Clear tape (the common kind we've grown accustomed to buying at the office supply store), is simply a thin layer of plastic, coated with a synthetic adhesive.  At the moment, the only "need" I see for the stuff is when you actually must see through the tape - For shipping labels, or repairing a ripped page in a book. *However, there is a biodegradable alternative "cellulose tape" listed below... 

Here are 4 alternatives to plastic tape

Cellulose Tape


Cellulose (natural byproduct from wood processing)

Natural Rubber Adhesive

This tape looks yellow, but applies "clear"

Excellent replacement for plastic tape


Masking Tape


Crepe Paper

Rubber based adhesive

Comes in different colors




Paper Tape

Biodegradable (non-fiberglass reinforced)

Kraft Paper

Natural Rubber Adhesive

Comes in ready to use versions, as well as "gummed" (the kind you need to get wet to activate the adhesive)




Washi Tape


Different kinds of tree or plant fibers (bamboo, mulberry, hemp...)

Natural Rubber Adhesive

No end to the variety of colors and designs