another player in the game that's taking "stretch" to a new level: Scotch® Stretchable Tapes, which can stretch nearly 700 percent. That means a 55-meter roll​ yields over 350 meters of tape! It's the stretchiest tape in the 3M portfolio, and it's making a big impact in the food transportation business.

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​​How is Stretchable Tape used?

3M created this tape for a specific part of the packaging world: wrapping pallets. In most circumsta​nces, operators take a wide roll of film and cover an entire pallet in it, almost li​ke cramming the pallet into a Ziploc bag. This is hard work, uses a huge amount of film and is time-consuming to wrap

“We knew our customers were struggling with the existing tape options, so we worked to create a solution better optimized for them. Scotch Stretchable Tapes was the result,” says U.S. Product Marketer Mitch Hallan.​

Operators using 3M Stretchable Tape can simply apply the tape with a handheld dispenser, which enables them to move quickly and use far less material than wrapping the entire pallet.

Additionally, since the 3M tape touches only parts of the boxes, the containers can still breathe. This is important in food transportation because these boxes often contain berries, tomatoes and other perishable items. When the container can breathe, there is a lower risk of temperature fluctuation, which helps extend the life of the fruits and vegetables that the customer is shipping. And since the 3M tape is transparent, there's no risk of it obscuring important labels on the boxes during the shipping process. 

Sustainable solutions

Perhaps the most power to its punch is that the Scotch Stretchable Tapes reduce pallet packaging waste by up to 95 percent — a big deal since reducing waste and meeting sustainability goals are growing priorities for manufacturers and shippers around the globe. 

Additionally, the ability for the tape to help maximize ventilation of customers' pallets means that food stays fresher, and less food needs to be thrown away.

3M Stretchable Tape launched in North America and is currently hitting it out of the park — ​exceeding sales expectations. It will be expanding to new U.S. markets in the coming months.

Learn more about Scotch Stretchable Tape here.

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