6 Actionable Ways to Reduce Stretch Film Waste

6 Actionable Ways to Reduce Stretch Film Waste

By Michael Kralstein | Stretch Wrap

Dec 21

Regardless of your industry, the trend toward using sustainable packaging is gaining momentum and is showing no signs of slowing down. As a result a growing number of businesses are continually seeking ways to reduce stretch film waste.  

Finding ways to reduce stretch film waste can represent significant cost savings for businesses. Let's take a closer look at a few actionable ways you can reduce stretch film waste in your facility.

Reduce Stretch Film Waste with Pre-Stretch Film

Today one of the most common ways of reducing stretch film waste is to use pre-stretch film. Pre-stretch film is plastic wrap that has been stretched and elongated close to its breaking point prior to being put on the roll.

Utilizing pre-stretched film is one way to ensure your employees are using the optimum amount of film and make sure waste is minimized. The optimized tension of pre-stretch film will help improve load stability and containment of the load.

Reduce Waste by Starting a Stretch Film Recycling Program

The best way to reduce stretch film waste is to recycle it by starting a stretch film recycling program in your facility. Starting a stretch film recycling program means you will immediately help the environment and impact on your bottom line by reducing the cost of trash disposal.

Everytime your trash bins are picked up, you'll pay a fixed charge as well as a disposal or tipping fee charged by the disposal site. By removing the plastic stretch film scraps from your waste stream, you can save your company potentially tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Coordinate with Suppliers & Customers

Once you establish a stretch film recycling program, you can take it one step farther by coordinating with your suppliers. The most successful companies who succeed at stretch film recycling work closely with their suppliers to establish consistent shipping standards. This alignment and strategizing allows for more harmony of processes and greater performance. For instance, you can request your suppliers:

  1. Avoid placing tapes on stretch films because it could contaminate the stretch film, which makes it more difficult to recycle.

  2. Avoid using paper labels on the stretch wraps as well as tinted films.  Encourage the use of compatible plastic labels.

By effectively coordinating with your suppliers, you encourage them to take simple steps to make your stretch film recycling program as successful and profitable as possible.  

Invest in the Right Stretch Wrap Machinery

If your employees are wrapping a large or significant number of pallets on a daily basis, you may be able reduce your stretch film waste by investing in a stretch wrapping machine. Compared to wrapping pallets by hand, automatic and semi automatic stretch wrapping machines have the ability to slash film costs.

Automatic stretch wrapping machines have two different film rollers — where the rotation of one roll is significantly faster than the other. As a result of this motion, the stretch film is further stretched and optimized. This works to increase the tensile strength of the film and reduce stretch film waste.

In contrast, manual hand wrapping typically will not stretch the film more than 10% up to 20% and has negative consequences on the unit stabilization and the strength of the wrap. To offset the load destabilization, many employees simply overwrap the pallet and further consume much more stretch film than is necessary.

Minimize Packaging Weight

Another way to potentially reduce stretch film waste is to minimize packaging weight. Light-weighting has quickly become a prevalent strategy to minimize the amount of packaging used. This strategy regularly leads to reduced film wrap expenditures as well as the generation of less waste.

Using much heavier shipping materials, such as wood pallet, can lead to greater carbon emissions as well as greater fuel consumption. Replacing heavier wood pallets with lighter recycled plastic containers may be an excellent way to reduce stretch film waste as well aws total transportation costs.  

Conduct a Stretch Film Audit with AAA Polymer

Contact AAA Polymer today for a free stretch film audit and analysis to learn how we can help you reduce stretch film waste and create efficiencies. .

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About the Author

Michael Kralstein started working in sales full time for AAA Polymer in February 2000. In 2006, he became the Sales Manager of our can liner division. He currently manages all aspects related to can liners.

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