An Alternative to Stretch Wrap Using Triple Bottom Line

Christian Guirola, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo


Packaging products has always been a major sector of industries. Mass producing manufacturing companies use wooden pallets to store and transport items; these products are stacked and then secured by wrapping stretch wrap around them. The main issue with this packaging method is that millions of pounds of waste is produced. Some of the other effects include green house gas emissions during its production, limited recycling, and high packaging costs. In order to reduce the amounts of stretch wrap used by industries and distribution centers, there was a need to research and evaluate alternate methods to secure products on pallets. This study was completed using a Triple Bottom Line approach to acquire the most sustainable method to package pallets evaluating the social, environmental, and economical effects of each. Four other alternate methods were compared to stretch wrap: tie down straps, adhesive, cargo nets, and pallet covers.

After having conducted the analysis, the recommended method to secure pallets was using the adhesive material with the pallet covers. Now instead of having to use 38 barrels of oil to produce stretch wrap to secure 22,000 pallets, only 1.38 barrels would be needed. A considerable amount of petroleum is saved. As far as costs, this proposed method has a total daily cost of $17.32 instead of $71.03 spent with stretch wrap.

It is possible to conclude that this new alternative is a more sustainable method to secure items on wooden pallets. This could be a feasible solution that warehouses and distribution centers could use.