Plastic Envelopes

Plastic envelopes have the obvious advantage of being water resistant. But plastic envelopes are also lightweight, and tear and puncture resistant. Most Paperstone plastic envelopes are made from polythene – aka polyethylene, polyethene or poly(methylene) – which is a versatile thermoplastic polymer found perhaps most commonly in plastic bags. There are many categories of polythene with variations in strength, density and other properties.

Plastic envelopes are stronger than conventional paper envelopes but they are also lighter, saving you money on postage and shipping costs. The are impervious to British weather. You can write on them. And with peel and seal, they are easily opened yet tamper evident.

The plastic envelope range at Paperstone


Plastic is a generic term for a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic materials used widely in consumer and industrial products. Typically polymers (consisting of large molecules composed of repeating structural units), plastics are extremely varied in appearance and properties and can be made to resemble if not replace materials such as wood, glass, china, cloth, rubber, jewels, glue, cardboard, varnish, and leather.

Vinyl resins were discovered as early as 1838. Alexander Parks invented Parkesine in 1862. Made from cellulose treated with nitric acid and a solvent, this early plastic was often used to resemble ivory. Bakelite was invented in 1909 by Leo Hendrik Baekeland. It was the first cheap and viable plastic. Polystyrene appeared after the First World War, the first synthetic rubber in 1910, with nylon and acrylic emerging from the brains of science types in the 1930s.

What is polythene?

Polythene is a thermoplastic – that is, a plastic that can be melted and remolded. It is an organic polymer. ('Organic' in chemistry refers to chemical compounds that contain carbon, not to 'natural'). It was first synthesised by accident in 1898 when German chemist Hans von Pechmann was heating a beaker of diazomethane. The first synthesis of an industrially practical polyethylene in 1933 was also accidental – by Eric Fawcett and Reginald Gibson at the ICI works in Northwich.

There are many variants of Polythene for applications in different contexts – including detergent bottles, shrink wrap, plastic bags and articular portions of implants used for hip and knee replacements.

Polythene is not considered biodegradable and though it can be recycled, a lot of it ends up in landfill so, to the tune of "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)":

“Please recycle your used polythene products.”