5 Benefits of using LDPE Film for Shrink Bundling

Posted on May 4 2017 by Toni Nigrelli-LaFleur

Shrink bundling film 

Innovations in plastic continue to improve the way we live – it has also had a profound impact on the packaging industry.    

Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) is one of the most widely used plastics today for shrink bundling.  It is produced by the polymerization of ethylene in high pressure reactors. The resin can subsequently be blown, slit and wound to create film rolls, which is increasingly used by product manufacturers for a variety of packaging purposes.  In shrink bundling, LDPE’s strong, flexible properties make it vital to the protection, unitizing and distribution of packaged goods

1. Film Shrink Potential

The manufacturing process of LDPE film allows the shrink potential around a product to be between 40% – 60% in the machine direction, or length of the film, and 5% – 15% in the transverse direction, or width of film. Shrinkage occurs when the film absorbs energy, typically through the form of heat energy, causing the molecule chains to return to a more natural arrangement. The film casts to the product, creating a tight unitized pack. This provides additional shipping, palletizing and handling benefits compared to unitizing and packaging products within a corrugated box.

2. Packaging Waste Reduction

Anyone who has ever received a package knows that once received, the box must be broken down, and stored somewhere until it can be disposed of properly. Shrink bundling reduces the amount of packaging, in addition plastic packaging and LDPE film creates less greenhouse gases than alternative packaging. In addition, LDPE film can be collected and recycled to create new end-products. Product manufacturers looking to reduce packaging and develop a zero waste initiative, benefit shrink film for bundling and distribution.

3. Shipping Cost Reductions

Shrink bundling products in LDPE film can minimize the overall size and weight of a package, resulting in lower shipping costs. Product manufacturers find that replacing a corrugated box with a tray or pad, helps to reduce overall shipping costs. And in some instances, can increase pallet density.  A good example of this is shrink bundling gable top bags for the pet food industry.  Using EDL’s Double-Tight Wrap shrink bundler to create a brick-like package, manufacturers can maximize pallet density. 

4. Various Film Blends and Thicknesses (depending application)

Packaging LDPE film gauge typically ranges between 1.0 to 4.0 mils and can be blended with various chemical additives or other film materials to enhance the original properties. Film rolls can be clear, opaque, randomly printed, or print registered. This benefits manufacturers looking to achieve a specific goal or product need beyond corrugated.

5. Different Types of Wraps (depending on product and distribution needs)

LDPE’s flexible properties allow for various enclosures to be achieved using EDL Packaging equipment. The enclosure type is dependent on both the product and distribution requirements.  In addition to creating unitizing packs, different enclosure types can provide aesthetically appealing packaging (for example windows being shipped to a big box retailer), primary packaging protection from dust or abrasions, containment of potential primary packaging leaks, or tamper evidence

The benefits of LDPE as a packaging solution are significant. For windows, bagged food products, personal care products and many others, LDPE is a practical packaging choice. It’s the preferred bundling material for manufacturers looking to protect, unitize and distribute products while reducing pallet cost, enhancing visual display, while providing flexibility in film type, thickness, wraps and even printing.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted March 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

This entry was posted in LDPE