Quick Guide to How to Save on Stretch Film

Quick Guide to How to Save on Stretch Film

By AAA Polymer | Stretch Wrap

Aug 15

For companies wrapping multiple pallets, stretch film costs are — without a doubt—  substantial. But if you're a warehouse or distribution center, stretch film costs can have a dramatic impact on your bottom line. 

The stretch film and shrink wrap market are projected to $4.1 billion by 2024. The growth of this market will be driven and supported by:

  • Growth in shipping activity and related palletizing

  • Increases in personal spending and manufacturing activity 

  • Continual improvements in resin and machinery technology will expand how the stretch film is used. 

Because of the importance of stretch film to your business, it makes sense to learn how to save on stretch film and reduce stretch film costs while actively reducing stretch film waste.

Fortunately, the team at AAA Polymer can help. We've created a quick guide for how to save money on stretch film and reduce stretch film waste. Read on for a few actionable tips you can use to save on stretch wrapping film and reduce waste.  

Choose the Right Type of Stretch Film and Limit Stretch Film Waste

Without a doubt, the first step to saving on stretch film and reducing stretch film waste involves choosing the right type for the application. And contrary to popular belief, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to choosing the best stretch film. 

If you choose the wrong type of film, you could find your employees using more, which can lead to greater costs and increase stretch film waste. Or they could end up not using enough, which can lead to expensive product damage. The best solution is to choose the best film for your stretch wrapping needs.

Top Factors to Consider When Choosing Stretch Wraps to Cut Costs

In either case, it's imperative to evaluate your needs on an application-by-application basis. Some of the top considerations you should make to achieve optimum load containment and load stability include:

  • The price of the stretch film or plastic wrap

  • Pallet pricing considerations

  • The size and type of load you’ll typically wrap (Type A Loads vs Type B Loads vs Type C Loads)

  • Whether your loads have any special requirements, such as RFID tags, light-sensitive materials, etc.

  • The final destination of your pallet

  • The packaging weight of the pallet load being wrapped

While most stretch films will work to achieve a level of load containment, the better question is "Is this the best stretch film for the load?" There are two broad categories of stretch film and each one has unique attributes that you should consider for your load. 

Blown Stretch Film

Blown machine stretch film is created through a process of blown extrusion. This type of film is engineered to be more resilient, tear-resistant, and tougher than other types of film. The top attributes of using blown stretch film for wrapping pallets include:

  • Superior puncture resistance

  • Produces less waste during manufacturing

  • Excellent durability and delivers maximum toughness

Cast Stretch Film

Manufactured through a process called cast extrusion, cast stretch films are extremely clear and boast outstanding clarity on a wrapped pallet. Although cast film is much clearer, it doesn't offer the tear resistance or strength of blown film. Key attributes of cast stretch film include:

  • High transparency

  • Excellent barrier for moisture, gasses, and aromas

  • Uniform thickness throughout

  • No limits on the thickness of the film

  • Cast stretch wrap has a very quiet unwind

Select the Right Stretch Film Gauge to Reduce Stretch Film Use and Cost

Once you choose the right type of stretch film, the next step is to choose the right stretch wrap thickness or gauge. In conjunction with the type of film, the stretch wrap's gauge indicates its resistance to breaking. 

Essentially, each stretch wrap gauge is designed to secure a certain amount of weight. For example, the 80-gauge wrap is the general industry standard. This gauge of film is generally rated to support and secure loads of up to 2,400 lbs.

The gauge is important because if you choose too high of a gauge, you could be paying for a wrap that's more expensive than necessary. On the other hand, choosing too thin of a gauge can lead to stretch wrap failures, product damage, and potential injuries. 

Here is a quick guide to different stretch wrap gauges:

  • With the retention power of a standard 60-gauge film, 47 stretch wrap gauge is a hybrid and can accommodate a pallet weight of up to 1,800 lbs.

  • 60 stretch wrap gauge is a true-gauged film that can support uniform loads up to 1,800 lbs.

  • 63 stretch wrap thickness offers better puncture and tear resistance. This film gauge can accommodate a pallet weight of up to 2,200 lbs.

  • 70 to 80 stretch wrap gauge is suitable for loads ranging from 2,200 up to 2,400 lbs in weight.

  • 90,100 & 115 stretch wrap gauges are much more resistant to tears, punctures, and other damage.

  • 90 gauge is designed for up to 2,600 lbs.

  • 100 and 115-gauge films are usually rated for up to 3,000 lbs. 

  • 150-gauge stretch wrap is most suitable for C-Type loads with irregularly shaped and potentially sharp items.

Make Sure Your Employees Aren't Using Too Much Film

At AAA Polymer, one of the top FAQs we receive is "Are my employees using the right amount of stretch wrap?" Similar to choosing the right type of stretch wrap and the right gauge, several factors should be considered when deciding on the right amount of stretch wrap.

Pre-Stretched Film Is an Ideal Solution

However, the best solution to increasing efficiency with stretch wrapping is pre-stretched film. Offering the best of both worlds, pre-stretched film delivers higher cost savings, achieves more secure loads, uses less film, and can increase efficiency by reducing the amount of film required to securely wrap your loads. 

At the same time, pre-stretched film makes hand wrapping easier and reduces the likelihood your employees will use more film. The cost benefits of using pre-stretched films often equate to up to 40% savings, which can save your business thousands.

Generate Indirect Stretch Film Savings

A fourth and often overlooked way to save on stretch film is to start a stretch film recycling program, which can generate significant savings in waste management. For most facilities, plastic stretch wrap scraps are the largest source of waste. 

And when you remove these scraps from your waste stream, you can save a tremendous amount of money by reducing the cost of hauling your trash to the disposal site and lowering your overall tipping fee. When you do the math, you can easily save thousands of dollars a year by starting a stretch film recycling program. 

Contact AAA Polymer for a Free Stretch Film Audit

Above all, the top way to reduce stretch film waste is to partner with AAA Polymer. For several decades, we have been leading the way with cost-effective solutions designed to improve our customers' bottom line. And one of the ways we accomplish this goal is through a comprehensive stretch film audit.

Contact AAA Polymer today to learn how much you could potentially save by reducing stretch film waste.

About the Author

AAA Polymer, Inc. was founded in 1974, as a plastic resin and material trading company with an innovative vision to create a company to provide plastic recycling services for industrial/commercial businesses. If you have any questions, we're here for you. Just call us at 718.389.2498.

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