Eleven Tips For More Eco-Friendly Shrink and Stretch Wrapping
Are you looking to make your shrink or stretch wrapping operation more eco-friendly? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve compiled eleven easy changes you should consider implementing with your film and equipment to help achieve your greener goals.
- Commit to using only 100% recyclable plastic shrink and stretch films. These will increase the incidence and likelihood of your materials entering the UK recycling stream after consumption instead of ending up in landfills unnecessarily. As per our plastic pledge, every film product offered by YPS is recyclable.
- If you currently use PVC films we would suggest you source an alternative shrinking material. PVC, although once popular, has now been shown to release chlorine-based contaminants as it decomposes which are harmful to the environment. Polyolefin and LPDE films are much more planet-friendly choices.
- Obtain an OPRL membership. If you are a user of polyolefin shrink films from YPS, you will be permitted to use official OPRL recycling labels on your packs once you sign up. The symbols are a well recognised, clear and consistent way of directing your customers to recycle your packaging appropriately.
- If you are currently a YPS customer, speak to us about the possibility of downgauging your current film specification to an ultra-thin micron specification. This will reduce the overall volumes of plastic used in your operation without reducing the yield you achieve from each roll. We can now offer display films as thin as 9mu that have the same strengths and properties as their thicker counterparts.
- For polyolefin applications, consider transitioning to a plant-based film with a natural, renewable base. Bio-sourced films offer a reduced reliance on fossil fuel resources, can be formulated from by-products that would otherwise go to waste and are fully recyclable. We offer an extremely popular shrink film called B-NAT derived from sugarcane ethylene that is ethically and renewably harvested.
- For polythene shrink film applications, our range of 30%+ recycled content films can present a greener alternative to standard polythene. Using recycled material sourced directly from a UK recycling stream, the co-extruded structure of these films retain the strength and qualities you expect from virgin polythene whilst being kinder to the planet and reducing demands on finite resources. They are also fully recyclable – helping to achieve a true closed loop economy.
- A very effective way of increasing the amount of plastic waste your site recycles is to install a baling machine. Film that comes off the waste wheel on shrink wrapping machines or is removed from pallets of goods can be collected in the baler, where it is compounded over time into cubic tonne blocks of plastic waste ready be delivered to a recycling plant. YPS can supply, install, service and maintain a baling machine free of charge at your company and will collect the waste regularly before directing it to a recycling site for regranulation back into new films.
- Arrange for your wrapping machines to be regularly serviced. Not only does this keep your production running more smoothly and reduce the risk of downtime, it also reduces energy consumption by ensuring temperature output from shrink tunnels remains at efficient levels. Plus, if the sealing system on your sleeve wrappers and L sealers are well maintained, you achieve optimum performance for every pack. This reduces the need for re-wraps which use more energy and film.
- If your wrapping machine uses compressed air or pneumatics, regularly check that the supply is not leaking or over-pressured which contributes to energy inefficiency. Upgrading to a servo driven machine could be an alternative solution to avoid wasteful energy consumption.
- If you run different pack sizes on your shrink wrapping machine, be sure to batch your production runs by product type. You should always use size-appropriate film widths for each product being wrapped, and so if you run smaller products using the film reels intended for the larger products in your range you will create significant film wastage. Plus, don’t leave the machines running when they are not in use.
- If you currently wrap pallets by hand, investing in an automated solution can deliver significant eco-friendly benefits, even if you wrap as little as 20 pallets per day. Stretch wrapping machinery can exert far greater stretch capacity on the film then any operator could manually, meaning you can wrap more pallets with each and every reel, reducing plastic usage. The automated machines supplied by YPS also allow you to utilise pre-programmable wrapping cycles that stretch the film at differing degrees exactly as required according to the weaker or less stable points of a pallet. There is no need to increase the number of overall wraps (and therefore the amount of film used) to achieve stability when our intelligent pallet wrapping machines can apply film roping or pre-stretch techniques just where it’s needed to achieve the same effect.
If you would like to discuss the eco-friendly credentials of your shrink or stretch wrapping systems, call our friendly customer service team today on 01924 441355.