Custom Product Labels Printing: BOPP, Paper or Film Material?

The Ultimate Guide to BOPP, Paper & Film for Custom Product Labels

When it comes to choosing the right material for your custom product labels, there are several options, including paper, film, and BOPP. Each of these materials has unique characteristics, advantages, and limitations. That’s why it’s essential to understand their differences to make the best choice for your custom product label printing needs.

What are Paper Labels?

Paper label

Paper labels are one of the most common label options thanks to their cost-effectiveness and versatility. They’re ideal for products with a short shelf life and little exposure to harsh conditions.

Paper Label Pros

Eco-friendly: Paper labels are an environmentally friendly option as they are biodegradable and can be recycled easily.

Affordability: Paper labels are typically more economical than film & BOPP labels, making them a cost-effective option for businesses.

Versatile function: Paper labels can be printed using a variety of printing methods including offset, digital, and flexographic printing. Customization also allows them to suit the requirements of various industry standards and regulations.

Lightweight: Paper labels are generally lightweight, making them easy to transport and store. This means they are ideal for shipping products as they add minimal weight to the package.

Good Ink Adhesion: Paper can hold ink extremely well for sharp prints.

Paper Label Cons

Susceptible to Damage: Paper labels are more susceptible to damage than labels made from other materials such as polyester. They can tear, smudge, or become illegible if exposed to moisture, sunlight, or heat.

Limited Lifespan: Paper labels are not as resistant to chemicals, oils, or other solvents as labels made from synthetic materials. This may result in a limited lifespan if damaged by harsh conditions.

Not Suitable for Certain Applications: Some applications require labels with special properties such as high tensile strength, electrical conductivity, or resistance to radiation, which cannot be achieved with paper labels.

What are Film Labels?

Film label

Film labels come in a range of materials, including polyester, polypropylene, and polyethylene. These custom product labels offer excellent durability and resistance to moisture and heat.

Film Label Pros

Durability: Film labels are resistant to moisture, heat, and extreme temperatures, making them ideal for products that require a longer shelf life.

Versatility: Film labels can be customized with a variety of finishes, including matte, gloss, and metallic, to create a unique look and feel based on each business’s needs.

Customizability: Film labels can be printed with high-quality graphics and text that don’t easily tear or smudge, making them ideal for branding and product identification.

Chemical Resistance: Some film labels, such as polyester labels, are resistant to exposure to chemicals, making them suitable for use in industries such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, and cosmetics.

Film Label Cons

Cost: Film labels are generally more expensive than paper labels.

Recycling Challenges: While some film labels such as polyethylene are recyclable, others like metalized film are not, which can be a concern for businesses focused on sustainability.

Less Sharp Visibility: Unfortunately, film labels don’t offer the same print sharpness as paper labels which may be a drawback for detailed label designs.

Stretch: Film labels natural elasticity means that there is a chance of loosening contact with the product package.

What are BOPP Labels?

BOPP label

BOPP material can be easily mistaken for paper even though its properties appear to be closer to film.

BOPP (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene) labels are made from a durable plastic material that can withstand moisture, temperature, and harsh conditions. This makes them ideal for products that require a longer shelf life. They are resistant to tearing, stretching and smudging, making them more durable than paper labels.

BOPP is available in different types of material­ which commonly includes white BOPP or clear BOPP. Additionally, these labels come in a variety of finishes, including matte, gloss, and metallic. These labels are an excellent choice for businesses looking for a labeling solution that is both durable and customizable.

What are BOPP labels made of?

BOPP labels are made from a plastic material called polypropylene. Polypropylene is a thermoplastic polymer that is widely used in packaging materials. It is strong, durable, and resistant to moisture and other environmental factors.

Stretching the polypropylene (PP) material in two directions in a process called biaxial orientation (BO), creates BOPP material. This process aligns the polymer molecules in a specific direction, enhancing their properties and making them more resistant to tearing, hence making it more durable than film.

Advantages of BOPP Labels Compared to Paper & Film

One of the most significant advantages of BOPP custom product labels is their ability to withstand exposure to chemicals. This makes them suitable for the pharmaceutical, food, beverage, and cosmetic industries. Additionally, BOPP labels can work with a variety of adhesives, including permanent, removable, and
freezer-grade, depending on the product’s needs.

BOPP Pros

Non-Toxic: Thankfully, polypropylene is not harmful to the environment and the BOPP production process emits no harmful chemicals into the environment.

Food Safe: BOPP is high clarity food contact safe and a popular choice that is approved by the FDA for packaging food and cosmetics.

UV Resistant: BOPP is resistant to UV radiation which makes these labels perfect for outdoor use.

Environmentally Friendly: BOPP can be recycled multiple times and will not lose its value.

Thin Material: BOPP labels are thin and flexible so they can stick to nearly any product, from curved to flat surfaces, without getting in the way.

Nearly Indestructible: BOPP labels are resistant to oil, water, and most chemicals– including bleach, solvents, and disinfectants– making them ideal for labeling bathroom or kitchen products.

Optical Brightness: BOPP substrate can offer a much more visually impactful white than paper.

BOPP Cons

Cost : BOPP labels are generally more expensive than paper or film labels. This may mean that any large label size is more cost effective if printed on paper or film over BOPP.

Non-Biodegradable: While BOPP labels are recyclable, they are not biodegradable.

How to decide Paper, Film or BOPP for your labels

The first choice is usually paper labels. They will perform well in most cases. Only if you want the benefits of film or BOPP should you consider these alternate materials that usually come at a higher cost. Film labels are great products that are tearproof and can be used in the refrigerator, freezer, shower and for outdoor use.

BOPP labels have all the film properties but offer above and beyond the maximum durability – lasting a lifetime. They tend to look brighter and more vibrant which is ideal for packaging, labeling and branding.

Where to Get Your Custom Product Labels Printed

At Kwality Labels, we offer paper, film and BOPP labels. We know what it takes to get your product noticed which is why our custom label printing company offers a range of products to serve your individual needs. Feel free to contact us to see how Kwality Labels can serve your custom product labels vision. We look forward to hearing from you!