What is the difference between Polypropylene and Cellophane?

Posted by Mark on 1/1/2018 to Industry News
Polypropylene vs Cellophane, what's the difference?

If you've been looking around at Cello Bags you'll notice that the majority of Cello Bags for Greeting Cards on the market today are made from Polypropylene (BOPP) material, ours included!
Here we will go into detail on what these materials are, why we use Polypropylene vs Cellophane and which one is most suitable for you!


Cellophane

True Cellophane is made from organic cellulose (wood or plant fibres) and is a more natural material, environmentally friendly and can be decomposed into the ground (biodegradable).
However, due to this it is very expensive to produce and has a limited shelf life (if not used within a certain time frame it starts to turn a yellowish colour).


Polypropylene
Polypropylene is a man-made thermoplastic material (plastic) most noted for its strength, low cost production, long shelf life and flexible nature.  It was first discovered in 1951 and has since become a very popular and widely used synthetic plastic.


So why not just use normal Cellophane?
Polypropylene Bags (commonly now referred to as "Cello Bags" or just simply "Cellophane") being made from BOPP material (plastic) is very popular due to its greater strength and lower production costs.
It is similar to Cellophane but there are some major differences, we've listed below some positives and negatives vs its Cellophane brother:

     Advantages
  • The main positive is that it costs much less to produce Polypropylene than it does Cellophane. This makes more sense for customers who don't wish to spend an arm and a leg on just packaging alone.
  • The clarity of Polypropylene is similar to Cellophane, even though it costs less you don't sacrifice on transparency or quality when displaying your cards / prints.
  • It is a much more bendable material due to its natural dead-fold, when you try to fold over the bag it will fight to remain in place making it truly a blessing when you're loading all your cards and bags into a car or van to take to your display. Whilst Cellophane itself is a very creasable material.
  • Polypropylene benefits from much better strength than Cellophane, it is not easy to tear and prevents oils from leaking.
     Disadvantages
  • Polypropylene can loose its shape when exposed to higher temperatures (such as in a microwave).
  • It isn't a breathable material like Cellophane is, it is much more dense and so doesn't allow the same amount of air inside.
  • It is a non-biodegradable substance and so cant be decomposed into the ground but is a recyclable plastic.

We believe to give our customers the best possible quality at the best prices, for the moment at least, Polypropylene wins hands down. It will give more protection to your cards and prints, be much harder to crease and will save you a pretty penny.
As our Cello Bags are made from 100% virgin ultra clear Polypropylene they are classified as Number 5 Plastic for recycling. Modern waste management facilities now accept Number 5 plastics for recycling.

Although we hope that in time as more emphasis is placed on reducing carbon footprint by governments, manufacturers will find new ways of refining the process to lengthen Cellophane life and reduce production costs to make Cellophane a more feasible environmentally friendly alternative.

We hope that you have found this article useful, if you have any comments feel free to let us know and we will always get back to you within 24hrs Mon - Fri (exc bank holidays)

Best Wishes
The Crafts In Mind Team

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