Is CPP film biodegradable? (5 reasons why CPP films are not eco-friendly) 

The article will deliberate the eco-friendliness of CPP films and will also shed light o question such as

  • What are CPP films made of?
  • Can you recycle CPP films?
  • Are CPP films sustainable?
  • What are the greener alternatives to CPP films?

Is CPP film biodegradable?

To develop a stance on the biodegradability of CPP film, there are a few things that we should know first. These include:

  • What is CPP film and what is it made of?
  • What is biodegradation and what are the conditions necessary for biodegradation?
  • Does the CPP film fit into the conditions of biodegradation? In other words, is CPP film biodegradable?

Let us try to delve into the associated details so that a proper case may be established. 

What is CPP film and what is it made of?

CPP is an abbreviation that expands to Cast Unoriented PolyPropylene film. As it can be guessed from the name of CPP, it is made from synthetic materials. You may wonder what is CPP film actually and what are the common uses of CPP films. 

The most common uses of CPP films adhere to the packaging industry. These films are used as packaging materials. There are a number of advantages that these films offer which makes them superior to other commercial films. The advantages include

  • High gloss
  • Machinability 
  • Optical clarity 
  • Resistant 
  • Better seal strength 

What is biodegradation?

Biodegradation can be explained as the breakdown that is caused by the action of microbes. The microbes may include names such as bacteria, fungi, algae, and even viruses. 

The process of biodegradation can be simplified into basic steps and the overall purpose is to convert the waste into simpler material so that the waste does not add up. 

The simpler materials that are formed as an end result of biodegradation can assimilate back to natural cycles leaving the net waste zero. 

However, biodegradation requires certain properties or prerequisites. These include 

  • The material should be natural 
  • Or, the material should be sourced from nature
  • The material must be organic in nature 
  • The material should be degraded by microbes in 180 days or less
  • The material should be eco-friendly 

These are some of the conditions that are essential to render something as biodegradable or not. Now, let us assess our case and decide on a verdict for CPP films. 

Does the CPP film fit into the conditions of biodegradation?

No, CPP films do not fit into the conditions essential for biodegradation because CPP films are made from synthetic materials and fossil-derived products. 

This makes CPP film non-natural and also harmful to nature because synthetic polymers such as PP are linked with environmental anomalies such as 

  • Waste accumulation 
  • Pollution 
  • Deforestation 
  • Global warming 
  • Climate change 

What is the recycling reality of CPP films?

As CPP films are non-biodegradable, the logical question that follows is what is the recycling reality of CPP films? 

As it turns out, it is actually possible to recycle CPP films. CPP films are claimed to be readily recycled. 

Recycling is an important aspect because when something is recycled, there are a number of benefits that are offered to the environment. 

These benefits include decreased reliance on virgin materials, decreased energy consumption and decreased waste production. 

When used materials are recycled, there is no need for virgin materials. This becomes extremely important in the case of non-biodegradable materials because these materials are mostly sourced from non-renewable sources. 

Also, when discarded materials such as used CPP films are recycled, there is decreased energy used as some of the production steps would already be done. 

Lastly, when CPP films are recycled, this means less non-biodegradable waste. This waste may remain in landfills for many years and cause pollution and effects on life and health. 

However, recycling is one wise way to make sure that this does not happen. 

How to?

The next important question is how to recycle CPP films. This can be done in many ways. You may either discard the used CPP films in recycling bins. You may also contact the local recycling centres and agree on either a drop-off or pickup. 

The bottom line, however, is to make sure that the recycling centres in your area accept recycled CPP films. If that is not an option, you will need to look up private organisations and ventures such as TerraCycle. 

You also need to ensure that the used CPP films that you plan on recycling are not contaminated in any way. If this is the case, you will need to treat it as household hazardous waste and discard it in red-coloured bins or other household hazardous waste programs. 

Is CPP film sustainable?

The question can be answered through two frames. One is comparative and the other is absolute. 

The comparative frame 

From the comparative frame, it can be said that CPP films are sustainable because

  • CPP films offer better utility. The traits such as better resistance and increased wear and tear mean that CPP films can last longer as compared to other films. This means that the production of CPP films will be more durable and therefore, the raw materials and the energy used to make CPP films will be more efficient as compared to other films. 
  • CPP films can be readily and easily recycled. This is also an important advantage that will not be offered by all the packaging films out there. 
  • CPP films are safe for food packaging and often come without materials such as plasticisers et cetera. 

The absolute frame (5 reasons) 

Form the absolute frame. CPP films can not be said to be sustainable because of the following reasons

  • CPP films are not biodegradable 
  • CPP films are not compostable
  • CPP films will contribute to waste problem 
  • CPP films rely on non-renewable sources
  • The production of CPP films results in pollution and environmental degradation 

Are there any better alternatives?

Yes, since CPP films are not that sustainable, the question that emerges is what are the most eco-friendly packaging films?

The most eco-friendly packaging films are the ones that are made from bio-based materials instead of fossil fuels. 

These bio-based films feature the use of natural materials such as gum, beeswax, and tween-80. Some researchers have even tried to make bio-based films from agar. This agar bioplastic is made by mixing water, glycerin, and agar-agar powder. 


It is concluded that CPP films are not biodegradable. However, they can be recycled readily. CPP films, from a comparative frame, are eco-friendly because they offer better utilitarian aspects which ultimately contribute to the longer life of these films as compared to other plastic films. 

However, these films are also unsustainable because of reasons such as 

  • CPP films are not biodegradable 
  • CPP films are not compostable
  • CPP films will contribute to waste problem 
  • CPP films rely on non-renewable sources
  • The production of CPP films results in pollution and environmental degradation 

Therefore, greener alternatives are present and these include bio-based films that rely on natural materials rather than fossils making these alternatives renewable, biodegradable, and also compostable. 


  • Hernández, V., Ibarra, D., Triana, J. F., Martínez-Soto, B., Faúndez, M., Vasco, D. A., … & Garmulewicz, A. (2022). Agar Biopolymer Films for Biodegradable Packaging: A Reference Dataset for Exploring the Limits of Mechanical Performance. Materials, 15(11), 3954.

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