When it comes to painting walls or creating sharp-color edges, it is important to safeguard other areas from unwanted color splashes with the right covering solution.
Whenever you find yourself in such a situation, masking tape is your go-to solution.
Since this tape can and is used for many different purposes and intents, many of you might be wondering just how environment-friendly it is.
Is masking tape biodegradable? No, Masking tape is not biodegradable in nature. The biodegradability of masking tape depends on the materials it is made of. More often than not, a polymer film is used to produce these tapes, which makes the tape non-biodegradable. However, all masking tapes are eco-friendly since they are made up of recycled materials.
If you are wondering about what masking tape is, how you can use it, or if it is environment-friendly, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we will tell you everything there is to know about masking tape, including its uses, types, recyclability, biodegradability, and much more.
What is Masking Tape?
Before we move on to the biodegradability of masking tape, let us first understand what it is and why it was made.
Masking tape, also referred to as the “Painter’s tape,” is made of a thin, easy-to-tear paper.
Available in various widths, the masking tape was originally used in painting to mask off areas that were not to be painted.
In 1925, Richard Drew invented masking tape as an alternative to butcher tape. The butcher tape has a strong adhesive and damages the paint on automobile surfaces when pulled off.
On the other hand, Masking tape has a weak adhesive designed to pull off without leaving any traces and is easy to tear off with bare hands.
But due to its light adhesive and easy usability, masking tape has found its use in many household chores since it doesn’t leave a stain on any surface after being used.
For example, you can use it to label things, hang party streamers, or do fun activities with your kids, like making race tracks on the floor.
How is Masking Tape made?
Moving on, let us walk you through the making of masking tapes.
What is masking tape made of? As we all know, a masking tape has two layers, i.e., an adhesive and a non-adhesive side.
First layer: A thin, saturated crepe paper backing, which is thin enough to be torn by hand, unlike the butcher’s tape, which was hard and tough. Some masking tape brands also use polymer or acetate film rather than thin paper.
Second layer: An adhesive, which is one of the three: solvent-free, hot melt, or acrylic-based, depending on the level of adhesion required.
Is Masking Tape Biodegradable?
As we have already mentioned before, the biodegradability of masking tape depends on the materials used in its production. Most masking tapes aren’t biodegradable due to the polymer content in them.
However, all masking tapes are made from recycled materials, which means that it is already more eco-friendly than other tapes.
How to biodegrade masking tape?
Let’s say that you found biodegradable masking tape. What would you do then?
Don’t worry; in this section, we will be discussing further steps to ensure that you are biodegrading the tape safely and correctly.
Step 1: Throw the small amounts of masking tape in your regular recycle bin. Since the adhesive content is minimal when compared to the paper, they can be processed together.
The tape cannot be recycled, but it can easily be separated from the rest of the recyclable material.
Step 2: Separate the tape from the paper roll that holds it, and throw it into your regular recycle bin because it can be recycled.
Step 3: Before recycling, remember to separate and take out the tape. If you don’t, it will collect at the bottom of the processing unit at recycling centers.
Then a whole lot of recyclables would be taken to a landfill, negating all your efforts to recycle the tape.
Step 4: Remember to contact and ask your local recycling center ahead if they recycle masking tape.
It is important to note that some recycling centers are also willing to buy used rolls of masking tape.
What are the types of Masking Tape?
In this section, we will learn about the various types of Masking tapes available for use.
Masking Tape for General Purpose
Masking tape used for general purposes is a single-sided paper tape apt for all types of simple painting works.
It provides resistance to most common paints and good adhesion on irregular surfaces.
Masking Tape for Automotive Industry
The masking tape that is manufactured for the automotive industry is a single-sided paper tape.
It is used is in car repair works, for wall-painting on buildings, construction sites, and industrial use.
The tape is easy to remove without adhesive residue while providing good adhesion on uneven surfaces too. It can resist temperatures up to 80°C (1 hour).
Masking Tape for Indoor Precision
The masking tape that is used for indoor precision is an extra-thin paper masking tape for extremely flat paint edges. It has a solvent-free adhesive coating.
You can use this painter’s tape made of paper with all even surfaces.
It can also be used for decorative interior renovation, such as painting doors and windows.
Masking Tape for Curves
The masking tape made for curves is highly flexible, offering secure sealing on sharp edges, rough and narrow surfaces, irregular structures, and curves.
It is used in decorative painting, even on rough surfaces. It takes care of super-sharp color edges on any type of surface.
When you are using it to trace tight curves or irregular contours, rest assured because it does not curl up.
You can use it to paint any wall with your creativity and decorative style with perfectly lined curves.
Masking tape for indoor and outdoor painting
For the purposes stated above, robust and durable PVC masking tape is used. It can be used in indoor and outdoor painting and plastering.
The tape can also be weather and UV-resistant for up to six weeks.
Liquid Masking Film: a safer alternative to masking tapes
Liquid masking film is a sprayable, strippable coating to cover and protect the finish when applying trim colors, letters, symbols engraved on model airplanes, ships, cars, and trains.
It is a safe, non-flammable, non-toxic liquid that substitutes the masking tapes on complex masking jobs.
Liquid masking film is mainly of two types:
Liquid Masking for Booth Coat
Liquid masking film for booth coat is a temporary coating for spray painting walls, ceiling, floor, and other surfaces so you can easily remove the gathered paint overspray.
You can also use it as a coating for steel surfaces to eradicate flash rusting or as protecting layer on rubber, cement, aluminum, glass, plexiglass, and many such hard surfaces.
Liquid Masking for High Temperature
The liquid masking film used in high temperatures offers low-cost protection during storage, fitting, and transport.
It is weather-resistant, withstands hazards, scratches, and solvent overspray.
You can easily remove its coating without any residue.
In this article, we talked about the biodegradability of masking tape, a stainless, light adhesive.
Although all types of masking tapes are not biodegradable, they are all more eco-friendly than other adhesives since they are made up of recycled materials.
We have also listed several steps, by following which you can ensure that you are biodegrading your masking tape safely and correctly.
Lastly, we discussed the different types of masking tapes and their applications.