Some of the most versatile packaging supplies available on the planet are the various types of shrink wrap. Shrink wraps are made of plastic which is manufactured from natural materials like oil, natural gas, coal, minerals, and even plants. Plasticity is the ability of a material to deform its shape without breaking. Plastic wrap for instance comes in a rolled film, but can be wrapped around anything and take most any shape. With the ability to shrink the utility value of shrink wraps as a packaging supply is off the charts.
Although it’s manufactured from natural materials the widespread usage is having adverse effects on the environment such as physically littering the oceans. There are many eco-friendly and cost-effective manufacturing methods being developed to mitigate the negative impacts. This guide will discuss the various shrink wrap packaging options available to assist product developers in choosing the best packaging supplies for their new product(s).
Types of Shrink Wrap
- Shrink banding is a PVC based shrink wrap used on bottles of such things as aspirin or hot sauce. The primary purpose of shrink banding is verification that a product hasn’t been tampered with. The products aren’t warranted by the manufacturer if the shrink branding has been broken.
- Shrink sleeves are also PVC based and are primarily used as labels on things like condiments and drinks. They are the film that is on the outside of a 2liter bottle of soda that says Coke or Pepsi. They are pre-printed with product information and fit directly over bottles than shrank with heat to apply.
- Shrink bags are PVC based as well. Just as the name implies shrink bags have 3 sealed sides with an opening at the top to put product into. The open end is then sealed with vacuum or without. Everything from notebook paper to dog treats to DVDs comes in this sort of packaging.
- Shrink bundling film is very thick compared to other types of shrink wrap. It is the wrap that holds cases of water or bundles of firewood together. It can also be used as an exterior wrap to palletize a wide array of heave products in warehouse environments.
- Shrink tubing comes in hose like rolls and is also PVC based. It has a wide array of uses it can be sealed or taped loosely and is used to package softlines.
- Centerfold shrink film comes in 12inch wide rolls and is a 24inch piece of film folded in half. It is widely used by automated packaging systems due to its versatility.
The versatility and minimal cost of shrink products make them a viable material for packaging a wide array of products and materials. Advances in product development should work to minimize any negative environmental impacts of the use of shrink wraps in the future. The immediate focus for manufacturers and distributers that use a large amount of plastics should be to minimize the impact by having robust recycling programs in place.