We report a novel cross-linked chitosan composite film containing vanillin, glycerol, and green tea extract. The effects of vanillin-mediated cross-linking and the incorporation of antimicrobial green tea polyphenols were investigated. The cross-linking effect, confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) analysis, increased the tensile strength of the biopolymer film to 20.9 ± 3 MPa. The release kinetics of polyphenols from the chitosan–vanillin matrix was studied, and we reported an initial burst release (8 h) followed by controlled release (8 to 400 h). It was found that both vanillin and green tea polyphenols were successful inhibitors of foodborne bacteria, with a minimum inhibitory concentration of the tea polyphenols determined as 0.15 mg/mL (Staphylococcus aureus). These active components also displayed strong antioxidant capacities, with polyphenols quenching >80% of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radicals at all concentrations tested. Degradation results revealed that there was a significant (>85%) mass loss of all samples after being buried in compost for 12 weeks. The biopolymeric films, prepared by solvent casting methods, adhere to green chemistry and waste valorization principles. The one-pot recipe reported may also be applied to other cross-linkers and active compounds with similar chemical functionalities. Based on the obtained results, the presented material provides a promising starting point for the development of a degradable active packaging material.