Stretch wrap or stretch film is a highly stretchable plastic film that is wrapped around items. The elastic recovery keeps the items tightly bound. In contrast, Shrink wrap is applied loosely around an item and shrinks tightly with heat.
It is frequently used to unitize pallet loads but also may be used for bundling smaller items.
Types of stretch film include bundling stretch film, hand stretch film, extended core stretch film, machine stretch film and static dissipative film.
In pallet unitizing, stretch wrap can have several functions:
- improved stability of products or packages, forming a unit load
- more efficient handling and storage of unit loads
- some degree of dust and moisture protection
- some degree of tamper resistance and resistance to package pilferage
Making sure cartons stay on the pallet is an important consideration in warehouse distribution, especially as the demands for increased throughput continues to rise.