How to Pick the Right Size of Trash Bag?

How to Pick the Right Size of Trash Bag?

A trash bag might be an unsung hero in keeping your workplace neat and clean. But it cannot be denied that these bags are a convenient and hygienic way to manage your waste. Also known as a bin bag, rubbish bag, or reuse sack, a trash bag is useful to line the inside of waste containers. With these bags in place, it is easy to collect and dispose of your waste.

It is used to keep the garbage contained while it makes its way from the trash can to the dumpster, dock, or waste disposing facility. If you own a large facility, you are likely to have different-sized trash bags and bins to line them.

However, it is important to choose the right size of a trash bag for your business.

When picking what to use as your bags you will have to consider several things such as how much space do you need to fill up with your garbage, what type of garbage are you storing in the bag, and what type of plastic do you need to use?

There are many more factors to be considered when picking the right trash bags and these tips below will help you make the right decisions on what works best for your workplace.

What Size of Trash Can You Have?

There are several sizes of garbage cans you might have at your office or workplace. For example, the 23-gallon trash can is commonly used in break rooms and bathrooms. For this specific garbage , you need to use a 40″ x 46″ size trash bag. This size bag will perfectly fit the garbage can style leaving an extra 4 inches on each side.

Choosing the Right Plastic for Your Trash Bag Application

There are two types of trash bags according to the plastic they are made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density (HDPE). Both types have their advantages based on which type of garbage will end up inside the bags made from them.

Let’s find out how each type of plastic works for your garbage.

LDPE Trash Can Liner Bags:

  • Good stretch properties  make them resilient to tears and punctures.
  • Ideal for garbage with sharp and jagged edges.
  • Durability

HDPE Trash Can Liner Bags:

  • An affordable choice for heavy, wet trash and soft waste
  • Vapor and moisture protections
  • Smaller and lighter than LLD bags cases
  • Temperature resistance up to (-40 degrees to +212 degrees)

Understanding the Size of Trash Bag

Trash bags generally come with a gallon capacity. They have a number of dimensions printed on the bottom of them. The first number of bag measurements is the width of the open end/top of the bag when it is laid flat. This is half of the circumference. The next thing is the measurement of the length of the bag from top to bottom.

For example, a 38” x 58” bag comes with a 76” (38” x 2) circumference and a top to the bottom measure of 58”.

Apply these methods to determine the circumference of your trash container to determine what trash bag can work. Keep in mind that you can have a taller or longer trash bag than the waste container, but you really don’t want your bags to go shorter, as they can fall inside of the container.

Also, try this formula for round or square trash cans to find the right bag size:

  • Square Container Circumference: Circumference = sum of all four sides added together. Example 7”+12”+12”+7” = 38-inch circumference
  • Round container circumference: Circumference=diameter multiplied by 3.14. For instance: 12 inch diameter X 3.14 = 37.68 inch circumference
  • Bag Length: (round and square containers) add the height of the trash bin, plus 4-5 inches for overhang.


How Much Weight Can the Garbage Bag Hold?

Picture this—

You remove a full trash can liner from garbage can only to see the bottom split open because of its weight. No one would like to experience such situations with their trash bags.

This also brings us to the last step in picking the correct trash bag, how much weight does the bag requires to accommodate. The strength of a trash bag depends on several factors such as the type of plastic it was manufactured from and the thickness of the bags (mil or micron).

Another key factor determining the strength of a garbage can liner is the type of seal used. The seal is the method to close the bottom of a trash can liner.

There are three types of trash bag seals:

Star Seal:

It is the most common seal used in trash can liner bags. These seals are created by folding the bottom of the bag over itself several times before sealing it. Star seals eliminate the risk of leaks, letting the bags conform to round, rectangle, square, and any other shape garbage. It also prevents trash from accumulating in one area of the trash bag.

Flat Seal:

These seals are created by sealing the bag’s bottom edge ensuring that no length of the bag is used. Flat seals are leakproof.

Gusset Seal:

These seals are formed by tucking in both sides of the bottom edge to form a gusset on the bag. It strengthens the gusseted outer edges with four layers of plastic while the middle of the bag has only two. But the bags with gusset seals tend to leak.

Here is a quick chart to determine how much dry weight a bag can accommodate according to its measurement, thickness, and gallon size.


 SIZE  MIL THICKNESS  GALLON  LOAD (Dry Weight in .lbs.)
 20″ X 21″  .35  7  7 lbs.
 24″ X 23″  .35  8-10  10 lbs
 24″ X 32″  .35  12-16  10 lbs.
 30″ X 36″  .5  20-30  20 lbs.
 30″ X 36″  .7  20-30  30 lbs.
 33″ X 39″  .5  33  20 lbs.
 33″ X 39″  .65  33  40 lbs.
 36″ X 58″  .7  55  40 lbs.
 38″ X 58″  .7  60  30 lbs.
 38″ X 58″  .55  60  40 lbs.
 40″ X 46″  .5  40-45 30 lbs.
 40″ X 46″  .7  40-45 30 lbs.
 43″ X 47″  .7  56  40 lbs.


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