Sustainability is one of the most discussed topics in our current society. Furthermore, one of the first images that pops in our head is waste: mountains of plastic bottles and containers floating in the ocean. There is a reason why we’re so aware of the issue of plastic waste. Plastic is the leading material in production and packaging of intermediate finished goods. But what we’re often not aware of is that plastics can have a positive, greater value if used the right way.
Here at Millennium Packaging we’ve committed to sustainable initiatives through the products we offer. To achieve our goal, we have partnered with manufacturers who’s sustainable mission and values align with ours. One of the partnerships that has helped us tackle the problem of plastic management is Valfilm. They have shown us that technology exists to help address this issue and that we can manage it! To fully understand what Millennium is now able to offer thanks to the help of Valfilm, we need to take a step back and talk about stretch film itself.
Stretch film is one of the most popular and effective packaging materials for unitizing palletized and unpalletized loads for transport. It is most easily described as a highly stretchable film that is wrapped around pallets and products. First introduced in the 1970s, its composition has evolved over the years. Two of the early types of stretch film were made from LDPE (low density polyethylene) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride). Unfortunately, both polymers had issues, since they tore easily. For this reason, manufacturers continued development and created a new type of stretch film, made of LLDPE resin (Linear Low-Density Polyethylene). This type of stretch film was an incredible improvement compared to the previous ones, as it stretched further without sacrificing durability.
In the last 40 years, stretch film has become an essential component in the packaging industry, and companies have kept working on different technologies to improve this product. It is here that the work of Valfilm becomes crucial in connecting stretch film to sustainability with the Bio-V technology.
Bio-V Stretch Film
Established in 1976, Valfilm is a worldwide leader in providing sustainable solutions in flexible plastic packaging materials. In 2015, their US operations opened in Ohio. To address the serious environmental issues of landfills and litter, the company developed a technology called Bio-V. Introduced to the market in early 2020, this technology has become the front-runner in creating biodegradable stretch films, known as Bio-V stretch films. But how does this new and unique technology work? To answer the question, let’s review one of the cases where Millennium helped some of its customers increase efficiency and sustainability with the use of Bio-V films.
“Sustainable packaging has been in play in our industry for a long time. There are a myriad of definitions of sustainable packaging and biodegradable materials continually fits into this category. Historically, most offerings from the supply chain were either very niche (corn-based film) or extremely expensive. The word “sustainable” never seemed to be real until we started using Valfilm’s Bio-V films.
Bio-V films are stretch films made of LLDPE resin (Linear Low-Density Polyethylene), which is the material that is now universally used. What differentiates Bio-V film from anything on the market is the additive that’s introduced to the typical resin package. When the material is subjected to any natural environment, over 600 microbes consume the plastic, making it a true biodegradable material. The microorganisms don’t impact the performance of the films and keeps them from sitting in the landfills. And, since the material is resin based it can be recycled with other common plastics.”
When the films were sent to an independent US accredited Lab in New Mexico, the lab tests showed that Bio-V stretch film packaging will be fully broken down within 5 years. Such lab tests represented optimal conditions and often showed faster results than actual landfills conditions. Bio-V can also be put into any existing stretch wrap recovery program.
“The elements of being fully biodegradable and recyclable got me in the door with my customers, but what closed each sale was the Valfilm performance matched any of the competitors’ films and the cost differential switch to Bio-V was minimal.” – Millennium Sales Team
Bio-V stretch film maintains the features of all the other stretch films. It offers high holding force, durability, protection from damage even during rough shipments, and great optics, which is very important when the items inside the load need to be seen. What makes Bio-V stretch film a selling item is that it is also cost efficient: costs are at or below what you would be paying for your current stretch film. In addition, when machine stretched, Bio-V film can be stretched anywhere from 240% (such as the SAP stretch film) to more than 320% (SAU flexible film).
With Bio-V technology, Valfilm has taught us that there are ways to deal with plastic waste by using biodegradable recyclable packaging products, that also allow to keep the same performance as competitors. Because of the incredible results achieved with Bio-V stretch films, the same technology is available for shrink bundling films, trash can liners and T-shirt bags.
It is important that we encourage and promote the recycling of a product that is used by distributors all over the world in a wide variety of industries: stretch film. If we keep committing to sustainable efforts, we will be able to achieve an efficient, effective, yet sustainable business model, all the way from the manufacturing to the consumer.
If you’re interested in discovering more about the benefits of Bio-V stretch films and how Millennium can help you achieve the best solution based on your operation and product(s), please contact our team of experts at (847) 717-3300 or send us a message.