Film Plastic Packaging: Stretch and Shrink Wrap
Isn’t it funny how until we get to be in need of something, we don’t exactly care to learn much about things related to it? If you’re confused as to what I mean, let me share an experience with you I recently found myself into.
After getting a job transfer, I had to relocate, and never having been in such a situation before, it was stressful as I didn’t know where to begin with the organisation of the packing up, and transporting, finding the best solution in terms of packaging to properly protect my belongings.
That’s when I learned greatly about the stretch wrap, and shrink wrap options. Though often used interchangeably, they are not to be mixed up as they do have their differences. Both clear plastic films, and both recyclable, they differ in the materials they are made of, and what they are intended to wrap, and why I got to know about both is because I got to use them both.
While stretch wrap, made of polyethylene plastics usually, is elastic and ideal for holding several items, and loads together, the shrink wrap, made of polyolefin plastics, is meant for individual, or a smaller amount of items. The reason they’re perfect for protection and transport has to do with their tight properties, holding items tightly together, and of course, their durable properties.
The process of stretch wrapping doesn’t require heat, as opposed to the shrink wrapping – when heat is applied, the wrap shrinks around the items, hence the name. The former can be used to wrap around an item several times, whereas the latter is cut around the item with the help of a heat sealer therefore the necessity to use a machine when relying on this wrapping option.
What I loved about both is the utmost protection they provided for my possessions in terms of UV damaging rays, dirt, dust, moisture, mould – weather in general thanks to their breathability and adaptability. And oh, they’re resistant to tear!
It’s not surprising they find their usage in industries as well, as the different films of the stretch wrap (e.g. UV, coloured, anti-static, and vented to name a few), their different widths and thicknesses are meant for a variety of purposes when carrying loads, and the convenient properties of the shrink wrap make it suitable for food wrapping also (e.g. meat, vegetables). Great news is they are also affordable, so they wouldn’t break your bank, and they can give you the peace of mind about the safety of your belongings.