Building and construction materials are typically stretch wrapped on pallets and skids, but does the stretch film used matter? Does it deserve greater consideration and investment?

According to managing director of packaging management company Nelson Joyce & Co, Nelson Joyce, the answer is yes, with stretch film currently being “flippantly categorised as a throw-away consumable”.

Labelling it as little more than ‘industrial cling wrap’ then leads to the potential damage of expensive and valuable bricks, blocks, tiles, steel, gyprock, timber, furnishing and fixtures during handling and transport.

“Stretch wrap is used so consistently to move all types of palletised products within this industry, therefore it should be treated as a type of capital asset rather than as a consumable that is written off, much like the pallets are,” Joyce said.

“By using the correct equipment and integrating all the processes, there is nothing stopping a business from saving up to 50% of its current costs associated with stretch wrapping – not to mention reducing potential liabilities along the way.”

Joyce advises businesses to avoid the cheapest option, which “can often become the most costly” as cheap stretch film can suffer a high puncture rate.

Instead, stretch films of superior quality, which includes film that has no PIB (poly isobutylene, and film with a high puncture resistance, can help to maximise returns.

Furthermore, rolls of stretch wrap breaking on a machine also cost in terms of downtime and product wastage. Every time a roll breaks on a machine it has to be rethreaded.

“Strength is imperative. If a pallet falls in transit, the goods have to be returned, therefore, adding to labour cost, product damage and paperwork issues,” said Joyce.

What do you think? Is stretch film a throw-away consumable that causes you any trouble?