Stretch & Shrink Film

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Plastic Film

This study analyzes the United States market for stretch and shrink films. Demand for stretch and shrink films is examined by product, market, and resin type, Demand is calculated at the film level in both pounds and dollars and does not take into account the value of the converted packaging product (e.g., shrink bag, stretch hood).

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For the purposes of this study, “stretch film” refers to two main product types:

  • film that is stretched over a pallet or other load, holding the shipment in place as the film rebounds to its original shape:
    • machine film
    • hand film
    • bundling film
    • silage and other agricultural films
    • VCI film
    • furniture wrap
  • unconverted food overwrap

Other miscellaneous uses include furniture wrap and silage film.

Stretch film products include:

  • stretch wrap (including pallet wrap, bundling film, food overwrap, silage and agricultural film, volatile corrosion inhibitor film)
  • stretch hoods
  • stretch sleeve labels

Stretch film demand can also be segmented by production methods: cast film and blown film.

“Shrink film” refers to any film that requires the application of heat to shrink and seal around a product. Like stretch film, it finds use in both pallet unitization and packaging applications.

Shrink film products include:

  • shrink wrap (pallet wrap/bundling, food and other consumer product overwrap, shrink collation film)
  • shrink labels
  • shrink bags
  • shrink hoods and other products (including window insulation)

Stretch and shrink film products include both primary and secondary packaging. Examples of secondary packaging include shrink collation films, and stretch and shrink labels.

Stretch and shrink film resin types include:

  • bio-based plastics
    (PLA, starch-based resins, degradable polyesters)
  • EVOH
  • HDPE
  • LDPE (include EVA copolymer)
  • nylon
  • OPP
  • OPS
  • PETG
  • polyolefin
  • polypropylene
  • PVC
  • PVDC
  • thermoplastic elastomers

Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts for 2024 are presented in current US dollars at the manufacturers’ level (which are not adjusted to account for inflation). Demand by resin is also presented in pounds.

Stretch and shrink films find use in two major markets, each of which is segmented into smaller divisions:

  • storage and distribution
  • product packaging

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