A Simple Guide to the Different Types of Can Liners

A Simple Guide to the Different Types of Can Liners

By Michael Kralstein | Can Liners

Sep 12

Simply put, not all types of trash can liners are created equally.

Although it may seem easy and straightforward, choosing the wrong types of can liners can lead to inefficiencies. As the can liner experts, AAA Polymer will help you choose the best can liner for your needs.

We offer a free can liner audit designed to review your current use and render cost saving solutions if applicable. Continue reading to learn more about choosing the types of can liners.

Different Types of Can Liners

Types of Can Liner Resins

The can liner resin is the raw material used in manufacturing. There are three different types of resins used to manufacture can liners: low density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), and high density polyethylene (HDPE).

Low Density Polyethylene

Low density polyethylene is an older resin, but is still used primarily in lower end utility liners. For the most part, this resin has been replaced by linear low density polyethylene.

Linear Low Density Polyethylene

Linear low density polyethylene is highly tear and puncture resistant. These properties make it the ideal choice for applications where extra stretch and/or strength is needed. This type of can liner works best for waste with jagged or sharp edges.

A few key advantages of LLDPE can liners include:

  • Multi-purpose applications
  • Offered in an array of colors
  • Maximum stretch and puncture resistance
  • The most common type of can liner used in the industry today

High Density Polyethylene

High density polyethylene resins are stronger, much more temperature resistant, and offer superior moisture protection. These can liners are the ideal choice for bathrooms, lightweight trash, and paper. However, HDPE can liners will tear easily if it's punctured.

A few key advantages of HDPE can liners include:

  • Can offer substantial cost savings per liner
  • Are approximately three times more durable or stronger than ordinary polyethylene liners of the same thickness.
  • These liners require two-thirds less petroleum based raw material to create.
  • These can liners can reduce your storage, shipping, and warehousing costs
  • Offers an extremely wide range of temperature resistance from -40 degrees F to +212 degrees F (boiling).

Types of Can Liner Resin Comparison Chart

LLDPE BagsHDPE Bags
Material EfficiencyModerate material savingsExcellent material savings
Resistance to PuncturesGood puncture resistanceGreater puncture resistance
Resistance to TearsBetter tear resistanceGood tear resistance
Load CapacityGood load capacityGood load capacity

Can Liner Gauge

The gauge of the bag or film thickness will determine the weight, strength, and price of your bags. Low density bags have a thicker gauge and provide more heft and strength. These bags are best for bulkier or heavier items.

In contrast, high density bags are lighter weight, have a lower gauge, and can save you money. High density bags are best for light to moderately heavy contents. Most importantly, high density bags can save your company money.

Low Density Can Liner Gauge

Low density can liners are measured in mils, which are 1/1000, .001, or one thousandth of an inch. The thinnest LLD bag gauge is .7 mil and the highest is 4.0 mil.

  • Use higher mil count for heavier, larger, and more jagged trash.
  • Use a lower mil count for smaller, lighter trash.

High Density Can Liner Gauge

As the most cost-effective option, high density bags are not as puncture resistant, but can carry very heavy loads. High density can liners are measured in microns, which is ⅕ of a mil. The thickest mic is 17, while the thinnest mic is 6.

  • Use higher microns for heavier trash
  • Use lower microns for lighter trash

Choosing the Right Can Liner Seal

The can liner seal is a term used to describe the bottom of the liner. You can choose from three different types of can liner seals: gusset seal, flat seal, and star seal.

Gusset Can Liner Seal

Bags with gusset seals are manufactured with both sides of the bottom edge tucked in to form gussets. These seals are reinforced with four layers of film at the indented outer edges, while the outer edges are sealed with two layers. Bags with gusset seals bags do have a high tendency for wet trash to leak.

Flat Can Liner Seal

As the name would suggest, these seals are manufactured through the sealing of the bottom edge. With flat can liner seals, the length of the can liner isn't sacrificed. These types of seal are excellent for being leak-proof. However, flat can seals can be difficult to handle and do not conform well to the receptacle.

Star Can Seal

As the most common seal used in the industry, star seals are created by folding the bottom of the liner over several times and sealing it. The star seal allows the liner to conform to the shape of the trash can, eliminates leaks, and distributes the refuse evenly around the bag.

Contact AAA Polymer for Different Types of Can Liners

Most of our customers are shocked to learn the amount of consideration and time that goes into choosing the best can liner. Fortunately, you don't have to do it alone. The experts at AAA Polymer offer decades of experience helping facility managers and business owners like you choose the most effective and efficient type of can liner.

Do you already have a can liner you think is best for your business? It never hurts to have a second opinion. As a matter of fact, it typically helps. We offer a free can liner audit that will ensure you're using the right can liner and saving the most money.

Contact AAA Polymer today for a free 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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