stretch film: how optimizing this process improves your sustainability and reduces waste
Blog Post - Jonathan Darling, Southeast Director of Packaging, on December 18, 2017
If you are a company that uses stretch film you have probably seen an evolution in how it is purchased and evaluated. Packaging professionals have been educating the market in how to standardize containment properties, reduce the cost per pallet wrapped and “right gauge” the film according to their loads and equipment. These pieces are essential evaluation points when purchasing films, however an important factor is being missed.
For those who don’t know what it means to optimize your stretch film, the process is pretty simple, yet drastically important to insuring your product gets from Point A to Point B in as made condition. Below are bullet points outlining the steps:
Using the above formula, you can determine the current status of your stretch wrapping process. From there, testing would be done on a particular film that could not only get you the desired containment standard required for you load, but also make sure you were using the most efficient amount to achieve the desired results. In doing so, you can improve your spend on stretch film and reduce the cost per pallet shipped.
This isn’t the only benefit however.
Little is ever considered about stretch film and the impact of plastic waste on the environment. As much as stretch film is needed, it is also a product that is used, cut off and then thrown away by the customer. Shouldn’t a concern also be the impact of the waste being incurred by our customer?
When you optimize stretch film, you are not only improving cost, you are reducing waste. You are making sure that you are not using more film than necessary to make your product safe to ship. This marks an easy sustainability project that you can promote throughout your plant and community. You can also promote this to your customers, as you are trying to help improve their consumable waste as well.
Not only are you reducing the amount of plastic your customer is throwing away, you are making sure that your loads arrive in as made condition. Damaged occurred during shipment becomes waste your customer now has to discard. If your customer decided to reject the entire pallet, the greater the impact. Making sure your stretch film is optimized and performing properly helps reduce the negative impact you make on your customer and what they make on the environment.
Optimizing your film isn’t just environmental. You are also able to reduce the waste of precious time. Once your film is optimized, in many cases, you can reduce the amount of film purchased per year. In doing so, you reduce the amount of time spent placing P. O’s, receiving the product, handling the product and reducing the amount of time spent changing rolls. It also reduces the amount of time handling returns and rework. All of this helps improve labor cost and keeps your employees working in areas that drive profit.
Need help learning more or reviewing your current stretch wrapping process?
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