Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on January 21st, 2021

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Should I Package My Products In Shrink Film? Pros And Cons

Packaging Materials | Environment | Packaging Design

Are you a seasoned veteran in packaging or a start-up getting ready to package your products? Either way, finding the appropriate packaging for your products, is essential.


Today, there are thousands of packaging materials to choose from. You have rigid packaging, flexible packaging, and specialized options in between. There are countless packaging supplies to consider.


You will likely have more than a few reasons for looking into using shrink film (also known as shrink wrap). There are many reasons why you would want to choose shrink wrap. Shrink wrap (which is different from stretch film) is commonly chosen over other materials.


Industrial Packaging has sold hundreds of thousands of rolls of film. We’ve coached thousands of happy customers on how to select the right type of film.


It may seem like a simple process to buy rolls of shrink wrap. But, there is a lot to consider before choosing shrink wrap as your packaging material. This article will help you understand why you would want to package your products in shrink film.


First, we’ll dive into three primary considerations. These are things you need to be thinking about when it comes to using shrink wrap. Then, we’ll talk about the pros and cons and where it’s best to buy this material.


rolls of shrink film-pros and cons


The Cost Of Shrink Film


Shrink wrap often comes with a lower price tag than other packaging materials. These other materials include glass, cardboard, and rigid packaging.


The material itself is less expensive. And, the associated costs of the film are also lower. The low costs are especially notable when considering shipping costs. Any packaging material's shipping cost will always be higher the heavier the material.


Shrink film is much lighter than metal, cardboard, glass, and even paperboard. Thus, this film costs significantly less to ship than many alternative materials. Is lowering your cost of product packaging materials crucial to your business? Then, you will want to consider using shrink wrap.



When Is Shrink Film More Expensive Than Alternative Materials?


There are some cases in which using shrink film will be more expensive. This is especially true in the case of printed shrink wrap.


Printed film offers various benefits to your product's packaging. For example, shelf appeal, brand-ability, and graphics applications. But, all these benefits come with a higher price tag.


Costly minimum order requirements come with the purchase of printed shrink wrap. A minimum order requirement is the lowest number of rolls required to purchase.


In this respect, printed film is an expensive option. One that may not be the right choice for the budget-conscious company. With all that being said, you can still garner cost savings from printed films. You can do this by choosing to use light gauge printed shrink wrap.


Need Help Choosing The Right Shrink Film?

Show Me The Complete Guide To Shrink Film!


The Environmental Impact Of Shrink Film


Shrink film is made of plastic. You may wonder why this would be a good choice when choosing earth-friendly materials. Based on science, shrink wrap is one of the most environmentally friendly options.


How is that possible, you may wonder? Simple. It all comes down to the heavy carbon footprint of some packaging materials.


packaging in landfill


Plastic materials like flexible films have the lowest carbon footprint. This means they are also one of the most environmentally friendly options.


Materials such as glass, metal, cardboard, and paperboard are recyclable. But, due to contamination in recycling, many of those items end up in the landfill.


The Shelf Appeal Of Shrink Film


One of the most sought-after benefits of shrink wrap is shelf appeal. Shrink wrap gives a beautiful glossy sheen to your products. The packaging entices customers to reach for your products.


The film's glossy surface reflects light and shimmers under retail store lighting fixtures. This gives it an upper-hand in the battle for consumers' attention.


For example, as an avid tea drinker, I go through a box or two of herbal tea per week. My two favorite brands are Bigelow and Celestial Seasonings. The latter is not only my favorite brand of tea but also one which uses this type of film in their packaging. The outer barrier of the film on these teas keeps the tea inside fresh longer, and it's easy to open making it a big win for me.


shrink film


Celestial Seasonings packages their tea in wax paper bags. Then, they are sealed in a paperboard box. Finally, the paperboard boxes are shrink-wrapped in transparent plastic shrink film. The film gives their tea boxes a nice glossy sheen. This separates them from their competitors.


Do you want to use shrink film to help your product stand out? If you want to take shelf appeal to a whole other level, you may want to consider using printed shrink wrap.


Printed film has the same great benefits as transparent shrink wrap. But, it has the bonus of printing and branding capabilities. Printed film allows your product to stand out. It does this while reducing the added costs of printed labeling!


The only downside to adding shrink film to your products is that using additional materials comes with added cost. Adding more packaging may not be something you want to do as a cost-conscious business.




Think of ways you can utilize shrink film to eliminate other types of packaging you are using. In many cases, shrink packaging can replace alternatives altogether!


The Pros And Cons Of Shrink Film


We have touched upon many shrink-wrap packaging elements. It can be a lot of information to keep track of. Do you want to simplify your buying decision and make the right choice for your packaging needs? Then you need to see the good and the bad. Here, we will review the pros and cons of shrink film.


Pros Of Packaging Your Products In Shrink Film:


  • Lower cost than most of the popular alternatives.
  • High shelf appeal.
  • Eye-catching glossy surface.
  • The lowest carbon footprint of most popular packaging materials.
  • Takes up less space in landfills than the other options.


Cons Of Packaging Your Products In Shrink Film:


  • Hard to recycle.
  • Not appropriate for ultra-heat sensitive products.
  • Not suitable for interactive products.
  • Not always good for luxury packaging applications.
  • If used as a secondary packaging material, it will increase the cost of your packaging.

Where Should You Buy Shrink Film?


When it comes to purchasing your film, you have several options. You could buy your film through online vendors with e-com stores such as Amazon. Many people like to buy from online stores to avoid travel and human interaction.


Buying online is also one of the fastest ways to fulfill your orders. But, many e-com stores do not have extensive information about the products. You may not find all the required information necessary to purchase the right film.


You want to make sure you understand the width and the gauge (thickness) that is right for your product. You also need to know how you will package it, and if the film can be run manually or needs to be used on a machine. Also, consider if you are using a single wound or centerfold film.


Buying directly from the manufacturer is another popular way to buy your film. Many buyers prefer to get their films directly from the manufacturer. They will always have a ton of information about each of the formulations of film they offer. And, they can help you choose the right film for your machinery, packaging line, and products.


But, some manufacturers will not sell directly to consumers. In this case, you will have to use an e-com store, brick-and-mortar retailer, or some other vendor.


Finally, there are packaging distributors, such as Industrial Packaging. While we would love to get your business, we may or may not be the right choice for your needs.


Many people will choose a packaging distributor as a shrink-wrap vendor. They do this because distributors sell multiple film brands and film types. Having a diverse product line means they can help you choose the right one for your needs.


Are you on the fence about using shrink film or unsure if it can be cost-beneficial and more eco-friendly than your current packaging? You may want to chat with one of our in-house packaging experts. They will be able to answer lingering questions and help you make the best choice!


For a free, more in-depth guide to shrink film, check out our complete guide below! It has multiple chapters, over 27 pages of remarkable insight, and it is easy to use and download! 


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.