Bin bag

A bin bag, rubbish bag (British English), garbage bag, bin liner, trash bag (American English) or refuse sack is a disposable bag used to contain solid waste. Such bags are useful to line the insides of waste containers to prevent the insides of the receptacle from becoming coated in waste material. Most bags these days are made out of plastic, and are typically black in color.

A public waste bag in Paris displaying the inscription "Vigilance - Propreté" ("Vigilance - cleanliness")
A typical black bin bag from the United Kingdom

Plastic bags are a convenient and sanitary way of handling garbage, and are widely used. Plastic garbage bags are fairly lightweight and are particularly useful for messy or wet rubbish, as is commonly the case with food waste, and are also useful for wrapping up garbage to minimize odor. Plastic bags are often used for lining litter or waste containers or bins. This serves to keep the container sanitary by avoiding container contact with the garbage. After the bag in the container is filled with litter, the bag can be pulled out by its edges, closed, and tied with minimal contact with the waste matter.

Created in 1950, this invention can be attributed to Canadians Harry Wasylyk, Larry Hansen and Frank Plomp.[1] In a special on CBC Television, the green garbage bags ranked 36th among the top 50 Canadian inventions.[2] The black plastic bags, but also white, and clear bags, are also introduced in 1950 as star sealed plastic bags in the United States. the bags looked different in the 1960s, the 2 ply is introduced in the 1970s, and the 3 ply are introduced in the early 1980s.

Plastic bags can be incinerated with their contents in appropriate facilities for waste-to-energy conversion. They are stable and benign in sanitary landfills; some are degradable under specified conditions.


Plastic bags for rubbish or litter are sold in a number of sizes at many stores in packets or rolls of a few tens of bags. Wire twist ties are sometimes supplied for closing the bag once full. Varying thicknesses are commonly manufactured - thicker bags are used for heavy-duty applications such as construction waste, or in order to be able to withstand being compacted during recycling processes. In the mid-1990s bin bags with drawstrings for closure were introduced. Some bags have handles that may be tied or holes through which the neck of the bag can be pulled. Most commonly, the plastic used to make bin bags is the rather soft and flexible LDPE (low-density polyethylene) or, for strength, LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene) or HDPE (high-density polyethylene) are sometimes used.

Biodegradable plastic bagsEdit

Garbage bags made from bioplastics and other biodegradable plastics
A bin bag designed to resist vermin. United Kingdom

Oxo-biodegradable plastic bags have the same strength as ordinary plastic and cost very tiny extra. They will degrade then biodegrade if they get into the open environment, but they can be recycled if collected during their useful life. They are designed so that they will not degrade deep in landfills and will not, therefore, generate methane. Oxo-biodegradable plastic does not degrade quickly in low temperature "windrow" composting, but it is suitable for "in-vessel" composting at the higher temperatures required by the animal by-products regulations. Oxo-biodegradable plastic is bio-assimilated by the same bacteria and fungi, which transform natural material such as twigs and leaves to cell biomass, like lignocellulosic materials. Oxo-biodegradable plastic is designed to degrade initially by a process that includes both photo-oxidation and thermo-oxidation, so it can degrade in the dark. Resin identification code 7 is applicable to biodegradable plastics.

Drawstring and flexibilityEdit

In 1984, drawstring garbage bags are introduced by GLAD[3] and Hefty.[4] In August 2001, Hefty introduced the garbage bags with a drawstring designed to stretch around the garbage can's rim and stay in place.[5] In July 2004, ForceFlex, the flexible plastic garbage bags, was introduced by GLAD[3] (followed by Hefty's Ultra Flex brand in September).[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "ARCHIVED - Garbage Bag - Incredible Inventions - Cool Canada - Library and Archives Canada". Archived from the original on 2013-10-02. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  2. ^ [1] Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b GLAD ForceFlex Trash Bags end Garbage Gripes Archived 2009-11-18 at the Wayback Machine, GLAD Press Release Archive, 20 July 2004 (retrieved 21 August 2010)
  4. ^ HELPFUL HARDWARE; HELP WITH THE TRASH, Daryln Brewer, The New York Times, 27 December 1984 (retrieved 21 August 2010)
  5. ^ Pactiv Announces New Hefty The Gripper Waste Bag Patented Stretch & Grip Top Goes on Easy And Stays Put Archived 2011-07-25 at the Wayback Machine, Pactiv Archived News, 20 August 2001 (retrieved 21 August 2010)
  6. ^ Pactiv Announces Hefty Ultra Flex Waste Bags; Thick, strong & stretchable bags respond to consumers' needs, press release, 16 September 2004 (retrieved 21 August 2010 on