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Choosing the Right Trash Can Liner

Choosing trash can liners may seem as simple as finding ones that will fit your trash can. However, there are a handful of terms with which you should become familiar, ensuring that your can liner selection will provide the best result at the best price!

Trash Bag Thickness

black trash can with liner inside

Resin is the basic raw material used in manufacturing trash can liners. The two basic types of resins utilized in trash can liner manufacturing are high density and low density.

  • High Density Can Liners: Great for paper and lightweight trash; tears easier if punctured.
    • Excellent choice for offices or bathrooms, as long as no sharp or irregularly-shaped objects are being discarded.
    • Lighter construction means lower freight, storage, and warehousing costs.
    • Superior vapor and moisture protection; USDA and FDA approved for food use to help contain unpleasant odors.
    • Temperature-resistant from -40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • roll of black trash bags
  • Low Density Can Liners: Great for heavy, wet trash; provide exceptional resistance against puncturing and tearing.
    • Excellent choice for kitchens, yard waste and other trash with sharp, jagged edges.
    • Superior stretch properties make for a great multi-purpose can liner.
      • Our Lavex Industrial can liners are contractor level low density can liners, offering the same benefits as low density liners with even greater thickness for yard waste, construction, and demolition use!

Expert Tip
We offer a select number of linear low density liners which provide the same superior stretch benefits as standard low density liners. But because of differences in the manufacturing process, linear low density is able to achieve greater strength at a thinner gauge.

trash bag thickness chart

Types of Trash Bag Seals

Seal is a term used to describe the bottom of a trash can liner. Seals come in three types: star, flat, and gusset.

    bottom of red bag with star steal
  • Star Seal: The most common seal in the industry, star seals are manufactured by folding the bottom of the trash can liner over several times and then sealing it. This virtually eliminates leaks, allowing the liner to conform to the shape of the trash can and distribute the refuse evenly around the bag.

  • bottom of yellow bag with flat seal
  • Flat Seal: Manufactured by simply sealing the bottom edge so that no length of the can liner is sacrificed, flat seals provide a generally leak-proof product. They do not, however, conform well to the waste receptacle and can be difficult to handle.

  • bottom of blag back with gusset seal
  • Gusset Seal: Manufactured with both sides of the bottom edge tucked in to form gussets, gusset seals are reinforced at the indented outer edges with four layers of film while the middle of the bag is sealed with two layers. This causes a tendency to leak with wet trash.

What Size Trash Bag do I Need?

When choosing a trash can liner, consider the following:

  1. Trash Can Liner Size

    liner size diagram

    Trash bags are measured by their length and width when laid flat. Note that the "length" of the liner is the longer edge and the "width" is the shorter. To determine what size bag is needed for your particular waste receptacle:

    • Bag Length = Height of your can plus 3" for overhang plus half of the trash can's width (or half the diameter for circular trash cans)
      • Example - a circular trash can with a diameter of 24" and height of 30" will be calculated as followed: 30" + 3" + (24"/2) = 45"
    • Bag Width = Circumference of your can divided by 2
      • Square Container Circumference = Sum of all four sides added together
      • Round Container Circumference = Diameter multiplied by 3.14 (or pi, if you channel your middle school math teacher)
      • Rectangular Container Circumference = Sum of all four sides added together
  2. Trash Can Liner Use

    Will sharp objects or heavy, wet trash be disposed of in these liners?

    • If yes, you will want to choose a low density can liner.
    • If no, a high density can liner should suit you just fine.

  3. Expert Tip
    We also have specialty trash can liners for more unique needs and applications! These include translucent recycling bags that make it easy to see if non-recyclable materials are mixed in, medical waste bags with the universal biohazard symbol for easy identification, and compostable bags that are an excellent choice as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional bags and perfect for disposing of yardwaste and other compostable materials.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Please refer to our Content Policy for more details.

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