The Advantages of Using Shrinkwrap Packaging

shrinkwrap

Shrinkwrap (also known as shrink film) is a plastic film that wraps around an object then shrinks around the object when heat is applied. There are numerous benefits of using shrinkwrap for your product packaging:

  • Protection
  • Durability
  • Waterproof
  • Temperature-resistant
  • Versatility
  • Affordability
  • Cost-effective storage
  • Cost-effective transport
  • Damage-proof
  • Tamper-proof
  • Prolongs shelf-life
  • Can be environmentally friendly
  • Product visibility
  • Allows for product information and branding to be added

Shrinkwrap provides a wide range of packaging protection benefits

Shrinkwrap is an incredibly durable, 100% sealable, sturdy packaging material that provides items with protection from dirt and damage. It comes in a variety of thicknesses, is waterproof and unaffected by extremes of temperature (some options can also provide UV protection to protect from sun damage); it does not discolour or become brittle over time. Shrinkwrap is also suitable for packaging goods that require refrigeration. Furthermore it is also tamper evident packaging that easily shows if anyone has tried to access the items within (a great example of this is DVDs and games that are rarely sold without a thin plastic film so the disc cannot surreptitiously be removed. Should a liquid product leak, shrinkwrap will ensure the spillage is contained.

Shrinkwrap can wrap any shape or size of product

Shrinkwrap is incredibly versatile and convenient, as it can be used to wrap items of any shape, from apples to books to pianos. In fact, there are also no restrictions on size – items as large as boats or houses can be wrapped up in shrinkwrap! There are semi-automated and fully automated shrinkwrap machines to make the packaging process even more efficient for high turnover operations.

Shrinkwrap is cost-effective in terms of storage and transport

As well as being an affordable packaging option (as both a primary and secondary packaging option), shrinkwrap can wrap multiple items together, minimising the space needed in storge and distribution facilities. It also reduces processing time as items do not need to be unpacked and repacked at various checkpoints as products can easily be seen. The lightweight nature of shrinkwrap also minimises transport costs.

Shrinkwrap can prolong the shelf-life of food products

Shrinkwrap is toxin-free, so it is safe for use on food and pharmaceuticals goods. Shrinkwrap improves the longevity of perishable goods as it prevents oxygen from reaching the product (which results in decomposition). For instance, a shrink-wrapped cucumber lasts three times longer than an unwrapped cucumber! This maximises profits by increasing shelf-life and reducing the proportion of items needing to be marked down in price due to being close to their expiration date. It also means a wider range of stock can be sold. An extended shelf life also minimises the amount of food-waste ending up in landfill – a major contributor to climate change.

Shrinkwrap allows products to remain visible

Shrinkwrap optimises product visibility and the glossy sheen also improves presentation and shelf appeal by reflecting shop lights. Allowing items to remain visible throughout the entire process saves on processing time as mentioned earlier, as items do not need to be unpacked and repacked at various checkpoints.

Shrinkwrap allows branding to be added

Shrinkwrap can be printed meaning it can be customised with your branding and key customer information. Although printed shrinkwrap is often a more expensive option than non-printed shrinkwrap (and may come with minimum order number requirements), the benefits tend to outweigh the additional cost, and is still cheaper than purchasing separate labelling.

Shrinkwrap can be environmentally friendly

Plastic shrinkwrap has a much lower carbon footprint than other heavier packaging options (it takes up less space in landfill) and plastic shrinkwrap made from low-density polyethylene be recycled and reused. With the recent introduction of the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, companies are facing significant pressure to introduce greener packaging options. This tax applies to companies who manufacture or import under 10 tonnes of packaging per year whose packaging contains less than 30% recycled material for companies. Furthermore, consumers expect companies to be mindful of their carbon footprint and constantly looking at ways of reducing it. As well as the environmental benefits of minimising food waste, shrinkwrap can be a sustainable packaging option in its own right.

There are a wide range of greener shrinkwrap options which contain naturally raw materials (for example, sugarcane polyolefin shrinkwrap contains up to 51% sugarcane cellulose) and they are fully compliant with ASTM standards and EC legislation for biodegradability and ecotoxicity. There is also ultra-thin polyolefin shrinkwrap (comprising layers of polyethylene and polypropylene) which uses less material than standard shrinkwrap, without compromising on optics or strength. This means less waste material is disposed of if it isn’t recycled, as well as fewer resources being used to create it in the first place.

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