Different Types of Shrink Film Packaging

Different Types of Shrink Film Packaging
Published On:April 16, 2020 Revised On:August 8, 2023

Shrink film packaging has transformed products’ presentation, protection, and marketing. With various materials catering to diverse applications, businesses can choose the most suitable shrink film to meet their needs. This article will share more about the various types of shrink film packaging, their properties, applications and benefits.

Purpose of Shrink Film

Shrink film involves using plastic films that, when exposed to heat, shrink and conform tightly around the product or container they encase. This process creates a secure and protective wrap that enhances the packaged item’s appearance, integrity, and marketability. The heat application can be achieved through various methods, including heat tunnels, heat guns, and sealing machines.

The packaging film forms a protective layer that shields products from dust, moisture, and physical damage during storage, transportation, and display. It provides visible evidence of tampering, assuring consumers of the product’s integrity and safety. The transparent nature of film allows products to be showcased attractively, enabling manufacturers to display branding, labels, and marketing messages prominently. The packaging can bundle products together, reducing the risk of loss and making it easier to manage multiple items.

Benefits and Applications

From protecting products to enhancing their visual appeal, shrink film offers a range of advantages that make it a versatile and effective choice for packaging solutions. This packaging solution offers numerous advantages that contribute to its popularity across industries.

  • Visual Appeal: Enhances the visual appeal of products by providing a clear, glossy, and well-fitted wrapping that highlights their features.
  • Versatility: Suitable for a wide range of products, regardless of size, shape, or material. This adaptability makes them a versatile packaging solution.
  • Cost-Efficiency: Economical solution, especially compared to packaging methods involving complex moulds or die-cut materials.
  • Sustainability: Available in biodegradable and recyclable options, aligning with the growing demand for environmentally friendly packaging.
  • Space-Efficiency: The snug fit reduces the volume occupied by packaged items, optimizing storage and transportation space.

The versatility and adaptability of the packaging have led to its widespread adoption across a diverse range of industries. From protecting perishable goods to enhancing the presentation of consumer products, packaging finds application in various sectors for product integrity, aesthetics, and branding.

  • Food and Beverage: Wrapping food products, beverages, and perishables. It ensures product freshness, protection, and eye-catching presentation.
  • Pharmaceuticals: The tamper-evident properties make them crucial for ensuring the safety and authenticity of pharmaceutical products.
  • Consumer Goods: Used in retail environments, enveloping electronics, cosmetics, toys, and various consumer items in appealing packaging.
  • Industrial Equipment: Protects industrial machinery, parts, and equipment during storage and transit.
  • E-commerce and Retail: It is essential for e-commerce due to its ability to secure and display products visually appealingly.

Types of Shrink Films

Shrink films come in various materials, each with unique properties that cater to different packaging needs and industries. The right type of shrink film selection depends on factors such as the product being packaged, the intended application, and the desired level of protection.

Each type of shrink wrap offers distinct advantages and characteristics, making them suitable for different industries and applications. When selecting a shrink film, factors such as shrinkage percentage, clarity, strength, and environmental considerations should be considered to ensure the best possible packaging outcome for the intended product.

  • Polyethene (PE) Shrink Film:  This is the most commonly used material for shrink film due to its flexibility and affordability. It is available in two main categories.  LDPE shrink film is known for its excellent clarity, making it ideal for products that require visibility. It is often used for irregularly shaped items and consumer goods packaging. HDPE shrink film is stronger and more durable than LDPE, making it suitable for heavier products and industrial applications.
  • Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Shrink Film: This film is widely recognized for its exceptional clarity and ability to shrink at lower temperatures. While it offers an excellent presentation, it should be noted that PVC production involves the release of chlorine gas, which has led to environmental concerns and a shift towards more eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Polyolefin Shrink Film: This film is favoured for its versatile properties and compatibility with various packaging systems. It is available in two main categories:
  • Cross-Linked Polyolefin Shrink Film: Cross-linked polyolefin offers high strength, toughness, and puncture resistance. It is often used for packaging heavy, sharp-edged items and industrial and pharmaceutical products.
  • Non-Cross-Linked Polyolefin Shrink Film: This type of film balances clarity and cost-effectiveness. It is commonly used in food packaging, retail products, and consumer goods.
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Shrink Film: PET shrink wrap is notable for its exceptional clarity and high shrinkage capabilities. It is often used for labelling and branding purposes and products with complex shapes.
  • Biodegradable and Eco-Friendly Shrink Films: Manufacturers have developed biodegradable and compostable shrink film options in response to environmental concerns. These films are made from renewable materials and break down more easily in natural environments, making them an attractive choice for environmentally conscious packaging solutions.

Tips for Effective Shrink Film Packaging

To maintain the integrity of shrink wraps and achieve optimal results, it’s crucial to store and handle them correctly. Store the films in a cool, dry, and clean environment, away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and moisture. Avoid bending or folding the packaging film rolls to prevent creases and deformities that may affect the wrapping process. Handle the shrink film with clean hands to prevent oil, dirt, or moisture from transferring onto the film.

Achieving the right temperature ensures proper shrinkage and a tight, smooth finish. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended sealing and shrinking temperatures, as these can vary based on the type and thickness of the shrink film. Test a small sample before starting the packaging process to ensure that the chosen temperature settings result in the desired level of shrinkage without damaging the product.

Wrinkles and distortions in shrink film can detract from the professional appearance of the package. To minimize these issues. Ensure the product is properly aligned and centred within the shrink film before sealing to prevent uneven shrinkage. Avoid excessive tension when sealing the film around the product, as this can cause wrinkles and distortion as the film shrinks.


From the clarity of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) to the strength of Cross-Linked Polyolefin, each type of shrink film brings benefits and applications. The applications of shrink film packaging are as diverse as the materials themselves. Whether preserving food’s freshness, enhancing consumer goods’ presentation, safeguarding pharmaceuticals, or streamlining e-commerce, shrink film can be used in various sectors.

At Stream Peak, we supply quality shrink films that are reliable, durable, and tailored to meet different requirements. If you’re interested, contact us to schedule an appointment. We’re happy to provide samples for testing the products’ performance and versatility.