Cut the Scrap! Simple Steps to Minimize Stretch Wrap Waste

Cut the Scrap! Simple Steps to Minimize Stretch Wrap Waste

By AAA Polymer | Stretch Wrap

Mar 05

Warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing plants handle tons of stretch wrap and films on any given day, so it only makes sense you look for ways to minimize stretch wrap waste. Stretch wraps and films account for a sobering 12.2% of all plastic waste in the waste stream each year. 

Because organizations are so focused on properly packaging products, they often overlook the stretch wrap waste. However, the team at AAA Polymer has outlined a few of the key ways to minimize stretch wrap waste. 

By focusing on reducing your stretch wrap waste, you'll save money in the long run, potentially give your brand an image boost, and help preserve the environment. Continue reading to learn more about a few of the top ways to minimize stretch wrap waste. 

Use Pre-Stretched Film

Stretch wrap is designed to be pulled out to its optimum length. If you pull too hard as you wrap a shipment, it can tear. This leads to shifting pallets that can spill their contents. On the other hand, if you do not apply enough pressure, you will use more film than necessary, leading to increased costs in labor, material, and disposal. 

If you miss that ideal level by 5%, you're wasting a full pallet's worth of wrap and labor for every 20 pallets. In other words, it's critical to use the right amount of stretch wrap. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. 

Pre-stretched film helps you minimize stretch wrap waste. It arrives with the wrap already stretched to the proper length. You simply wrap the pallet with a steady level of pressure, and you're done. This product not only reduces waste but also provides the best containment of the pallet's contents to minimize the risk of spillage and overturning. To put it simply, pre-stretched film is almost always a good choice for wrapping pallets. 

Use Wrapping Machinery

Another way to get the right amount of tension is to utilize a wrapping machine. These instruments are set up to wrap a load quickly and efficiently, using the ideal amount of wrap. Some companies may balk at the cost of such a tool, but it can quickly pay for itself. 

A single employee can wrap far more pallets by using a machine instead of working by hand. You'll also see lower costs in materials, reductions in damaged goods, and easier loading of shipments.

Wrapping equipment will also increase worker safety by keeping your personnel further away from pallets as they are wrapped and eliminating the need for step stools or ladders to reach the top of taller shipments. While AAA Polymer doesn't sell machines, we may be able to offer guidance and expertise in the process. 

Start a Commercial Stretch Film Recycling Program

A large percentage of the stretch film used today is thrown away, adding material to landfills and creating higher costs for film users through increased disposal costs and greater film consumption. However, you can easily recycle your stretch film through a commercial recycling program with the AAA Polymer team and open the door to a vast range of enticing benefits. 

Recycling the wrap you remove from incoming shipments and encouraging recycling of what you use on outbound shipments will cut waste at both ends of the supply chain. 

The stretch film you may be throwing away is the perfect solution because it remains predominantly clean and dry. This makes it a better material for recycling than plastics that contact food or petroleum products

Optimize Package Weight

A light shipment requires less wrap than a heavier one, but we can sometimes fail to consider this. Many employees will wrap a pallet full of paper towels the same way they wrap one full of canned vegetables. This leads to wasted material and time.

Keeping track of approximate shipment weights will minimize stretch wrap waste by guiding your workers on just how much wrap is necessary to secure the load fully. When they are able to save some material on a light shipment, they can wrap a little thicker on a heavy shipment without breaking the budget.

Minimize Stretch Wrap Waste with Employee Training

As your front line of defense against waste, your employees are a critical link in your organizational chin. And if you're looking to minimize stretch wrap waste, it starts and ends with them.

When the men and women working in your facility understand the best ways to determine how much stretch wrap to apply and how it's done, you'll be well on your way to cutting waste. Educate them about balancing pallets, determining weights, and the costs associated with excessive wrap use. When they see that proper techniques will make their work easier, safer, and more cost-effective, they'll be invested in doing things right.

Most importantly, the largest impact can be sustained when you educate your employees on the importance of commercial recycling and get them to buy-in. There are several steps you can take today to educate your employees on the importance of the commercial recycling program to the company and the local environment. You can learn more with our Guide to Helping Employees Stick to Your Company's Recycling Plan.  

Contact AAA Polymer

Whether you're looking for the best provider of stretch films and stretch wrap, wanting to start a commercial stretch film recycling program, or searching for more ways to minimize stretch film waste, the team at AAA Polymer can help. 

Contact us today to learn more.

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