PVC or PETG: Breaking the Myths

PVC Shrink Films have ruled the Indian packaging industry for the longest time. However, due to many issues associated with PVC, a need was felt to find an alternative material that could potentially replace PVC and become the superior choice.

Several different polymers were introduced and tested in the market but saw little success. Finally, PET-G was born, with the hope that the packaging industry had found the best shrink sleeve, till date.

However, some questions remain unanswered:
Is it practical and even possible to replace PVC altogether?
Is PVC truly all bad and PET-G all good?
Can PETG Shrink Films offer the same quality and finish as PVC Shrink Films?
Do companies have the resources, know-how and infrastructure to use PET-G packaging
material for all types, shapes and sizes of containers?

Through this article, I aim to break through some common myths about PVC and PET-G and provide an objective and practical understanding of both materials; their uses, benefits and pitfalls so you can make the correct choice for your business. Let’s get started!

Polyvinyl Chloride or PVC is one of the most adaptable and extensively used synthetic plastic polymers or shrink film that contains 57% chlorine and 43% carbon. PVC is made in bulk  domestically, which is why it is readily accessible. PVC Shrink films are known as RIGID PVC films. They are free from plasticizers (phthalates) and eliminate the issues of chemical leaching.

Shrink films made of PVC are most commonly used in all kinds of shrink tunnels and container materials, especially HDPE containers for cosmetics and food products. Being a full-bodied shrink sleeve, PVC offers additional space as well as several practical benefits when it comes to designing the best packaging for your products.

PVC shrink films aid in communicating crucial product-specific details to the end-user as specified by the regulatory bodies.

When attached to container caps, PVC shrink films provide a tamper-proof seal that protects the contents from adulteration and reduces chances of malpractice.

These films make life easier by providing a holistic design view of pre-formed film bands, specially manufactured to fit specific shapes of containers. With a 360° view easily available, there is no requirement for a custom-made design.

Popularly referred to as PETG or PET-G, Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol is a kind of thermoplastic polyester celebrated for its superb pliability. PET-G is exceptionally long-lasting and resistant to chemicals, making it a great choice for various production processes.

As mentioned earlier, Shrink PETG was created as an alternative to PVC due to two main problems –

LOW SHRINKAGE: PVC has only up to 50-60% TD shrinkage which can cause a flowering effect when packaging certain shapes of bottles. PETG offers a much higher shrinkage percentage, between 70-80%, making it a smarter choice.

THREATS TO THE ENVIRONMENT: When PVC is not disposed off correctly and dumped into garbage landfills or burnt, it releases dangerous carcinogenic gases and dioxin due to its chlorine content. These pose serious environmental and health concerns for years to come.

Hence, PVC is considered the most ‘TROUBLED’ plastic material in use today.

1. Printed PVC waste is easily recyclable with multiple applications such as pipes, window frames, cable insulation, floors coverings, roofing sheets etc. Printed PET-G waste is difficult to recycle and does not have many applications. Most of it has to be incinerated completely.

TAKEAWAY: If PVC is collected and disposed of properly, it can return high value to companies that recycle PVC scrap.

2. PETG is Non-Chlorinated but doesn’t work well as a shrink film with few container materials.

TAKEAWAY: All types of PVC sleeves cannot be easily replaced by PETG. Hence, PETG is not the perfect solution or replacement for PVC as it is usually considered to be.

3. Shrinking PETG is a complicated process, especially if you have access to non-sophisticated shrink tunnel infrastructure.

TAKEAWAY: Shifting to PETG Shrink Sleeves is not easy and may require you to make heavy additional investments.

4. There is widespread production of Shrink PVC in India. Whereas PET-G is either imported or made only by few bigger film makers.

TAKEAWAY: Shifting from PVC to PETG can negatively impact the local and domestic economy.

5. The need for specialized steam tunnels and in some cases, multi-stage hot air tunnels to correctly sleeve PET-G shrink films makes it an expensive and some what unpopular choice. Even with the most advanced infrastructure, there may be limitations in performance of PET-G, as compared to PVC.

