Nathan Dube

By: Nathan Dube on September 23rd, 2021

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Shrink Film VS BOPP Film: What's The Difference?

Packaging Materials | Packaging Design | Food Packaging

During your journey through educating yourself about the different types of flexible packaging films, you have decided that you want to use shrink film or biaxially oriented polypropylene overwrap film (also known as BOPP).


However, you are not sure what the difference between these two types of flexible packaging films is. You want to understand the difference between these films so that you can choose the proper film for your product packaging needs.


But, you have not been able to find a comparison for these two films, and it's been hard to get the answers you are looking for.


Luckily, today, you have come to the Industrial Packaging blog.


In this article, we will compare BOPP film and shrink film. After reading this article, you will be able to choose the appropriate film for your packaging needs.


rolls of shrink film standing up with white backround


What Is Shrink Film?


Shrink film (also known as shrink wrap) is a type of flexible packaging film used to package food, board games, and many other consumer goods. It is most commonly made from polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, or polyolefin. Shrink film is ubiquitous on countless packaging lines worldwide.


When using shrink film, the product being packaged is put into a sleeve made from shrink film and sealed on both sides with a machine called a sealer. From there, the product is moved via a conveyor belt into another device called a heat tunnel. As the name would suggest, the inside of the tunnel is heated.


As the product moves through the heat tunnel, the heat produced by the machine causes the shrink film to shrink uniformly around the product. From there, the product moves through the rest of the packaging line and gets packed for shipping.


Want to learn more about shrink film?

Show Me The Complete Guide To Shrink Film!




What Is Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene Film? 


Biaxially oriented polypropylene (also known as BOPP) film is a kind of flexible packaging film. Unlike shrink film, BOPP is not heated and shrunk in a heat tunnel but used as an overwrap film to package your products. An overwrap film is applied by wrapping the film over the product or over another form of packaging containing the product.


BOPP films are generally used for food packaging. However, they are also fast replacing cellophane for applications, including snacks and cigarette packaging. For the most part, this is due to BOPP's superior capabilities and lower cost.


Biaxially oriented polypropylene film features increased barrier properties to oxygen and water vapor. Resistance to impact and flexcrack are also better with BOPP when compared to polypropylene shrink film.

Shrink Film VS BOPP Film: Which Is Right For You?


Shrink Film VS BOPP Film: Which Is Right For You?


You will have to answer a few questions before you decide which type of flexible packaging film is the correct type for your unique product packaging requirements. With the answers to these questions, you should be able to identify which of these two films makes the most sense for you.


  • Are your products extremely heat sensitive? - If you answered yes, BOPP film would be a better choice for you.

  • Do you want a film that will tightly encase your products uniformly? - If you said yes, shrink film is better for your product packaging needs.

  • Do you require increased barrier properties to oxygen and water vapor for your products? - If the answer is yes, BOPP film would be a better choice for you.

  • Are you looking to use a light gauge of flexible film for packaging your products? - If you said yes, light gauge shrink film is a better choice for your product packaging.

  • Are you looking for a film with higher resistance to impact and flexcrack? - If you answered yes, then BOPP is a better choice for your packaging needs.

  • Are you looking to avoid using plastic packaging? - If you said yes, neither of these films is a good choice for you.

  • Are you looking for a biodegradable packaging film? - If you said yes, you would want to use biodegradable shrink film.


With the answers to the questions above, you should have all the information that you need to choose the appropriate flexible packaging film for your requirements.


How Much Does Shrink Film And BOPP Film Cost?


Now that you know which type of film is the right choice for packaging your products, you are probably looking for pricing information on the kind of film you have chosen.


Suppose you have decided that shrink film is the right flexible packaging film for your needs. In that case, you will want to consider reading this follow-up article Shrink Wrap Film Cost: Factors That Influence Price & How To Calculate.


With the information in this article, you will have everything you need to calculate your specific total cost for the amount of shrink film that will be required for your packaging project.


On the other hand, if you have decided that BOPP film is the correct type of material for your current packaging project, then you will want to read this follow-up article How Much Does Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene Film Cost? Understanding Price. With the information in this article, you will understand how much BOPP film costs.


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About Nathan Dube

As the Digital Marketing Specialist at Industrial Packaging, I am honored to create content for such a phenomenal company and work with one of the greatest teams in the Packaging Industry. Whether creating a video, writing blog posts or generating other pieces of content and multimedia, I am always excited to help educate and inspire our prospects and clients to reach their highest potential in regards to their packaging processes and needs.