Polypropylene (PP) explained

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of products. This type of plastic is one of the most versatile types of plastic in the world and therefore is the second-most widely produced commodity plastic. It is most commonly used in for packaging and labelling. It has, therefore, found its way into the everyday lives of absolutely everyone.

What is PP?

PP is a polymer used to manufacture a variety of moulded products. For example, PP is used to make butter and ice cream tubs, plastic furniture, buckets, car bumpers and woven cloth. PP is one of the most recycled packaging polymers in South Africa.

Advantages of PP

  • It is non-toxic; therefore, PP is used for the food and beverage industry.
  • PP is fatigue resistant which means that a PP container retains its shape over time.
  • Containers or products made of PP are durable and secure as they can take significant damage before it breaks.
  • The flexibility of PP means that it can be moulded into different shapes such as hinged products.
  • It holds colour well.
  • PP is recyclable and reusable; due to its ability to melt and reform into plastic pellets. This is also a reason for its popularity, especially in this social climate with increasing environmental concerns surrounding plastic.
  • Containers or products made from PP are impermeable, therefore making them water-resistant.
  • The cost of PP products is low as it is a low-cost plastic to manufacture.
  • Containers made from PP are microwavable due to their extremely high melting point.
  • PP is non-reactive meaning it does not react with detergents, acids or bases; therefore, it won’t break down easily.
  • PP is a very durable plastic and can withstand the wear and tear of daily life.

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