Recycling Bags

Recycling Bags for your Recycling Bin

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By Recycling.com/ 20 June 2017 Shares

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RECYCLE | Separate Recyclables

Find the Right Recycling Bag


Types of bags
Popular brands
Bag sizes

More about trash bags

What type of bag do you need?

There are three types of bags for collecting waste:

  1. Recycling bags (blue)
  2. Compost bags (green)
  3. Trash bags (black)

Recycling bags and compost or biodegradable bags are used for recyclables. Such as food scraps and plastic packaging. Most recycling bags have a blue colour and biodegradable bags are typically green. For all the other waste that can’t be recycled you use a standard trash bag, these bags are often dark grey or black.

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So for recycling we recommend to use blue bags or green bags for your recycling bins.

What size trash bag do you need?

The average size of a kitchen trash bag is about 13 gallon (see 13 gallon trash bags). These are called standard sized kitchen bags that will fit most standard sized kitchen trash cans. But the right size garbage bag for you depends on the size and shape of your trash can. Besides the capacity you also need to figure out the right dimensions. For instance, when you have a tall 13 gallon kitchen trash can, you’ll need ato look for tall shaped 13 gallon trash bags.

Find recycling and trash bags on Amazon.com:

What are the dimensions of a 13 gallon trash bag?

A standard sized 13 gallon trash bag from the brand Glad has the following dimensions:
4.5 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches

Strength of the garbage bags

Have you ever experienced a bursting trash bag when taking a full bag out of your trash can? It can get pretty messy. Most of the time it is due to a thin recycling bag that tears easily because of a hard or sharp piece of trash inside the bag. To prevent trash bags from tearing open we recommend to get strong and sturdy trash bags. Look for trash or recycling bags that can stretch without tearing and are restistant of a few trash punctures here and there.

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Another thing that can prevent a tear in your trash bag is a trash can with air openings in the waste bucket. These openings make sure that you can pull out the trash bag easily without creating a vacuum in your trash can bucket or recycling bin. Also make sure you don’t fill up the bag to much, it is common for people to push the trash down in the trash bag to fill it up a bit more. But this increases the chance of a tear in the garbage bag.

Biodegradable trash bags

Looking for compostable bags for collecting food scraps, food waste, yard debris and other compostable waste? Then look for certified biodegradable trash bags. These compostable trash bags are not made of traditional plastics but instead are manufactured of a sustainable and eco-friendly material, such as cornstarch or other plant-based materials that are 100% biodegradable. This means that the recycling bag will completely decompose in a few months.

biodegradable-compostable-trash-bags

BPI Certified or OK Compost Certified

When buying biodegradable trash bags look for certified bags, for instance BPI and OK Compost. These certifications are telling you that the trash bags you are going to buy are truly compostable and not made of normal (non-degradable) plastics.

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Custom fit liners

Besides well-known trash bag brands such as Hefty and Glad, there are other kind of branded trash bags and recycling bags available as well. Simplehuman and Nine Stars are manufactureres of all kinds of trash cans but these companies also sell there own custom fit trash liners. These garbage bags are specially designed for your trash can, so they’ll fit like a glove. Simplehuman has a wide range of trash bags, you can find the right Simplehuman trash bag here.

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The downside though is that these official trash bags are relatively expensive compared to standard bags. So most people will look for a cheaper alternative after a while. We recommend to get a trash can with a standard capacity, like 13 gallons. In these type of trash cans you can use standard 13 gallons kitchen trash bags if you want.

Fresh smelling trash bags

bad-smelling-trash-canTrash smells, especially when we talk about kitchen waste. There are a few solutions to prevent or mask the smell in your garbage can. One is to use a filter inside your trash can. These filters container charcoal which absorbs the odors and neutralize it.

Another solution is to use trash bags that blocks the trash odor.These type of trash bags contain a certain scent that masks the trash smell in your trash can.  The recycling bags can control the nasty trash odor for a few days. So always replace the trash bag in time before it starts to spread it’s  trash odor in your house.


Questions and facts about trash bags

When was the plastic garbage bag invented?

The trash bag was invented in 1950 by Harry Wasylyk, Larry Hansen and Frank Plomp. The three Canadians invented the ‘green garbage bags’ for commercial use. Ten years later they also started to make trash bags for household waste.

The Union Carbide Company in Lindsay bought the invention of the trash bag and marketed the bags under the name Glad garbage bags. These bags were manufacured for home use in the late 1960s and are still available today. In 1984 Glad made a major improvement to trash bags by adding drawstrings to the bags. Thanks to the drawstrings the bags are more easy to pull out of the trash can and it is more convenient to close the recycling bag.

Learn more about the history of the trash bag.

What is a trash bag made of?

Most trash bags are made of polyethylene plastic. Both low density polyethylene and high density polyethylene are used for manufacturing trash bags. The difference is that low density polyethylene is thicker, stronger and more flexible than the high density variant.

Polyethylene plastic is a polymer and is petroleum based. The material is used for trash bags because of its strength and resistance of tearing (depending on the thickness of the trash bag).

Why are most trash bags black?

There are a few reasons why most trash bags have a dark grey or black colour:

  1. Trash bags are made of recycled plastic waste (polyethylene PE) which contains all kinds of colours. To give the plastic granules a uniform colour it is dyed with a black pigment, which is the easiest to do.
  2. The black colour protects peoples privacy. The non-transparant black trash bags make it impossible for others to know what is inside your trash bag.

Besides black there are all kinds of colours available for trash bags. Such as blue (for recycling) or green (for compost), there are also transparant trash bags.

Extra information

By Recycling.com/ 20 June 2017 Shares