Is cellophane a plastic

ZELLGLAS (cellophane)

(also known under the brand name cellophane)

Cell glass is one of the oldest plastics for packaging that comes into direct contact with food. It is a thin, colorless and transparent film made from regenerated cellulose with the characteristic "cellophane attack" and crackling effect.

Cell glass is a plastic that can be made entirely from renewable instead of fossil raw materials.

Cell glass is impermeable to liquids, but allows water vapor to pass through. In this way, appropriate packaging prevents condensation from forming inside. In order to reduce the water vapor permeability of the cell glass, it is not infrequently coated with other plastics. In this way, the cellulose film gains additional desired properties, but it loses its environmental impact. Because pure cell glass can be composted, disposed of with waste paper or burned. The coated film, on the other hand, is no longer completely biodegradable and should no longer be disposed of with waste paper (e.g. envelopes with windows).

The production costs of cellulose glass are relatively high and therefore only a few companies still manufacture it today. The film can be printed or painted, it can be glued but not sealed (welded). In addition, the minimum quantities are very high; custom-made products are possible from around 30'-50'000 pieces, depending on the size and design.

Chemical pulp is made from so-called wood pulp, a cellulose pulp, dissolved in caustic soda and carbon disulfide. The viscous mass obtained in this way is cleaned and poured into a precipitation bath of dilute sulfuric acid, whereby the cellulose precipitates. The resulting film is then soaked in several baths in order to remove residues of the sodium sulfate formed in the precipitation bath.

At the end, the film goes through a final bath to which glycerine is added as a plasticizer. The film is dried on heated rollers and then wound up.