Product wrapping is different from product packaging, it's essentially what goes over the product package and provides extra protection, structure and helps in shipment and distribution.
Plastic wrapping is mostly used for food items to keep them fresh for longer periods of time. The same kind of material (made from PVC) can be used to wrap and protect other kinds of products and materials.
Shrink wrap, is a kind of material made up of polymer plastic film used to tightly enclose other products or materials. It is applied by using heat, and in the process it shrinks tightly over whatever it is covering.
What is shrink wrapping used for ?
Shrink wrapping can be used for a variety of products. It is commonly used to wrap up books, magazines, especially adult-oriented ones, to prevent them from being read by minors. All sorts of boxes carrying CDs, DVDs or other technology related items can be packaged with shrink wrap.
Shrink wrapping can be used as on overwrap on cartoons, boxes, beverage cans, food and pallet rolls. Bulk mail-outs can be shrink wrapped before being mailed out to protect the mail from being damaged.
To summarize, shrink wrapping is a cost effective method for sealing and protecting your products from contamination, moisture and greasing, with the added benefit of security against theft and tampering.
An overwrap is a kind of wrapping that is applied over the original package most often made from plastic or paper. Shrink wrapping can be used as a kind of overwrap, but not necessarily.
An overwrap has many functions some of which: it can combine smaller product into one bigger package called a multi-pack; Keeps a package clean while staying transparent; provides water and grease resistance; protects a package against tampering; keeps mail-outs and magazines clean during shipment, providing for an address label without damaging the item.
As a sort or overwrap we can also mention gift wrapping, used to enclose a gift in sort of material making it more visually appealing and usually with the added purpose of hiding the nature of the product contained inside. Gifts can also be wrapped in a box, topped off with a ribbon or decorative bow.
The wrapping of product, whether it's plastic wrapping, shrink wrapping or overwrapping carries an important function that has to be distinguished besides the primary packaging of the product.