Flexible packaging products such as stretch sleeves are not only versatile and good value for money, they are also a more efficient use of resources than other options. For example, to package 10 gallons of a liquid such as a beverage would take just 1.5 pounds of flexible packaging; similarly to transport the same amounts of glass jars and flexible packaging would take 26 truckloads versus just one truckload for the flexible packaging.
Sustainable shrink sleeves for bottles and other forms of stretch sleeves do not require adhesives and are customizable to client needs. It is the elasticity that keeps them in place. This cuts down on toxins and also helps with recycling as adhesives complicate the process of recycling. They can be used on a range of products, particularly in food and beverage packaging. Other packaging forms such as heat-sealed plastic pouches and wraps, which help keep food fresh and protect it from contamination, can reduce food waste by up to 1.7 pounds per pound of plastic.
A recent white paper by Seminars for Engineers LLC noted that flexible packaging needs to be, among other things, sealable, selectively permeable so that it lets in light and air but at a rate that increases the durability of the product, able to act as a barrier keeping the product fresh and isolating it from the environment, and have consumer appeal. These characteristics make for a good flexible packaging product.
As demand for more efficient means of packaging increases, so interest in the flexible packaging market is growing. Growth for the global flexible packaging market is forecast to reach an annual average rate of 3.4% between 2015 and 2020, reaching $248 billion. Seventy percent of this is food packaging. Another study found that the flexible packaging market, which was valued at approximately $74 million in 2012 would grow to nearly $100 million by 2018.