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What is the difference between stretch wrap and shrink wrap?

The terms stretch wrap and shrink wrap are often interchanged but they are two completely different products. While they are both used for packaging purposes and are both clear plastic films, they have altogether different uses.

  • Stretch Wrap looks and feels very similar to Saran wrap. It is most commonly used for bundling multiple items together to provide stability to packaged items. It is what is commonly used to wrap and secure items on pallets for shipping purposes. As the products to be bundled are wrapped in the film, tension is applied to the wrap as it is wrap several times around the items. The properties of the wrap cause it to cling to itself creating a tightly wrapped, secure packaging.
  • Shrink Wrap is a clear plastic film that is not stretchy. It is typically used to professionally package retail items giving them a tamper proof and protective barrier. An example would be the clear packing on DVD and CD cases. Shrink wrap is typically used to wrap individual items but can be used to package multiple items together. The shrink wrap is cut to fit around the item and then heat is applied to shrink it to fit tightly.
Title: What is the difference between stretch wrap and shrink wrap?
Description: Explanation of the differences between shrink wrap and stretch wrap.
Published: 10/3/2012
Last Edited: 12/28/2018
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