Cellophane is a natural polymer made from cellulose, a component of trees and plants. We like it because it is completely biodegradable and can be made from renewable sources. It is impermeable to air, grease and bacteria.
It was used widely for packaging food until the 1960s when it was replaced by a plastic substitute which was also marketed as “cellophane”. Now it is making a comeback.
Sainsbury’s, a grocery chain in the UK, is going to use a special cellophane wrap – NatureFlex™ – for its organic produce range.
Cellophane was invented by Jacques E. Brandenberger in 1908, a Swiss textile engineer. Brandenberger was seated at a restaurant when a customer spilt wine onto the tablecloth.
As the waiter replaced the cloth, Brandenberger decided that he would invent a clear flexible film that could be applyed to cloth, making it waterproof. It didn’t work out — but other uses were found for cellophane including wrapping fresh food and making Sellotape or Scotch Tape.
Green Office Supply carries cellophane bags and wrap made from cottonwood trees that are sustainably farmed and harvested specifically for cellophane production. They only carry the uncoated 100% biodegradable cellophane products, which generally biodegrade in 28-60 days.
Cellophane may be microwaved and can be used in the freezer.