When it comes to choosing the materials to package your products, it can often be confusing. You could be forgiven for thinking that packaging is packaging and it doesn’t really matter. However, making sure your product is protected from the elements means choosing the correct material. But which one is right? MDOPE or BOPE?

In this blog post, we’re looking at two specific polyethylene films – MDOPE & BOPE. Read on to find out more. Firstly, let’s break down the abbreviation letters.

What is BO?

BO stands for Bi-axially Oriented. The film is extruded on a stenter line and is bi-axially stretched in both machine and transverse directions.  It refers to a chemical designation used for a category of flexible plastic films created under specific conditions.

What is BOPE?

BOPE is an acronym for Bi-axially Oriented Polyethylene.  This specification of Polyethylene (PE) film is manufactured using a ‘blown’ process, meaning that the plastic sheeting is pulled in two directions, otherwise known as ‘bi-axially’ stretched

What is MDO?

MDO means Machine Direction Orientation. The film is blown vertically into a bubble similar to standard PE. After the ‘bubble’ stage of production, there is a series of rollers which stretch the film in the machine’s direction.

What is MDOPE?

Machine direction orientation (MDO) film is made where a polymer film is heated to a temperature slightly below its melting point and stretched in a particular orientation. The film can be cast on an MDO machine, or this step is introduced as the last stage in the manufacture of blown films.

What are the benefits of BOPE?

BOPE films have been developed from the desire to create more sustainable flexible packaging constructions by replacing the outer layer, for example, polyester (PET), with a recyclable PE layer, creating a mono PE structure.

What is BOPE used for?

BOPE is a stronger material that is mostly used for packaging products such as building materials, and is now more and more commonly used as the outer layer in the mono material structure of flexible packaging, such as recyclable pet food bags.

What are the benefits of MDOPE?

MDO technology used to manufacture MDOPE films requires less material which saves resources and improves the film properties. MDO film is suitable for almost any packaging machine, as it has excellent machinability and does not require machine changes or unnecessary development costs.

What is MDOPE used for?

MDOPE film has a growing presence in food and consumer packaging. MDOPE is primarily used for packing snacks but can be used for pouches and bags in other sectors. In recent months, the confectionery marketplace has been requesting the industry for a metallised MDOPE-based film.

So, which material is better for pet food packaging?

The two films do a similar job, but MDOPE is vertically extruded at converters and BOPE is horizontally extruded at BOPP film manufacturers.

The core purpose of a machine direction orientation process to create an MDOPE film is to enhance its basic resistance, optics, and final rigidity. This process turns PE raw material into a powerful, long-lasting, and industrially compliant film for a wide range of uses and purposes.

Both materials are suitable for pet food packaging, with BOPE being the most frequently used films. Although the demand for MDOPE film has increasingly grown over the last 12 months.

If you are still unsure of which one is best for your product, talk to our experts and they will guide you through the merits of both MDOPE & BOPE.


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