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A Guide to the Characteristics and Sustainability of Shrink Film

Apr. 14, 2022

Bringing your product to the consumer needs to be an outstanding experience. From the look to the feel to the longevity of the product, shrink wrapping is a simple process. With just one roll of shrink film and a heating source, you have all the tools you need to waterproof, weatherproof and tamper-proof your products, no matter how big or small. You can also bring a layer of confidence to your consumers and stand out with the protective sheen of shrink wrap when applied properly!

Given the flexibility, durability and other valuable benefits of using shrink wrap, many companies are adopting this method to package their products.

A Guide to the Characteristics and Sustainability of Shrink Film

What is shrink wrap? 

The term shrink wrap is used for plastic films that shrink under heat. These are divided into biaxial (symmetrical) and uniaxial (one side) shrink wrap, depending on their direction of shrinkage. In industry, shrink wraps are used to hold pallets in place. They are also used to bundle or protect products. Shrink wraps are usually made from one or more plastic granules using a co-extrusion process to make blown film. The blow molding process stretches the plastic molecules horizontally and vertically and orients them. This orientation breaks down when heat is applied - either with hot air or infrared radiation at about 120-220 °C - and the film shrinks. This effect can be used to tightly wrap products and pallets.

Our portfolio includes classic shrink wrap as well as the excellent PE stretch films, which are inexpensive, sustainable and efficient alternatives to shrink wrap. All film variants provide optimal protection for your products against damage and contamination, have optimal retention properties during transport and, very importantly, do not require heating. This makes these stretch films an excellent energy-saving alternative for film heat-sensitive products. These films are made from PLA, PVC, PET, etc. and are available in clear, colored and/or printed versions. Please contact us for more information.

Sustainability of shrink film

Modern equipment, technology and blends can reduce film thickness, thereby reducing the amount of raw material that needs to be used and avoiding waste. Essentially, polyethylene shrink wrap is recyclable. However, recycling rates - the collection and recovery of used film - are still poor. The material is inexpensive and is not usually considered reusable. Here, the term sustainability must be associated with the recycling process, not the recyclability of shrink wrap. As a sustainable alternative film, we recommend our PLA film series, which strive for a closed raw material cycle and use a high percentage of recycled material - without compromising film quality at all. We are happy to advise you!

A Guide to the Characteristics and Sustainability of Shrink Film

Advantages of Shrink Wrap

Tight film of products or packaged goods

Protection against damage and environmental influences

Excellent film fixity

Low material consumption

Individual film thickness

Printable and colorable

PE material is cheap

Recyclable film materials

Disadvantages of shrink film

Additional energy requirements

Shortened cycle time due to heating and cooling time

Not suitable for film heat sensitive products

Tight but strong bonding of goods and pallets

Very low amount of material actually recycled so far

A Guide to the Characteristics and Sustainability of Shrink Film

Please contact HYF to see more film and packagings.