What works better for packaging, plastic or steel strapping?

Both steel strapping and plastic strapping have their benefits and drawbacks. Both can be extremely useful for packaging but you need to look into which one is going to be more suitable for your use case.

Steel and plastic strapping can also be used in industrial settings to bundle up heavy items together so they don’t topple over, either when stationary or in transit. To help you decide which kind will be more suitable for your business’s needs, we are going to take a closer look into each of them.

Steel strapping

Steel-strapping is a good choice for almost all your packaging needs. It is a great option to hold heavy loads in place, especially during transportation if your goods are going to go through a lot of loading and unloading.  It is also the preferred strapping when you have to secure potentially dangerous loads like gas bottles, for example, which are subject to specific storage and handling requirements.Steel strapping can help keep them in place during transport and keep them secure and upright in storage.

It can do the same in other, similar situations. Steel strapping is a great choice for binding things with sharp edges that could cut through softer alternatives.

Steel strapping is more rigid than plastic and it needs special tools to thread and tie it around your load. This can be considered a drawback in some situations as it can make the packing process slower. While steel strapping is more durable and UV-resistant it can be susceptible to rust if not cared for properly. This, however, can easily be avoided by using wax for your steel strapping. You may want to rethink steel strapping if your load is susceptible to scrapes and damages when in contact with the steel.


  • High tensile strength
  • Great at securing heavy loads and heavy industrial materials
  • Resistant to UV light and temperature changes
  • Resistant to stretching and so retains tension


  • More expensive than plastic
  • Can be dangerous to work with if proper precautions are not taken
  • You need a heavy-duty tensioner to get the right fit
  • Can scrape and damage loads susceptible to abrasion

Plastic strapping

Plastic strapping is practical for lighter loads, or loads that may shift or expand, since it is softer and not as rigid as steel. It is also less costly, which is making it increasingly popular. You can buy it in bulk and it is easy to use with fewer potential risks to the user. Because of its flexibility, plastic strapping can withstand shocks, knocks and bumps.

Plastic strapping is more susceptible to deterioration from UV rays and temperature changes, which makes it a poor choice for lengthy transit periods. It also cannot hold heavy loads, which would require steel. Since plastic strapping is softer the chances of it inflicting damage on your load are minimal. However, for the same reason it is not suitable for loads with sharp edges that might cut through it.


  • Flexible enough to absorb shocks, knocks and bumps
  • Great for lighter loads or shifting and expanding ones
  • Softer, so it minimises the chances of damage to loads
  • More cost effective
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    • Not suitable for heavy loads
    • Not suitable for longer trips
    • Susceptible to deterioration from UV rays and temperature changes
    • Can deform and lose stability

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