Shrink Film 101: What It Is, How It Works, and Why You Need It

Shrink Film What It Is, How It Works, and Why You Need It

Shrink film is a packaging material that has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its versatility and cost-effectiveness. It is mostly used for food packaging, but can also be found in a wide variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and cosmetics.

What is a Shrink Film?

Shrink film is a thin, flexible plastic sheeting made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or polyolefin materials. It is produced through a process called extrusion, which involves melting the plastic and forcing it through a die to create a thin sheet. The film is then cooled and wound onto rolls for distribution.

How Does Shrink Film Work?

Shrink film works by applying heat to the packaging material, causing it to shrink tightly around the product it is covering. This process is known as heat shrinking and can be achieved through various methods such as using a heat gun, an oven, or a specialized shrink wrapping machine. Once the film shrinks, it conforms to the shape of the product, creating a tight and secure seal.

Why Do You Need Shrink Film?

There are several reasons why you should consider using shrink film for your packaging needs:

  • Cost-effective: Shrink film is relatively inexpensive compared to other packaging materials such as cardboard boxes or paper bags. This makes it an ideal choice for businesses looking to cut costs without sacrificing quality.
  • Versatile: Shrink film can be used to package a wide variety of products of different shapes and sizes. It is also available in different thicknesses, making it suitable for both light and heavy-duty packaging needs.
  • Protection: The tight seal created by shrink film not only keeps the product free from dirt and moisture but also provides a level of tamper resistance. This is particularly useful for sensitive products such as electronics and pharmaceuticals.
  • Branding and Marketing: Shrink film can be printed with custom designs, logos, and product information, making it a great tool for branding and marketing. This allows businesses to showcase their brand and make their products stand out on the shelves.

Different Types of Shrink Films

There are two main types of shrink films: PVC and polyolefin.

PVC shrink film:

PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) shrink film is a popular choice for packaging due to its low cost, high clarity, and easy handling. It is widely used in the food and beverage industry as it meets all FDA requirements for direct contact with food. However, PVC shrink film, a commonly used packaging material, can emit harmful fumes when heated. Additionally, due to its composition, it is not as environmentally friendly as other available options. This makes it important to consider alternative packaging materials that prioritize both safety and sustainability.


  • High clarity and gloss
  • Low cost
  • Easy handling

Polyolefin shrink film:

Polyolefin shrink film is a newer and more eco-friendly option compared to PVC. It offers high clarity, strength, and flexibility, making it suitable for a variety of products. It also has superior properties such as resistance to tearing and puncturing. Unlike PVC, polyolefin does not emit harmful fumes when heated, making it a safer option for packaging food and other sensitive products. It is also recyclable and can be easily disposed of, making it an environmentally responsible choice.


  • High clarity
  • Superior strength
  • Flexibility
  • Tear and puncture resistance

LDPE Shrink Film

Introducing LDPE Shrink Film, the ultimate packaging material for all your business needs. Our Irradiated Low-Density Polyethylene shrink film is a high-quality, versatile material that will elevate your product packaging to the next level. With its exceptional shrinkage properties, this film is perfect for various industries, providing unbeatable protection for your products while also enhancing their visual appeal.

The secret behind the impressive shrinkage capabilities of LDPE shrink film lies in its unique manufacturing process. Through the use of radiation, the film is able to shrink when heat is applied, creating a snug and secure packaging solution for your products. This process allows the film to conform to the shape of your product, providing maximum protection against the elements.

Difference Between Shrink Film and Stretch Film

Shrink film and stretch film are two commonly used packaging materials that may seem similar but serve different purposes. While they both offer protection and stability, the main difference lies in their application methods.

Shrink Film:

  • Applied using heat
  • Protects products from moisture, dirt, and tampering


  • Tight wrap for a professional look
  • Suitable for irregularly shaped products

Stretch Film:

  • Applied using tension
  • Protects products from damage during transport and storage


  • Higher tensile strength for added stability
  • Can wrap large, bulky items quickly and easily
  • Can be used to unitize products on a pallet for easier handling and transport

Choosing the Right Shrink Film for Your Packaging Needs

When selecting shrink film, there are several factors to consider, including the type of product being packaged, the packaging equipment used, and the desired end result. Here are some tips to help you choose the right shrink film for your specific needs:

  • Consider the material thickness: A thicker film will provide more protection, while a thinner film offers better clarity. Determine which is more important for your product.
  • Know your product: Certain products may require specific types of shrink film, such as anti-static film for electronics or UV-resistant film for outdoor use.
  • Understand your equipment: Different types of packaging machines may require specific types of shrink film. Make sure to check the compatibility before making a purchase.
  • Consider the end result: Do you want a tight, professional look or a looser wrap? This will help determine the type of shrink film and application method needed.

How Much Does Shrink Film Cost?

The cost of shrink film can vary depending on the type, size, and quantity purchased. Generally, stretch film tends to be less expensive than shrink film due to its simpler production process. However, when considering the overall cost of packaging materials, shrink film may be a more cost-effective option as it provides better protection for products during transport and storage. Additionally, purchasing in bulk can often lead to cost savings.


There are several factors that can influence the cost of shrink film, including:

  • Material type: Different types of shrink film, such as polyolefin or PVC, have different production processes and therefore may vary in price.
  • Film thickness: As mentioned earlier, thicker films tend to be more expensive due to the additional material used. However, the added protection may be worth the cost depending on your product.
  • Film size and quantity: Generally, larger quantities of shrink film will have a lower price per unit compared to smaller quantities. Additionally, purchasing pre-cut shrink film may also be more expensive than buying in bulk and cutting it to size yourself.
  • Brand: Some brands may charge higher prices for their shrink film due to factors such as quality or reputation.
  • Special features: Certain types of shrink film may have special features, such as UV protection or anti-static properties, which can add to the cost.

How to Cut Down Your Shrink Packaging Expenses Without Compromising Quality

While shrink film is an important and effective packaging material, there are ways to reduce its cost without sacrificing quality. Here are some tips:

  • Consider the type of shrink film: Polyolefin shrink film tends to be less expensive than PVC but may still offer similar benefits.
  • Opt for thinner films: As long as it provides sufficient protection for your product, choosing a thinner film can help reduce cost.
  • Buy in bulk: As mentioned earlier, purchasing larger quantities of shrink film can result in cost savings.
  • Compare prices from different suppliers: Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare prices from different suppliers. You may find a better deal elsewhere.
  • Optimize your packaging process: By carefully planning and streamlining your packaging process, you can minimize waste and save on shrink film usage.


When considering the cost of shrink film, it’s important to take into account factors such as material type, thickness, size, quantity, brand, and any special features. By carefully assessing these factors and comparing prices from different suppliers, you can find the most cost-effective solution for your packaging needs. Remember that while initial costs may be higher for shrink film compared to other packaging materials, its durability and protective qualities make it a worthwhile investment in the long run. 

At Tilak Polypack, we understand the importance of finding a balance between cost and quality. As a leading shrink film manufacturer, we offer a wide range of high-quality products at competitive prices. Our team is also dedicated to providing excellent customer service and helping you find the most suitable solution for your packaging needs. Contact us today to learn more about our shrink film options and how we can help you save on costs without compromising on quality.  So, whether you are a small business owner or a large corporation, trust Tilak Polypack for all your shrink film needs. Your satisfaction is our top priority!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This field is required.

You may use these <abbr title="HyperText Markup Language">html</abbr> tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*This field is required.