Many companies are looking for sustainable stretch film options in a world where sustainability is ever more critical. Stretch film is made from various plastic formulations. And plastic has caught the ire of the general public.
Even though soft, flexible plastics like stretch films are some of the packaging materials with the lowest carbon footprints, many people are looking for alternative materials.
But, stretch film is a necessary component for packaging lines worldwide. So many companies continue to use stretch film despite concerns about plastic because they are the best materials for what they do.
And what they do is safely contain, secure and palletize products for shipping and transportation.
However, many companies that use stretch film are now looking for sustainable forms of stretch wrap in an effort to reduce their impact on our planet earth.
Like you, many businesses wonder if there are sustainable stretch films on the market. Today, there is high interest in recyclable, recycled, and bio-based stretch film.
But are there stretch films out there that match these desires? The short answer is yes.
Today, we will take a look at the various forms of earth-friendly stretch films that are available today and those that will be available shortly.
Are There Sustainable Stretch Films Available?
The question above is one of the most asked to stretch film manufacturers today. Many companies are hoping to find alternative stretch film products that have less of an impact on our planet earth.
However, many companies have struggled to find these alternatives, and people often ask if they exist. The fact is, they do.
Below, we will review the sustainable stretch film options that are available on the market and those that will be available soon.
Recyclable Stretch Film
The simple fact of the matter is that there has been a sustainable option for quite some time now. Stretch film that is made from LLDPE or linear low-density polyethylene is fully recyclable.
But, many companies are unaware of this fact. As such, their used or waste stretch film often ends up in a dumpster. This is a shame because it does not have to be this way.
Now, while LLDPE stretch film is fully recyclable, it cannot be recycled by most municipal or single-stream recycling facilities. This is one of the reasons that this material often does not get recycled.
Many businesses will wrongly assume you can just send these materials off to the recycling center, and they will be recycled. But, those materials will be removed from the other materials and ultimately end up in a landfill.
With that being said, there is a solution to this problem in which you can adequately recycle stretch film. You see, while most traditional recycling facilities do not have the infrastructure to recycle flexible packaging films such as stretch film, there are facilities within the stretch film industry that can do this.
For example, one of our top stretch film producers, Alliance Plastics, has facilities in which used and waste LLDPE stretch film can be recycled into new stretch film products.
Not only will they take your used and waste LLDPE stretch film, but if you bundle and sort it properly before pick up, they may even pay you for your used and waste stretch film if you have enough volume!
So, if you are already using LLDPE stretch film, you are already using a sustainable stretch film. All you have to do is get it to the appropriate recycling facility for processing.
If you are interested in getting your LLDPE stretch film recycled and are curious about making a profit from doing so, please reach out to one of our packaging experts for more information!
Recycled Stretch Film
Next up, we have recycled stretch film. Believe it or not, there are already recycled stretch films on the market. These films are made from either PCR or PIR recycled plastic stretch film.
PCR means post-consumer recycled. This means that PCR-recycled materials are made from recycled materials that come from consumer waste.
PIR means post-industrial recycled. This means that PIR recycled materials are made from recycled materials that come from industrial waste.
Various companies have recycling facilities within the stretch film industry with the proper infrastructure to recycle PIR and PCR waste and used stretch films.
These companies will collect properly sorted and bundled waste stretch films and recycle them in their facilities. These recycled materials are then used to make new stretch films.
As previously mentioned, some companies will pay you for your properly sorted and bundled used LLDPE stretch films. However, some companies will even pick up unsorted and bundled waste films. But, they will not pay you for this material as it is complicated to sort and process these materials, which incurs a cost to them.
Various companies are producing recycled stretch films, but perhaps none are better than those produced by our partner Alliance Plastics.
Later in this article, we will be reviewing two of their sustainable stretch wraps (one of which is a PIR recycled film).
Want to learn more about stretch film?
Biodegradable Stretch Film
Finally, we have biodegradable stretch film. Bio-based stretch films are specialty stretch films that are designed to produce the most negligible impact on the natural environment.
Most biodegradable stretch films are made from various types of plant-based polymers and biodegradable materials. These materials break down and biodegrade much faster than traditional plastic stretch films, which can take over one thousand years to biodegrade.
On the other hand, bio-based films will biodegrade, on average, within five years or less. However, it should be noted that for some brands of these films to biodegrade correctly, they must either be disposed of in an industrial composting facility or, if in small volumes, in a home composting pile.
Failure to dispose of your compostable films in this way will result in poor biodegrading that may take significantly longer to biodegrade.
As a side note, we must point out that the Steelflex Bio film mentioned below does not require an industrial composting facility or home composting pile to biodegrade properly. Steelflex Bio will degrade, on average, within three years or less when it is exposed to heat, sunlight, oxygen, and water.
Suppose you are interested in purchasing biodegradable stretch film. In that case, we suggest you skip down to the section of this article covering Steelflex Bio, the biodegradable stretch film that we offer.
What Are The Best Sustainable Stretch Films On The Market?
Sustainable stretch films are a tremendous technological advancement that can help your company "go green." But, not all sustainable stretch films are of the same quality.
If you are looking for the best sustainable stretch film options on the market, we have two words for you. Alliance. Plastics.
Alliance plastics produces, by far, the best sustainable stretch films on the market today. And we offer their sustainable stretch films for purchase here at Industrial Packaging!
Below, we will review their PIR recycled stretch film and biodegradable stretch film.
Steelflex GREEN Sustainable Stretch Film
Steelflex green is a sustainable, earth-friendly stretch film made by our friends at Alliance Plastics. Steelflex green is made from up to 30% post-industrial recycled used stretch film.
This impressive LLDPE sustainable stretch film is one of the greenest stretch film products on the market today. And while some recycled stretch films made by other vendors are not as strong as their regular films, steelflex green retains the strength and aesthetics of Alliance's other quality stretch films.
Steelflex green is available in both machine and hand stretch variations. The film is also available in a variety of gauges and sizes.
If you are looking for an ultra-high quality recycled stretch film to help your business become greener, steelflex green may be the stretch film for you!
Benefits Of Steelflex Green Sustainable Stretch Film
The fact that steelflex green is made from up to 30% PIR recycled material and is fully recyclable are two significant benefits in and of themselves.
But those are not the only benefits of this incredibly sustainable stretch film formulation! But what are the other benefits of steelflex green stretch film?
Below, you will find some of the other benefits of steelflex green that make it one of the hottest sustainable stretch films on the market today!
Benefits of steelflex green stretch film include:
- Up to 30% PIR recycled material
- 5-layer machine stretch wrap
- Similar properties with regular Steelflex Machine & Hand Films
- Perfect for securing loads for transportation and shipping
Steelflex BIO Sustainable Stretch Film
Steelflex bio stretch film is now available for purchase! Steelflex bio stretch film is made from fully biodegradable materials.
Unlike regular plastic stretch film, which can take more than 1,000 years to biodegrade, steelflex bio stretch film will biodegrade in 5 years or less.
Boasting similar strength and aesthetics to regular plastic stretch film, steelflex bio is one of the most sustainable stretch films to hit the market!
If you are curious to learn more about steelflex bio stretch film, contact one of our packaging specialists today!
Want To Learn More About Sustainable Stretch Film?
I imagine that the content presented in today's article has generated some serious curiosity in you! And you probably have some additional questions about sustainable stretch film products that are currently available.
Would you like to learn more about sustainable stretch film or purchase some sustainable stretch film for your business today?
If you would, you will want to speak with one of our packaging experts! They will be able to help you garner information about or make a purchase of the sustainable stretch film that is right for your business!
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.