Often, when using PETG in hot air tunnels, the HDPE or PP container expands before the time the sleeve is shrunk onto the container. After the container returns to normal temperature and its normal size, air pockets get formed between the sleeve and the container wall.

In sharp contrast, PVC is flexible and adapts to the container’s shape even with a basic hot air tunnel. It delivers great results and reduces reprocessing or rejection.

TAKEAWAY: PVC shrink films are painless to shrink on most containers compared to a

PET-G shrink film. They are also energy-efficient and cost-effective choices that get the job done quickly.

6. Most Indian small-medium enterprises have access to basic shrink tunnels for application of PVC shrink sleeves. Moving to other materials means these companies must invest heavily in more sophisticated technology and infrastructure, not easily available.

TAKEAWAY: PVC shrink films are obvious and sometimes the only possible choice.

7. When using PETG for labelling containers with thin walls or pre-labelling containers that is empty, it is crucial to maintain just the right shrink conditions. Otherwise, there may be major distortions in the label and the container.

TAKEAWAY: PETG’s shrink force is on the higher side that can lead to contortions.

PET-G has various benefits including a higher shrinkage, durability and resistance to chemicals. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best contenders as a shrink sleeve choice for packaging needs. However, now that there is a major shift towards PETG, another problem has raised its head, one that we cannot ignore.

The waste reaching our landfills is a mixture of PVC and PETG. Even though PVC can be easily recycled, PETG waste cannot be, and this reduces its usefulness to companies who deal with recycling. Segregating the PVC and PETG waste is even more difficult. Burning PVC is harmful but burning PETG isn’t good or useful either.

So does PETG have the capability to completely replace the demand for PVC in India – considering that it does not work well in all situations, can lead to distortions and may require a higher level of investment on technology and infrastructure? Only time will  tell.

OPS (Oriented Polystyrene): Created in Japan, OPS offers the same flexibility as PVC but costs much more since it is an imported product and requires constant refrigeration. It is a preferred choice for companies who don’t want to use PVC or looking for more superior performance than that offered by PETG films.

LD-PET (Low-Density Polyethylene Terephthalate): LD-PET costs less than OPS
while offering the same level of versatility. The yield is higher than PETG and PVC and
has a density of 1.1 with lower utilization of plastic. LD-PET performance has been
observed to be at par with PVC.

NEXT PETG: This is an advanced PETG created to function well on HDPE/PP containers in hot air tunnels without creating undesirable air pockets. It has got better performace than regular PETG. To ensure perfect performance, NEXT PETG should undergo trials in varying weather conditions.

ROSO (Roll on Sleeve): ROSO is a PP-based shrink film that is roll-fed. Its shrinkage ratio is limited and can only be used in certain conditions.

PLA (Polylactic Acid): This shrink film is completely free from plastic but not widely used since it is costly. It is made from sugarcane or corn starch and is 100% biodegradable.

COC (Cyclic Olefin Copolymer): This is a Polyolefin-based shrink sleeve. The differentiating factor is its lower than density of 1 and is usually ideal for shrink sleeves with a density of 1+ for easy segregation during recycling by floatation method.

However, it is not easily available and the cost is higher too.

Clearly, it is too soon to conclude which shrink sleeve option is the best or which one ranks higher over the other. However, the need of the hour is to understand the problems that exist.

I am hopeful that sooner or later, our Government, as well as our packaging scientists, will find the most workable solutions that protect our environment and support the ever-changing and evolving needs of the packaging industry.

But till then, it is crucial for all of us to SEGREGATE, DISPOSE OF, COLLECT AND RECYCLE WELL. Remember, plastic is not the Problem, its disposal is.

What are your thoughts on the PVC and PET-G debate? Tell me about it in the comment section below.

For more information on shrink sleeves, feel free to reach out to me, and I will be happy to answer your questions or gather the right information you require.

