Garbage Can Liner Guide

Choosing a can liner for industrial and commercial use isn’t as simple as just finding a bag that fits. This guide will help you become familiar with can liner terms along with common applications and specs.

First off, what is a can liner? A can liner is just another term for a trash bag or garbage bag. A can liner allows for easy disposal of the trash while keeping the inside of a trash receptacle clean. These can liners come in a variety of colors, thicknesses, strengths, and sizes.

Size of the Can Liner

Trash bags are measured by their width and length when laid flat. When trying to choose the right size trash can liner, consider the following:

• Bag length = The height of your receptacle plus 3 inches added for overhang

• Bag width = Half the circumference of the receptacle

Material of the Can Liner - High Density vs Low Density

Trash can line manufacturing typically results in two types of polyethylene resin: high density and low density. Here is a breakdown of differences.

High Density Can Liners

• Low stretch and puncture resistance – Should not be used for disposal of sharp objects, can be easily torn if punctured

• Color – Typically clear

• Best uses – Office trash, food waste, paper/cloth goods, and restrooms

Low Density Can Liners

• High stretch and puncture resistance – Resistant to punctures and tears

• Colors – Black, clear, and other colors available

• Best uses – Bars, kitchens, outdoor/landscaping, and trash with jagged edges

Strength of the Can Liner

High density trash bags use microns to measure thickness, while low density trash bags use mils. The conversion formula is 1 mil = 25.4 microns. It’s extremely important to determine the right thickness for the application because if you use bags that are too thick, you are literally throwing money in the trash. On the other hand, using can liners that are too thin could lead to costly spills and cleanups.

• High density liners range from 6 to 17 microns. The heavier the trash, the heavier the micron you should be using.

• Low density liners range from .7 to 6 mils. For references, standard kitchen bags are usually .9 mil while heavy duty contactor bags are 3 mil and higher. offers a wide selection of trash liners and bags for every application. Can’t find what you’re looking for online? Contact our specialists for help finding the waste management products you need.

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