Recycling Bags for your Recycling Bin

4 January 2021 Shares

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By 4 January 2021 Shares

Recycling Bags for your Recycling Bin

Find the Right Trash or 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 get used for recyclables, such as food scraps and plastic packaging. Most recycling bags have a blue color, 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.


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 gallons (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 correct dimensions.


For instance, when you have a tall 13-gallon kitchen trash can, you’ll need to look for tall shaped 13-gallon trash bags.

Find recycling and trash bags on

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 load 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 getting sturdy and robust trash bags. Look for trash or recycling bags that can stretch without tearing and are resistant to a few trash punctures here and there.


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 easily pull out the trash bag without creating a vacuum in your trash can bucket or recycling bin.

Also, make sure you don’t fill up the bag too much. It is common for people to push the trash down in the trash bag to fill it up more. But this increases the chance of a tear in the garbage bag.

Biodegradable trash bags

Are you 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 don’t get made out of traditional plastics. Instead, they get manufactured from sustainable and eco-friendly materials, such as cornstarch or other plant-based materials that are 100% biodegradable.

Biodegradable means that the recycling bag will completely decompose in a few months.


BPI Certified or OK Compost Certified

When buying biodegradable trash bags, look for certified bags, for instance, BPI and OK Compost. These certifications tell you that the trash bags you will buy are genuinely compostable and not made of ordinary (non-degradable) plastics.


Custom fit liners

Besides well-known trash bag brands such as Hefty and Glad, there are other kinds of branded trash bags and recycling bags available. Simplehuman and Nine Stars are manufacturers of all types of trash cans, but these companies also sell their custom-fit trash liners.

These garbage bags get 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.


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 getting a trash can with a standard capacity, like 13 gallons. In these types of trash cans, you can use standard 13-gallon kitchen trash bags if you want.


Fresh smelling trash bags


Trash smells, mostly 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 contain charcoal, which absorbs the odors and neutralizes them.

Another solution is to use trash bags that blocks the trash odor. These types of trash bags contain a specific 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 its 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 created the ‘green garbage bags’ for commercial use. Ten years later, they also started to make trash bags for household waste.

In Lindsay, the Union Carbide Company bought the invention of the trash bag and marketed the bags under the name Glad garbage bags. These bags were manufactured for home use in the late 1960s and are still available today in 1984.


Glad made a significant improvement to trash bags by adding drawstrings to the bags. Thanks to the drawstrings, the bags are more comfortable 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 get made out of polyethylene plastic. Both low-density polyethylene and high-density polyethylene get used to manufacture trash bags. The difference is that low-density polyethylene is thicker, more robust, 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 to tearing (depending on the trash bag’s thickness).

Why are most trash bags black?

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

  1. Trash bags are made of recycled plastic waste (polyethylene PE), which contains all kinds of colors. Giving the plastic granules a uniform color, which gets dyed with a black pigment, making it the easiest to produce.
  2. The black color protects people’s privacy. The non-transparent black trash bags make it impossible for others to know what is inside your trash bag.

Besides black, there are all kinds of colors available for trash bags. There are also transparent trash bags such as blue (for recycling) or green (for compost).

Extra information

Step Up: Recycle, Reuse & Reduce

The three arrows of the recycling symbol represent the three main stages of the recycling process: recycling, reusing and reducing. Together the arrows form a closed loop. Step up and implement eco-friendly replacements in your daily life.


Join the movement! Step Up the waste hierarchy together to a goal of Zero Waste.

3 Comments on “Recycling Bags for your Recycling Bin

  1. Hello There,
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    We just want to give you information about our company and products.
    Can your purchase department get in touch with us?

  2. Hi Recycling, I noticed that you are making efforts to bags,which is also what we are doing. Our products ranges from foodservcie disposables to 3D printing material.Home compostable cling films may also interest you. Maybe we can meet your demand, if you are interested please feel free to contact me.

  3. I would like to recommend to add BioBag food waste bags in your article because they are made from natural resource s and 100% biodegradable & Compostable.

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