How to Choose the Right Poly Bag

Posted by Bill Clyde on Mar 5, 2020 8:54:44 AM

When it comes to plastic bags, there are an endless amount of options out there. As a consumer, you have to decide what is best for protecting your product that will also hold up under the conditions it will face during shipping or fulfillment.

You don’t want bags that are thicker than you need because the thickness will impact the cost of your bag. You don’t want to get a bag that is too small or thin and risk it becoming punctured or split while your product is still inside.

In this article we will be covering all the things you need to know to purchase the right poly bags for your needs.

Type of Bag

The first step in selecting the right plastic bag for your needs is to identify which type of bag you need. There are all kinds of plastic bags out there with different features and elements.

The right bag for your needs will be based on what you are putting inside the bag and the conditions that it will be under during shipping or use.

Lip and Tape Bags

These bags have a side seal with tape across the lip of the bag. The tape on these bags can be either permanent or resealable. These can be packed loose, on a wicket, or as a staple pack.

For more information on lip and tape bags you can read our article: What is Lip and Tape bag?

Wicketed Bags

Wicketed bags are a side seal bag that is packed on a wire wicket. These bags are a great option for efficient packing because they can be packed and separated very quickly.

For more details on wicketed bags read our article: What is a Wicketed Bag?

Staple Pack Bags

These offer a side seal that is stapled to a chipboard header. They are perforated at the top of the bag which makes it simple to tear away quickly and efficiently.

Flat/Loose Bags

These are our most basic styles of bags. These are flat packed and shipped loose. These are great for plastic parts, food or the hardware industry.

Back flip bags

A backflip bag has a fold over top that allows for fast and easy closing without needing any adhesive or heat. The size of the flip will depend on the amount of overlap you want for closure.

Side Gusseted Bags

A bottom sealed bag that has expandable (gusseted) sides. Side gussets are a good option if you are packing bulky or irregular shaped items or if you are lining a box.

Bottom Gusseted Bags

Similar to a side gusset bag, these are side seal bags with an expandable bottom. These bags can be ordered loose, on a wicket or as a staple pack. These bags are popular in the food and textile industries.


Poly Bag Size

Choosing the right size plastic bag for your product can be a challenge.

You will need to be sure the bag is big enough to properly surround your product and provide closure if necessary. Closure can be mechanically with an impulse heat sealer or manually with a twist tie.

Whether you need a flat bag to mail, a side gusseted bag for girth, or a bag to line a box, you can calculate just the size you need.

To help you figure out what size is right for your needs, you can use this conversion calculator.


Thickness (Gauge)

When it comes to choosing the thickness of your bag, there are a few things to consider.

Cost is going to be impacted heavily by the thickness of your bag. The thicker the bag, the more plastic it contains. The more plastic it contains, the higher you can expect your cost to be.

However, this doesn't mean that thickness is something you should sacrifice purely for the sake of cost. The thinner or lighter your bag is, the easier it will be punctured or torn.

You will need to consider what type of item is going inside of the bag as well as the conditions that the bag will be put under during processes, shipping or use.

We typically use a ‘MIL’ when measuring the thickness of a bag. A MIL is equal to one thousandth of an inch. Here are some guidelines for choosing the thickness of your bag:

1 MIL (.001 inches) - Used for dust protection, small lightweight parts, stationery, and items with an irregular shape.

1.5 MIL (.0015 inches) - Used for moisture protection, clothing, nuts, candy, bread, bagels, and muffins.

2 MIL (.002 inches) - Used for protecting parts, supplies, and items in shipment.

3 MIL (.003 inches) - Used for items requiring added strength, tools, hardware, metal fasteners, and furniture.

4 MIL (.004 inches) - Used for storage covers, gears, bolts, auto parts, and heavy items with sharp corners.


Summing It Up

Deciding which plastic bag is right for your needs is important for the protection, packaging and shipping of your product. We hope this article helped you decide what bag is right for your needs.

If you need help with any of those decisions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

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Topics: Poly Bags