High Density vs Low Density Can Liners: The Difference & Why It Matters

High Density vs Low Density Can Liners: The Difference & Why It Matters

By Michael Kralstein | Can Liners

Sep 11

Are you throwing money away with the trash? If you don't know the difference between high density and low density can liners, it's highly likely you are.

Understanding what makes each type of trash can liner unique will help you choose the best one for your application, which means you can avoid wasting resources and money. Continue reading to learn more about high density vs low density can liners, what's the difference, and why you should care.

What Are Low Density Can Liners?

Low density or linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) trash can liners are made from high quality resins to make the bags flexible, thick, and highly resistant to tearing and puncturing. Low density trash can liners are ideal for construction debris, yard trash, kitchen trash, or trash that includes:

  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Meta
  • Glass
  • Other irregular shaped or jagged items.

The durability of these can liners make them the ideal solution for outdoor, kitchen, and wheeled trash cans. If you need tough and durable can liners, LLDPE can liners are the best. LLDPE liners are the most commonly used and widely available liners on the market.

These types of can liners are measured in mils, which is 1/1000 or .001 of an inch. If you choose a higher mil count, it will be a thicker bag. LLDPE can liners will have mil counts ranging from the standard .9 mil kitchen bag up to an extra-thick 6.0 mil contractor bag.

What Are High Density Can Liners?

High density polyethylene (HDPE) can liners are produced at low pressures from high molecular density resins, which results in tightly packed and straight molecules. This makes HDPE can liners directionally strong because molecule branches only face in one direction.

Due to the different manufacturing process, HDPE can liners are thinner and not as puncture resistant. Even so, these can liners are strong and best suited to carry heavy loads without rough edges, such as dirt, towels, and clothing. High density bags are an excellent choice for

  • Shredded paper
  • Restroom waste
  • Office waste
  • Public areas where sharp objects are not thrown away

In contrast to low density can liners, high density can liners are usually measured in microns, which is .001 or one thousandth of a millimeter.

Difference Between High Density vs Low Density Can Liners

One of the key differences between high density vs low density can liners is the sound and feeling. High density bags or can liners will have a more stiff feeling and sound "crunchier." In contrast, low density polyethylene bags will be much quieter to the touch and have a softer feel.

High Density Bag & Can Liner Applications

For example, most grocery store bags are crinkly, high density bags. While these bags are exceptionally strong, this high density polyethylene material makes these bags extremely susceptible to puncture from something as dull as the corner of a cereal box.

Sample high density bag and can liners are:

  • Office Waste, Restroom Waste and Public Trash Cans (No Sharps)
  • Grocery store bags

Low Density Bag Application

  • Kitchen trash bags
  • Retail shopping bags
  • Lawn and leaf bags
  • Garment bags
  • Outdoor trash can liners
  • Recycling Bags

Source Reduction — A Green Way to Save Green

The next time you're walking through the facility, take a second to see if your waste receptacles demonstrate can liner hangover. Similar to an actual hangover, too much is usually an indication that you're using the wrong size of can liner, gauge of can liner, or wrong material.

Save Money with Source Reduction

Based on our findings, you company can easily save thousands by switching to the right can liner. Many facilities are using up to 30% more can liner than actually needed. If you are spending anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 or more on canliners, your savings can be astronomical.

Another method of money-saving source reduction is guiding you to the right can liner. In many instances, we've been able to help many of our customers switch from a more expensive low density can liner to a less expensive high density can liner.

We regularly use innovative consultative methods similar to this to save you money, help keep your company competitive, and help to save our planet.

Contact AAA Polymer Today

Don't throw money out with the trash. Instead, AAA Polymer wants to help you save money and reduce your overall trash. As the can liner experts, we offer decades of experience helping business owners and facility managers like you reduce costs through our complimentary trash can liner audit.

Contact us today for your free trash can liner audit.

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About the Author

Michael Kralstein started working in sales full time for AAA Polymer in February 2000. In 2006, he became the Sales Manager of our can liner division. He currently manages all aspects related to can liners.

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