Polyester Vs. Polypropylene Labels: Understanding the Differences

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January 15, 2024


Label Arts

In this ever-advancing world of product labeling, businesses and manufacturers face vital decisions when choosing materials for their labels. Two majorly used materials for creating labels are polypropylene and polyester. Automatic identification and data collection is an important part of any business, irrespective of where it is in the supply chain. These techniques help businesses gather information on their products and functions and streamline their operations. One such commonly used technology is barcodes. Barcode labels help buyers or users to identify the product and provide them with some asset identification. Out of the variety of products available in the market, you cannot expect to use a type of barcode label on all of them. To make informed decisions, read on to understand the difference between polyester and polypropylene labels.

Understanding Polyester Materials

This synthetic polymer is extensively used in manufacturing facilities for label production. Polyester labels are produced through the polymerization of ethylene glycol. The outcome is a material with remarkable durability, robustness, and resistance to environmental aspects. Polyester labels provide a perfect blend of qualities that suit them for various applications. The material is extensively resistant to chemicals, moisture and UV exposure – ensuring that labels retain their integrity and readability during challenging situations. Polyester labels boast amazing qualities, making them the #1 choice for labels.

Their Significance in the Industry

Polyester labels are popular in industries where strong labeling solutions are integral. Like others, the pharmaceutical, electronics and automotive segments rely on polyester labels to offer durable and lasting identification of the product. The resistance to extreme weather, including exposure to high temperatures or harsh chemicals, makes polyester labels perfect for products that undergo rigorous testing and quality control. Moreover, polyester’s power to withstand environmental conditions makes it a perfect choice for labels on equipment, machinery and appliances that may be exposed to the elements. The versatile nature of polyester labels extends to their compliance with different printing techniques, including digital printing and thermal transfer.

Understanding Polypropylene Materials

Polypropylene, another synthetic polymer, is extensively used in the label industry and provides features different from polyester ones. Polypropylene originated from propylene monomers and is popular for its clarity, flexibility and affordability. Labels created using polypropylene are manufactured through biaxial orientation, giving a material that strikes the perfect balance between durability and flexibility.

Polypropylene labels are best suited in a marketplace where cost considerations and flexibility are paramount. The material is popular for applications where labels must conform to curved surfaces or asymmetrical shapes. These labels maintain their readability and clarity even when applied to containers with unique contours, making them the #1 choice for products with contemporary packaging.

Their Significance in the Industry

Polypropylene labels find common usage in industries such as food & beverage, household items and cosmetics. The flexibility of polypropylene makes it a popular choice for labeling in jars, bottles and squeezable containers. These labels demand to conform to the packaging shape – their affordability also makes them a preferred option for businesses with high-volume labeling needs. Moreover, polypropylene labels are well-received in industries that prioritize sustainability, with everybody gaining a sense of environmental consciousness, using recyclable materials that align with this trend and need of the moment. This allows manufacturing companies to address both eco-friendly and functional considerations.

Differences between Polyester & Polypropylene Labels

1.Physical Features

Known for its rigidity and strength, polyester makes a perfect choice for applications that require durability and resistance to extreme environmental conditions.

However, Polypropylene labels offer clarity and flexibility, making them a popular option for conforming to curved surfaces.


Polyester labels offer remarkable printability, enabling you to create high-quality graphics and complex designs. They are compatible with different printing methods, including thermal transfer and digital printing.

Polypropylene labels provide good printability needs for industries that prioritize flexibility and affordability.

3.Remarkably Resistance

Polyester labels represent resistance to moisture, UV exposure and chemicals, ensuring longevity during challenging conditions.

Polypropylene labels provide resistance to water and moderate harsh conditions.


Polyester labels are commonly used in pharmaceuticals, electronics and automotive industries where resistance to harsh conditions is paramount.

Polypropylene labels are widely used in industries like food & beverage, household items and cosmetics where flexibility and cost-efficiency are important.


Polyester labels are not as sustainable as polypropylene labels, making the latter a greener option for businesses prioritizing sustainability. 


In the dynamic landscape of label manufacturing, the choice between polyester and polypropylene labels depends on the industry’s specific requirements, the intended application and environmental considerations. Polyester labels are durable and resistant to harsh conditions, making them a top choice for industries where product identification must withstand rigorous testing and exposure.

On the other hand, polypropylene labels offer flexibility and cost-effectiveness, making them a preferred option for businesses with high-volume labeling needs, particularly in industries where the shape of product or packaging is diverse. Additionally, the recyclability of polypropylene aligns with the growing emphasis on sustainable practices, providing a viable solution for environmentally conscious manufacturers.

Ultimately, understanding the differences between polyester and polypropylene labels empowers businesses to make informed decisions that balance functionality, cost-efficiency and environmental impact, ensuring that their products are well-labeled and aligned with evolving industry trends.

About LabelArts

Label Arts is recognized worldwide in the healthcare industry as a leader in high-quality, chemical-resistant labels used in the harshest of laboratory environments. From blank stock labels to pre-printed custom designs and sequentially numbered barcode labels, all Label Arts products feature flawless identification for reliable tracking. The wide range of materials, sizes, shapes and formats that we can accommodate make us your one-stop shop for medical labels. All of our products follow cGMP according to regulations enforced by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) standards for healthcare. We provide a personalized approach, and every unique project is handled precisely and carefully. We guarantee to deliver great labels, quick turnarounds and responsive and proactive service to every customer.