The origin of sellotape

The same way many people use the word “windex” for all glass cleaners, “sellotape” became much more than a brand name – it has a generic meaning and it is used for all adhesive tapes found in most businesses and homes.  

Sellotape is adhesive, pressure-sensitive, cellulose-based tape. It is generally used for joining and attaching various materials: paper, cardboard, plastic, even metal, glass or wood – practically anything depending on situation and possibilities.  

The first product similar to sellotape was mentioned as early as 1845, when a New Jersey surgeon, Horace Day M.D., made the first adhesive pressure-sensitive tape by applying India rubber on fabric and using it as surgical tape.  

In the 1920-ies adhesive tape entered large-scale manufacturing.  The 3M factory manufactured a rubber based product to solve a seemingly simple car-industry problem – clean paint lines.  

The sellotape was later refined and named in 1937 by Colin Kinninmonth and George Grey.  They applied rubber resin on transparent cellulose-based cellophane.  Later on, sellotape was first produced in South London, in a factory that was a member of the Dickinson Robinson Group, a paper, printing and packaging company.  During the WW2, households taped up their windows to reduce splintering, and today it is an inevitable part of stationary that goes with every office desk.  

What are the 2B tapes made of?

BOPP or polypropylene is used for industrial strength adhesive tape, powerful and stretchy, it easily combines with different glues and is resistant to high temperatures.  This material can be recycled and is environmentally acceptable, especially as in the NRQ adhesive tape palette it is combined with water-soluble acrylic glue it is bio-degradable. 

PVC or polyvinyl chloride is used for multi-use adhesive tapes with application on different surfaces.  It cannot be recycled and it is the least environmentally acceptable of all our products. 

PAPER is primarily used for masking tapes, but it has its application in the packing tapes such as Eco tape.

Types of glue on 2B sellotapes and masking tapes

Acrylic or acrylic glue is applied on polypropylene tapes to make our NQR products.  It is highly environmentally acceptable as it is water-soluble. 

Natural rubber is used as glue on most of our sellotapes, primarily in the Solvent Series.  It is obtained from the sap of a special Brazilian tree Hevea Brasiliensis.

Synthetic rubber or hotmelt is glue used on PP Hotmelt 50, and is highly environmentally acceptable.  It is produced artificially, like synthetic car oils. 

2B Environmental pyramid

2B sellotapes ranked by their environmental acceptability: