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What is the difference between polypropylene banner and PVC material?

While both PVC and polypropylene banner materials can be categorized as plastic films, they have different properties, chemistries, and applications.

Polypropylene is like a smooth, flexible sheet of tear-resistant, scratch-resistant paper. It is a good choice for printing durable graphics that must remain flat when displayed in banner stands, poster frames, or lightboxes. Unlike poster papers, polypropylene banner materials resist creases, and don’t have to be laminated to be weather-resistant enough for short-term outdoor signs. Polypropylene is one of the most environmentally neutral plastics. It contains only two elements (carbon and hydrogen) and generates only carbon dioxide and water when it burns.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) for wide-format graphics is a pliable material for making outdoor-durable signs that drape well when hung and can be rolled up for storage or transport. PVC is also used for vehicle wraps and signs that must adhere to curved or uneven surfaces. PVC is more environmentally toxic than polypropylene, both during its product life and after disposal. PVC includes chlorine and is often made with lead stabilizers and plasticizers (usually phthalates). In landfills, the plasticizers from discarded PVC banners can leach out into the soil and aquifers. Inkjet-printable fabrics and wall-mural materials have been developed to provide more environmentally friendly alternatives to PVC materials.