Go Small – Importance of Short-Runs

Do you see a regular tiff with your printer over the MOQ’s? Printers refuse to accept lower quantity printing due to certain limitations. This is true. The traditional rotogravure printing method has limitations. There are a certain setup time and wastage to match colours. This time, wastage, low productivity comes at a cost that is then passed on to the customers. Additionally, high cylinder cost for low volumes certainly doesn’t help.

But imagine if you have a pilot launch, or want to test market a product or have multiple low volume SKUs, and you are stuck with the situation of buying high volumes and pay up for cylinders cost!
Shrink sleeve industry has been coping with this volume requirements or end up using the other labeling alternatives. This compromise has been a bottleneck for too long.

Introduction of Hybrid Sleeves using the H.I.P. Framework has changed the way you buy sleeves at any volumes. Yes, you read it right. Be it 100 sleeves or 10,000 sleeves. You can get it at a very optimum cost and that too without investing in the expensive cylinders. This saves so much of additional inventory, and MOQ tussle.

Advantages of Low Volumes
• Test market your product in a smaller market before bigger launch
• Small batch allows freedom to make changes in design for next purchase as per market and sales’ feedback
• Shrink sleeve comes with a shelf life. Don’t keep inventory more than your requirement
• You can develop more SKUs and variants without worrying about high inventory

This is how short-runs can help you to save your time and cost along with resulting in the creation of the quality products.

H.I.P. Framework is the future of shrink sleeves.

Taurus Packaging Pvt

3 Trends that will Shape the Packaging Industry Post COVID-19 Pandemic

chaten jainCOVID-19 pandemic will affect every human and each country directly or indirectly.
There is no precedence like it in this generation, and we can’t fully predict the impact this pandemic will leave on us, society, businesses and habits.

I have been trying to understand and gathering information on how post-Coronavirus, our packaging industry will change. I have also spoken to a lot of industry professionals and experts during this lockdown to understand the impact of COVID-19 on our industry.

The initial impact of the coronavirus crisis on the packaging industry will be very predictable. Demand for the packaging of groceries, basic food essentials and healthcare products will rise sharply. At the same time, demand for industrial, luxury and some institutional packaging could decline.

The impact on packaging players will depend on their portfolios and exposures to different regions, end uses for packaging and substrates. A study of the US consumer market done by McKinsey & Co. a trend that can be extrapolated globally.


Consumers are unlikely to risk moving out and shop a lot in brick and mortar stores sighting vulnerability to the virus.

This will be more true after lockdown lifts when people would want to avoid going to crowded stores. Industry associations and government bodies have already warned of a recession bigger than the one in 2008. Consumerism will go down, as people will have low disposable income to spend on luxury and non-essential products. Economic concerns will drive low sales of many products available in pre-COVID days.

There is already a temporary surge in the sale of essential FMCG products, but the sale of many non-essential and not-so-essential FMCG products will remain low for the near future. I can see certain new trends emerging out of this whole scenario. This is based on my understanding of consumer behaviour during the Coronavirus crisis, feedback from industry professionals, buyers and general human nature.

New Brand try-outs: With availability and options a luxury due to travel restrictions, the consumer is driven to buy whatever brand is available in the nearest accessible grocery shop, departmental store, corner shops and e-commerce deliveries. Due to certain industries locked down, transportation is still an issue, many brands (small, mid and major) are not able to service their supply chain normally. This has forced retailers to stock newer or alternate brands and consumer is not shying away from buying them.

This will most likely turn away the consumer from his/her brand loyalty and drive sales up for others. Market penetration for many alternate brands will increase. Many such consumers are trying cheaper brands also due to economic reasons. Will this shift in the brand going to hold, that still remains to be seen, but the consumer has definitely started trying new options.

Smaller Volumes: With demand for non-essential FMCG products going down, it is going to affect purchase decisions for FMCG companies. Many bigger companies might be able to retain or bring back their volumes, but others might have to accept the new reality of smaller sales for non-essential products. New products will still get launched, but the industry might try out with smaller launch sizes to taper off the risk in the new post-COVID market. Demand for smaller packaging requirements is bound to shoot up in especially Personal care and household goods. Even in essential food segments, with many brands losing their client to others, might be driven to scale down their requirement for the time being for certain products.

