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  • Writer's pictureIan Haywood

Why are pharma companies moving away from shrink wrapping to stretch banding

Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly moving away from shrink wrapping and adopting stretch banding for various reasons, including:

  1. Cost-effectiveness: Stretch banding typically requires less material compared to shrink wrapping. Shrink wrapping involves using a large plastic film that needs to be heat-sealed around the product to create a tight seal. In contrast, stretch banding utilizes a stretchable polythene film that can be easily applied without the need for heat or additional machinery. This reduction in material and equipment costs can lead to cost savings for pharmaceutical companies.

  2. Environmental considerations: Stretch banding generates less waste compared to shrink wrapping. Shrink wrapping often results in excess film that needs to be trimmed off, leading to higher material waste. Stretch banding, on the other hand, is applied directly to the product with minimal excess material, making it a more environmentally friendly option.

  3. Product visibility: Stretch banding allows for better product visibility and easy identification. Since the polythene film used in stretch banding is thinner and transparent, the product labels and important information on the packaging remain visible, making it easier for consumers and inspectors to identify the contents.

  4. Easy application: Stretch banding is a simpler and quicker packaging process compared to shrink wrapping. It requires minimal setup and can be applied manually or with semi-automated equipment, resulting in increased packaging efficiency and reduced labor costs.

  5. Tamper-evident packaging: Stretch banding can serve as a tamper-evident packaging solution, as any attempt to remove or tamper with the film would be evident due to the film's stretch properties. This helps to ensure the product's integrity and safety.

  6. Flexibility for various product sizes: Stretch banding is more versatile and adaptable to different product sizes and shapes. With shrink wrapping, customizing the film size and shape for various products can be more challenging and may require different molds or setups.

  7. Enhanced product protection: While shrink wrapping provides good protection against dust and moisture, stretch banding can also offer sufficient protection for many pharmaceutical products. Additionally, stretch banding can be used in conjunction with other protective packaging methods, such as trays or cartons, to further safeguard the products during transit.

It's important to note that the choice between shrink wrapping and stretch banding depends on the specific needs of the pharmaceutical product, the packaging requirements, and cost considerations. While stretch banding offers several advantages, shrink wrapping may still be preferred in certain situations where additional protection and a tighter seal are necessary.

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