Trend Alert: Opaque Packaging Film

Published August 13, 2019

In addition to providing innovative packaging machinery, we’re dedicated to keeping you up to date on the latest and greatest packaging trends. In the past few years, we’ve seen the rise of textured packaging, logo-heavy design, eco-friendly materials, and more. Each of these trends has brought something new and exciting to the secondary packaging industry. 

Today, we’re taking a look at another popular trend taking over the market: opaque packaging films. This type of packaging has become particularly useful to brands whose increasingly popular online offerings package and ship diverse products. As the secondary packaging industry continues to grow, we expect opaque packaging films to stick around. Here’s what you need to know about this developing trend. 

Opaque Packaging Film Basics

Opaque films offer a more cost-effective alternative to traditional corrugated boxes and fillers. By wrapping items closer to their real forms instead of packaging them in corrugated boxes, opaque films cut out bulky packages and eliminate other packing materials such as fillers and tape. And since this material is not transparent, the privacy of the item remains intact. 

Benefits of Opaque Packaging Film

The introduction of opaque packaging films could be a predictor of a brighter, greener future for e-commerce packaging. Not only does utilizing opaque packaging cut unnecessary materials from the production and packaging processes, but it also reduces shipping costs, saves space (both on the packaging and distribution sides), and minimizes labor time and cost throughout the entire packaging process. And while more traditional packing methods like bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts require conscious cleanup, opaque packaging requires minimal consumer time to clean up, making for a more enjoyable experience at the end of the line.

In years past, corrugated boxes have been king when it comes to high-end packaging and safe shipping. In addition to their sturdiness, boxes offered the ability to safely conceal whatever items were packed inside, protecting buyer privacy and purchases. Every product has a downside, though, and corrugated packaging does produce some waste. Although recycling and economically friendly packaging have led to reduced cardboard waste, both the corrugated materials that make the box and the fillers inside (whether they be tissue paper, styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.) contribute to waste and have caused some brands to rethink their existing packaging processes. 

Double-Check the Fit

Although an increasing number of e-commerce brands are switching to opaque packaging film, this trending packaging method is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every product. Take the time to review your product, consumer base, and shipping methods carefully to determine if utilizing opaque packaging film would be beneficial to your brand. That being said, there are a number of items that are well-suited to this kind of packaging.


While transparent packaging film reveals the nature of any and all items packed in it, opaque packaging films offer a safer way to ship valuables. While the shape of whatever is packed will still be visible, opaque films keep casual handlers from knowing the exact contents of a package. So not only does this solution minimize waste created by large boxes and filler material, but it also offers consumers peace of mind knowing their important items are protected. 

Weather-Sensitive Items 

Harsh UV rays and high or low temperatures can significantly affect the lifespan and usability of shipped items. With this in mind, opaque packaging film offers a solution that transparent packaging film can’t—by minimizing exposure to elements that might otherwise damage shipped items. Products made from wood or other materials that could fade, warp, discolor, or otherwise degrade in severe weather can benefit immensely from opaque packaging. 

Important Documents

Just like packing and shipping valuables in opaque packaging film allows these items to remain private, opaque packaging films can also be useful to maintain the anonymity of important documents. If tamper-evident shipping mailing envelopes aren’t available or packagers need another method of protecting sensitive documents, opaque packaging film is a handy solution. 

Successful Machines Set Up for Opaque Packaging Films

When using opaque films, it’s vital to have your production line precisely orchestrated to run this trendy packaging component successfully. Many top-of-the-line industrial packaging machines use photoelectric sensors to determine when packaging is in the proper place to be sealed. By emitting a light beam that notices when an item interrupts it, these sensors use a receiver that tells the machines when and where to create a seal. Clear packaging films make this easy, but opaque films can confuse the sensors, making proper sealing difficult. If your sealers use photoelectric sensors, consider the effect opaque packaging film might have on the rest of your production line and the changes you may have to make before adding it to your offerings.

Stay On Top of Packaging Trends With INSITE

Stick with us, and we’ll keep you in the know about exciting new developments in the CPG and secondary packaging industries. And if you’re looking for ways to streamline your production process, consider INSITE. Our innovative case sealers offer clean, minimalistic designs that are safe, dependable, efficient to operate, and effortless to maintain. Contact us today to learn more about how INSITE’s case sealers can improve your packaging operations. 


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