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A Buyer's Guide to Poly Bags

From sacks of rubble to portions of food, we're all reliant on poly bags. 

The global plastic bag and sack industry is worth a staggering $8.4 billion and is projected to grow to $18.5 billion over the next 6 years. Whether you work in construction, retail, or food service, poly bags are essential. They keep items safe and clean during shipping and distribution.

Let's dig a little deeper into what poly bags are and what you need to know about them.

What Are Poly Bags?

Poly bags are the bags we all take for granted, day in, day out. 

They're what sliced bread comes wrapped in. And at the other end of the scale, they're what bags of sand and stone chippings get delivered in when you're remodeling your backyard. 

Most poly bags are made of polyethylene. Polyethylene is a plastic that comes in different grades, depending on the application. It's the most common plastic on the planet, accounting for more than a third of all plastics produced.

The bottom line is this: if you've got something that needs bagging, there's probably a poly bag solution just waiting for you.

Poly Bag Materials

There are five common grades of poly bags. We're going to examine when you should use each type.

High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

All forms of polyethylene come from the same product - ethylene gas. As it polymerizes, it creates chains of hydrocarbons. These chains branch in different ways and create a variety of polyethylene materials.

High-density polyethylene has many chains of hydrocarbons. This makes it strong and dense, but less flexible than other types.

This makes it perfect for:

  • Construction materials, like stone chippings 
  • Auto parts with sharp or pointed edges
  • Bulk quantities of dried foodstuff, like grains and pulses

It is also heat resistant to over 212°F/100°C.

Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Low-density polyethylene is less strong but no less valuable than HDPE. 

It is crystal clear, which is perfect when you want customers to see exactly what's inside the package. It also tears easily, which is ideal for allowing customers easy access to what they've just bought.

These qualities make them perfect for flat poly bags on a roll that can be torn off as needed. They come in a range of sizes and are durable and convenient. They're also great as packaging materials for small items and for food sales.

Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)

LLDPE is an even more flexible form of polyethylene, but this means that it is not as strong as LDPE.

It has a lower heat resistance and becomes hyper-flexible over 68°F (20°C). But it still has excellent chemical resistance, which makes it food-safe. Even though it is lighter and less dense than LDPE, it is stronger and more puncture resistant. 

They are typically used in the produce section where bags need to be strong but are not designed for long-term use. They are not as transparent as LDPE bags. 

Medium Density Polyethylene (MDPE)

As you'll have guessed, medium-density polyethylene bags sit right between their high-density and low-density cousins.

They're in-between in terms of strength but are extremely hardwearing. They're great when you need a poly bag that will provide a moisture barrier during shipping.

Polypropylene (PP)

Moving away from the polyethylene family, polypropylene bags are less flexible but extremely clear. They're also food safe, making them perfect for displaying goods for sale. They're also suitable for hardware as they're tough to break.

They provide excellent protection against dust and moisture.

Types of Poly Bags

There are three main poly bag types. They are flat, gusseted, and reclosable. 

Flat Poly Bags

Flat poly bags are extremely versatile. They're ideal for food, electronics, hardware, and much more. They can come individually or on a roll for additional ease of use. 

Gusseted Poly Bags

Gusseted poly bags have extra material along the bottom. This allows the bag to stand when full, making packing and storage easier. It's also perfect when items like small bottles need to be stored upright.

Reclosable Zipper Bags

Available in both food and non-food grade, a reclosable poly bag offers your customer extra convenience. They give customers more options, and gusseted options allow goods to stand upright.

They also come in tamper-evident varieties that are perfect for law enforcement.

Colored Poly Bags

Are you looking to make your products pop on the shelf? Why not choose colored poly bags. They come in all the shades of the rainbow and are bound to draw the customer's eye.

Poly Bags Mil Strength

Poly bags come in different thicknesses. Their strength increases as they get thicker. 

1 mil - very light, suitable for temporary storage, such as garbage bags

2 mil - most common thickness, used for products of light and medium weight

3 mil - the next level up, this offers more puncture resistance at an affordable price point

4 mil - this is suitable for items that need more puncture resistance

5 mil - most suitable for industrial settings

6 mil - the best level of puncture resistance, making it suitable for sharp and pointed items

Uses for Poly Bags

From food to shipping, let's explore the uses of poly bags. We've even thrown in a couple you might not have thought of!

Food Bags

wholesale poly bags

Food bags come in a wide range of thicknesses, from 1 mil to 6 mil. But they also come in a variety of sizes. Whether you're selling tiny portions and need a 1.5 x 2 inch bag or need 20 x 24 bags for larger applications, food safe reclosable bags are the way to go.

Box Liners

Are you shipping frozen or fresh products? 3 mil bin liners have got you covered. They have the thickness to provide excellent puncture resistance and are available in a wide range of sizes.

They also make excellent pallet covers to provide extra protection in transit.

Mailer Bags

wholesale poly mailers

Customers hate getting items delivered in huge, oversized cardboard boxes. Instead, use poly bags for shipping.  Their toughness and durability make them ideal for a wide range of products. 

Some poly bags give you even more flexibility. They have a second adhesive strip that allows customers to return items with ease.

Ice Bags

Wholesale Ice Bags

A 2020 survey found that 51% of Americans buy 400 pounds of ice each year. If you're going to cash in on that stat, you need ice bags, stat!

They come in twist tie or wicketed options and offer high strength even at low temperatures.

Poly Tubing

There's no need to be constrained by fixed-sized bags with poly tubing. Simply cut it to the size you want and heat seal each end to make your own custom bags. You can also seal the ends with staples or tape.

Choose Pack Secure for All Your Poly Bag Needs

At Pack Secure, we've got all types of poly bags for sale. Whether you need food-grade poly bags or colored bags for display, we've got you covered.

Click here to check out our huge range and place your order today!

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