In this investigation, collagen hydrolysate (CH) films extracted from hide fleshing wastes were successfully developed using solvent casting method by incorporating different concentrations of thyme essential oil (TO) (2%, 4%, 6%, and 8%) into the CH. Depending on the concentration of TO, thickness, tensile strength (TS), elongation at break (EAB), film solubility (FS), color, opacity, light transmittance, and thermal properties varied. Addition of TO resulted in the increases in the thickness, EAB (%), and light barrier performance of CH-TO films while there was a significant decrease in TS and FS of the CH films (p <= 0.05). According to our findings, the increment of TO content induced higher lightness and yellowness but lower redness values compared to CH film. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy was conducted to determine the molecular changes and interactions between CH extracted from hide fleshing wastes and TO. In order to analyze the thermal behavior of the films, differential scanning calorimetry analysis was conducted. Moreover, the structure-property relationships of CH and TO were examined by scanning electron microscopy and a reduction in the compact and homogenous structures of the films containing TO was observed. Promising results have been obtained showing that CH-based films can be used for active packaging purposes, thereby contributing to a significant reduction in the environmental impact of both leather solid waste and plastic packaging materials.