Difference Between a Low and High Density Can Liner & Finding the Right Size
Finding the perfect can liner (often called trash bags or garbage can liners) for your trash and recycle bins can be a tricky endeavor. But thanks to a few handy tips, you’ll be lining your waste containers like a pro in no time. Below, we’ll dive into a couple tricks of the trade that will help you select the right material type, thickness, and bag size. When our teams work with customers our ultimate goal is to find the smallest and thinnest can liner that works 100% of the time, this optimizes costs and is more environmentally responsible.
There are two primary steps to choosing a plastic liner bag. The first step is understanding the difference between low and high density can liners – and the thickness or “gauge”. The second step is matching the right bag sizes to your waste container. Let’s “dive” in.
Selecting Plastic Type
Not all plastic bags (can liners) are made alike. In fact, there are a variety of factors – including the plastic type and gauge (or thickness). There are two primary plastic types:
- Linear Low Density Bags (LLD)
These bags are used for rough or sharp objects that are usually transported under more rigorous conditions. This type of bag is very strong with a high resistance to tearing however it also offers lower load capacities. A few examples of use cases for Linear Low Density bags include yard debris, glass, metal with sharp edges, plastic eating utensils, etc.
- Hi Density Bags (Hi-D)
These bags are used for paper and other non-rough objects under less rough transportation conditions. Hi Density bags are very strong with higher load capacities however they are more prone to punctures and tears. A few examples of use cases for Hi Density Bags include paper-plates, cups, towels, grass, rags, smooth objects, etc.
Contrary to popular belief, film thickness (or gauge) is no longer the standard for judging bag strength. With the advancement of polymer blend formulations and unique additives, we’ve seen a significant increase in bag strength for thinner applications in comparison with thicker bags from inferior polymer blends. Below is a quick guide for selecting gauge:
- LLD Gauge Equivalents and Recommendations
- Small Cans – Light, Medium (.3 – .6 Mil)
- Midsize Cans – Heavy, Extra Heavy, Super Tuf (.61 – 1.0 Mil)
- Larger – Cans – Super Heavy, XXH, XXXH (1.1 – 3.0 Mil)
- Hi-D Gauge Equivalents and Recommendations
- Small Cans – Light, Medium (6 – 9 Mic)
- Midsize Cans – Heavy, Extra Heavy, Super Tuf (10 – 14 Mic)
- Larger – Cans – Super Heavy, XXH, XXXH (15 – 22 Mic)
Matching Bag Sizes to container
After you’ve selected the correct plastic type and gauge, it’s time to find that perfect size for you can liner. Most brands utilize a fitting guide that matches the 4 most popular bin sizes seen below. They will include information about their can liners and which bins they will fit.
- 55 Gallon Container
- 44 Gallon Container
- 32 Gallon Container
- 23 Gallon Rubbermaid SlimJim Container
If you need help finding the perfect solution for your business our team is more than happy to assist contact us today.
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