The demand for Hygienic Food Packaging: Consumers will not be going to crowded restaurants anymore. After the recent case of food delivery boy found to be CoronaPositive, the demand for food delivery will go dip. People will avoid eating out or ordering out. Consumers will avoid buying loose food items like atta, dal, sugar etc. with obvious reasons of hygiene. This will directly scale up demand for packaged food which will ensure that the food is untouched, clean and ward off coronavirus risk. They are going to look out for hygienic packaged food. Single-use plastic- a misused term till now, will come out as a boon to mankind when we are going to prefer non-reusable packaging for our consumption. Yes, single-use plastic will finally get its due importance.

Consumers will be more aware of unpacked foods, knowing the risks of contamination by the virus. They will discard unpacked products and prefer plastic packaging for their safety and security. Moreover, with restaurants, catering, hotel industry seeing a dip in customer demand, the requirement of bulk packaging will be replaced by retail packaging, when the consumer will prefer to simply eat at home.

The sustainability agenda of the packaging industry will be severely affected.

FMCG industry will demand economical alternates to reduce costs. Companies that have moved from “unnecessary” plastic packaging to “sustainable” alternates will return to plastic packaging. Consumers will be concerned about hygiene and food safety, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it will be expected of them to prefer plastic packaging and single-use plastics more than ever- at least till the near future. The plastics will now get its due importance from the consumer due to the advantages of hygienic plastic packaging that will overweigh concerns of recycling and plastic wastes.

Overall, the packaging industry will see a reduced demand but with a shift from bulk packs to retail packs and smaller volumes. Consumer choices will force a reduction in demand but the industry will have to adjust itself to the new normal. The sooner, we are able to do it, the better.

While challenging times are certainly ahead for the packaging industry, pockets of newer opportunities have been created in the market and can be capitalized by proactive manufacturers and converters.

Written By
Chetan Jain
Author | Packaging and Shrink sleeve Expert | Entrepreneur


How to Get Right Shrinking for your Product

Different shapes of containers are coming in global market to attract the customers. The first challenge is to decide the perfect labeling on it. The most common used film is PVC Shrink film. But what is right for your product shape and size. The right Shrinking depends on many factors.

  • Shape of container
  • Size of container
  • Area to be covered by label
  • Shrink tunnel

Now how to decide and achieve the best fitment to product. Depending upon Shrinkage needed a variety of shrink films are available with different percentage of shrinkage. You have to choose the right one suitable for your container. Secondary the shrinking equipment i.e. shrink tunnel is equally important depending upon the product. It should be customized as per heat needed to shrink the sleeve on container.

The most important and essential thing to get a perfect shrink is Design and artwork. The area and element need to be adjusted in the artwork so that after shrink you get the best aesthetic. Pr-distortion in artwork can also be done to predict post shrinkage result in most part the shrink manufacturers can support deciding these factors as they have good technical know how about the products.

Shrink Sleeve Common Problems and There Solutions

The hallmarks of a bad shrinking job are easy to spot wrinkle, ink bleeding, tearing and uneven shrinking drive customers read on to discover possible problems & solutions.

Possible problems –

  • Uneven shrinking due to decorative inks coating finishes on shrink labels
  • Uneven edges shrinkage

Possible solutions –

  1. Increase the tunnel temperature or air flow to increase the degree of shrinkage where higher % edge of shrinkage is require.
  2. More complex issues require a customer designed solution to optimize the application of heat to the product please take help of your shrink manufacturer technical team.
  3. Adjust the tunnel temperature air flow up or down to get more uniform application of heat.
  4. Customer the heat profile so that edges or corners of the container are exposed to less heat.

shrink sleeve common problems and their solutions

Problem 1: Wrinkled or Poked appearance

Root cause:

  • Uneven heat or adequate heat.
  • Uneven material shrinkage due to type of plastic, decorative inks, coating, embossing or finishes on shrink labels.


