Cellophane bags vs Polypropylene - What's the Difference?

There are various types of transparent plastic wrappings, each with unique properties. To be sure that you get the right bag for your packaging needs, you should understand the distinction between cellophane bags and Polypropylene.

In This Article

What Are Cello and Poly Prop Bags Made of?

Cellophane Bags

Genuine cellophane bags are made from organic cellulose (wood or plant fibres). They are a more natural, environmentally friendly material that can decompose into the ground (biodegradable).

However, because of this, it is costly to produce and has a short shelf life (if not used within a specific time frame, it starts to turn a yellowish colour).

Cellophane is made from cellulose, which is found in green plant cell walls. Cellulose accounts for at least one-third of all plant matter. Still, wood and cotton are the primary sources for industrial purposes, accounting for up to 90 per cent. Cellophane is water and odour-resistant and has a distinct, clear appearance. Cellophane is made from cellulose, which is found in green plant cell walls. Cellulose accounts for at least one-third of all plant matter. Still, wood and cotton are the primary sources for industrial purposes, accounting for up to 90 per cent. Cellophane is water and odour-resistant and has a distinct, clear appearance.

Polypropylene

Poly bags come in two varieties, both of which are byproducts of the petrochemical industry and have slightly different physical properties: very flexible polyethylene folds easily and can be heat-sealed. However, it is porous to moisture and vapour. Polypropylene, on the other hand, is stiffer and provides better protection against steam and moisture.

Polypropylene is less expensive to produce, firm, crystal clear, and completely inert, making it an excellent choice for food packaging. It is not biodegradable like Cellophane, but it is recyclable.

Polypropylene is a flexible material used to package a wide range of items. It is ideal for showcasing your product while also protecting it.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cello and Poly Prop Bags

Advantages

  • The main advantage is that Polypropylene is much cheaper to produce than Cellophane. This saves customers who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on packaging alone.
  • The clarity of Polypropylene is comparable to that of Cellophane, so even though it is less expensive, you do not sacrifice transparency or quality when displaying your cards or 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 stay in place, making it a true blessing when loading all of your cards and packs into a car or van to take to your display. At the same time, Cellophane is a very creasable material.
  • Polypropylene has a much higher strength than Cellophane, is less prone to tearing, and prevents oil from leaking.

Disadvantages

  • Polypropylene can lose its shape (such as in a microwave).
  • It is not a breathable material like Cellophane; it is much denser and thus does not allow the same amount of air to pass through.
  • It is not biodegradable and thus cannot decompose in the environment, but it is recyclable plastic.
Poly Prop Bags

Difference in Uses

When an attractive presentation is required, Cellophane is generally preferred. It has a brilliant, clear appearance and a crackly feel to it. It is ideal for wrapping small food or beverage items, as well as bouquets and gift hampers. Because it is nonporous, it will keep freshness and odours at bay. It is chemically inert to foodstuffs and thus does not affect the flavour of what it has.

However, polybags have a broader range of applications depending on thickness: 1mm protects against dust and is commonly found on food items in retailers. The average thickness for food bags is 1.5mm, which provides more protection—3 mm for more oversized items like tools, light equipment, and furniture.

Key Takeaways

Choosing between cellophane bags or polypropylene bags always comes down to preference and purpose. Each type of packaging has unique properties and definitions that you can take advantage of to fill your packaging needs.

As with all packaging products, testing your packaging is essential to ensure that it works as expected with your product and intended use.