Are BOPP bags recyclable - Cello Bags Au

The Truth About BOPP Bags and Recycling: Can They Be Recycled?


BOPP bags are one of our best-selling packaging options here at Cello Bags. Its quality and durability are undoubtedly one of our customer’s favourites.

But the big question that comes to mind is: Are BOPP bags recyclable? You might have seen the recycling symbol on the packaging before and wondered if these bags can go in your recycling bin.

To answer that question, yes. BOPP bags can be recycled.

In This Article

What are BOPP Bags?

Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene bags, or BOPP bags for short, are popular packaging for various goods. The plastic used to make these bags is known as polypropylene, which has strength, clarity, and moisture resistance qualities. BOPP bags are perfect for showing things like snacks, candy, textiles, and more because they are usually transparent or translucent, allowing shoppers to see what’s within.

In addition, they are frequently utilised to pack lightweight commodities like magazines and greeting cards. Biaxial orientation, a technique used in producing BOPP bags, involves stretching the polypropylene film in both the machine and transverse directions, producing a material with improved strength, clarity, and barrier qualities. These bags are popular for companies searching for strong and eye-catching packaging solutions because they are adaptable, affordable, and recyclable.

BOPP Bags - Cello Bags

How are BOPP Bags Recycled?

BOPP bags, like many other plastic packaging types, can be recycled! It’s cool how they can turn old bags into new stuff. Here’s how it usually works:

First off, recycling can vary depending on where you live. Every suburb has its way of handling recycling, so it’s a good idea to check out how it is done depending on your area. 

In Melbourne, where I’m based, recycling BOPP bags typically follows a process similar to other plastic materials. Here’s a general overview:

Collection: Used BOPP bags are collected from households, businesses, and recycling centres. These bags are then sorted based on their material type to prepare them for recycling.

Cleaning: Once collected, the BOPP bags undergo a thorough cleaning process to remove contaminants like food residue or dirt. Clean bags ensure better quality recycled material.

Shredding: The BOPP bags are shredded into small pieces or flakes after cleaning. This shredding process increases the surface area of the material, making it easier to handle in subsequent steps.

Melting and Extrusion: The shredded BOPP flakes are then melted and extruded into pellets. This step involves heating the plastic to high temperatures and forming it into uniform pellets, which can be used as raw material for manufacturing new products.

Manufacturing: Manufacturers use these recycled BOPP pellets to produce various items, including new BOPP bags or other plastic products.

The specific recycling procedures may vary depending on the facility and local regulations. So, checking with your local recycling program is always a good idea to ensure you recycle BOPP bags properly.

Factors Affecting Recyclability of BOPP Bags

Let’s talk about what affects whether BOPP bags can be recycled easily. Here are six things to keep in mind:

Cleanliness: If BOPP bags are dirty or have food stuck, it can mess up the recycling process. So, clean them up before tossing them into the recycling bin.

Colour: Clear or transparent BOPP bags are easier to recycle because they’re simpler to sort at recycling centres. Coloured bags might need more recycling work because they need extra sorting steps.

Thickness: Thinner BOPP bags are usually better for recycling because they break down quicker during the recycling process. Thicker ones can take longer and need more resources.

Printing and Labels: BOPP bags with lots of printing or labels can be tricky to recycle. The ink and adhesives used in printing must be removed first, making recycling more complicated.

Demand: Sometimes, the demand for recycled BOPP material goes up and down. When there’s high demand, recycling BOPP bags becomes more worthwhile. But when demand is low, recycling them might be more challenging.

Local Rules: Recycling rules can change depending on where you live. Some places might have specific guidelines for recycling BOPP bags, while others might not accept them at all. It’s a good idea to check your local recycling rules.

Keeping these factors in mind can help ensure BOPP bags have a better chance of being recycled and turned into something new!

Can BOPP Bags be Composted?

Unfortunately, BOPP bags cannot be composted. They are composed of polypropylene, a plastic that is difficult for composting systems to decompose. Organic items that naturally decay over time to form nutrient-rich soil, such as food scraps, paper, and yard waste, are the ideal choices for composting.

Although BOPP bags cannot be composted, other environmentally friendly packaging choices can be biodegraded. These substitutes are composed of materials that decompose more readily in composting conditions, such as paper, sugarcane fibre, or cornflour.

Frequently Asked Questions

If your local recycling program does not accept BOPP bags, consider exploring alternative disposal options such as reuse, donating to organisations that accept the plastic film, or seeking specialised recycling facilities that may accept them.

BOPP bags can be recycled multiple times, although the quality of the recycled material may degrade slightly with each recycling cycle.

Look for the recycling symbol or check the packaging label for information on recyclability. Clear or transparent BOPP bags are often easier to recycle than coloured or opaque ones.

Size, thickness, and personalization are a few variables that affect how much BOPP bags cost. Although they could initially cost more than certain common polymers, their features and durability make them affordable for some applications.

Key Takeaways

Understanding the recyclability of BOPP bags is essential for making informed choices in waste management. While these bags can be recycled through various processes, cleanliness, colour, and local recycling regulations are crucial in determining their recyclability.

By adhering to proper recycling guidelines, advocating for sustainable packaging practices, and staying informed about innovations in recycling technologies, we can all contribute to a more environmentally friendly future. Let’s continue to prioritise responsible waste disposal and recycling efforts to reduce our environmental footprint and create a healthier planet for future generations.