  • Increase the tunnel temperature or airflow to increase the degree of shrink.
  • More complex issues require a custom designed solution to optimized the application of heat to the part.

Problem 2: Rising

Root cause:

  • Tapered bottle design.
  • Too much heat at the top of the bottle.


  • Tack label at the lock point of the bottle before entering the shrink tunnel.
  • Adjust the heat flow from top area.

Problem 3: Uneven shrinking

Root cause:

  • Uneven or inefficient application of heat.
  • Uneven material shrinkage due to type of plastic, decorative ink, coating and complex bottle shape.


  • Adjust the heat flow up or down to get a more uniform application of heat.
  • Adjust the tunnel temperature according to type of shrink.

Problem 4: Over shrinking (cow feet shape or tear the material)

Root cause:

  • Give the heat for long time.
  • emperature is more according to material.
  • More complex shape bottle design.

Problem 5: Splitting seals

Root cause:

  • Bad seals are probably common in shrink wrap.
  • Sometimes it is less sealed or open.


  • Use proper glue to seal the shrink sleeve according to material.
  • Sometimes it is unevenness of shrink material.
  • Sometimes it is without perforation or pin holes.

Problem 6: Hair type

Root cause:

  • It is due to uneven cutting of shrink sleeve.


  • Make sure cutter is ok or cutting speed is uneven.
  • Film is not uneven in thickness.

Problem 7: Ballooning type

Root cause:

  • Shrink film exposed to hot air after sealing.
  • Complex shape of container.


  • Pin hole is used or perforation is used

Problem 8: Picasso effect type

Root cause:

  • Unevenness of shrinking
  • More distortion of film.


  • Check distortion of design first and conveyor speed also.
  • Check shelf life of shrink film, each shrink film has its own life for use.
  • Check if chain temperature is too high.
Taurus Packaging Pvt

The Plastic Debate- My Take

Our rapid industrial revolutions have always been unchecked. Putting pressure on the
world’s resources has always been the side effect of industrialization and consumerism; be it oil, coal, human resource and even plastics.

The unbalanced production and consumption have led to our resources running out or
getting over-used. It is causing a significant impact on the environment especially plastics.

But let me ask a question…

Is the Plastic really the problem?
Plastic has many benefits. It keeps many industries and technologies running. It has made the construction of many consumer durables and cars easier with lightweight plastic materials. Plastic packaging also contributes to minimizing food waste, increases food shelf life when packed and makes its movement cheaper and easier to far fledged regions of the world.

Plastics is a boon, for the food scarcity problem of the world.

What is the problem?
A war on all plastics has been declared by media, environmentalists and Greta Thunberg’s of the world. Why is #SayNoToPlastic trending everywhere? Plastic litter is overflowing our landfills, oceans, reaching food chains of animals, marine life and even us humans as microplastic particles.

Plastic is not getting recycled, use is unchecked, burnt in uncontrolled conditions, drains getting clogged, beaches are littered.

Then what is the Real Problem?
Its not plastics to be blamed. Any material used and littered unchecked will create the same issues. Even you throw the glass on the floor, it is bound to cause harm. All resources must be used and disposed of properly. Why blame Plastics, if we are not handling it properly.

The solution does not lie in banning plastics. Loom around, plastics are everywhere. Food packaging, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, furniture, clothing etc. Imagine life without plastics in all these products. Let’s do the right thing, let’s recycle, reuse and reduce. But banning plastics is not the solution.

At a time when a ‘climate emergency’ has been declared, it is important that people
understand that ‘plastic-free’ does not necessarily mean ‘better for the environment’.
Using any material has environmental costs, but the costs associated with plastic products are often significantly lower than using alternative materials.

Plastics provide many critical benefits across a range of products and it’s important this fact is recognized. Plastics will – and should – continue to play a vital role in all our lives going forward.