We often get questions about what the difference is between the types of sealing methods used for bin liners and garbage bags. Well, here is the run down.
A Star Seal bin liner is aptly named. It looks like a star. This seal provides exceptional strength because it is folded several times over the underside of the bin liner before being sealed. This seal is:
Flat Seal trash bags are self explanatory. Just as the name infers, a flat seal is simply a two-dimensional bag with a bottom seal. Unlike the star sealed bag which folds it’s plastic multiple times, the flat seal allows for a larger amount of volume inside for waste. Flat seal bags are generally leak-proof, but because they are 2 dimensional, they do not conform very well to the shape of most rubbish bins.
With so many bin liners and garbage bags available from so many places - what is the best way to figure out the most appropriate bag for your needs?
Well there are really only 2 steps.
That's really all their is to it! However, you should be mindful of a few important things...
THICK, HEAVY GAUGE BAGS OF POOR QUALITY
"Thick, heavy gauge bags of poor quality" are quite insidiously designed. This is because in the past - large buyers had tendered out these types of products on an "as specification" basis. These “Thick, Heavy Gauge, Poor Quality” bags would always pass all weight / gauge testing procedures without any problem.
However, in actual use – there were virtually useless. They were made from the cheapest raw material and the resin was diluted with various additives designed solely to add weight to the end product. The resulting final product would perform horribly on tensile strength and elongation tests. This meant that the final product would be thick, heavy and be ripped and torn with ease.
Whilst they could pass all weight / gauge testing - they ultimately failed spectacularly in real life applications.
We were quite frustrated with these products and made a video to demonstrate the problems with them - which can be seen below.
This video was created to show how easily the heavier bag ripped under pressure – particularly when compared to the Maxpak GH16 product.
FILM THICKNESS IS NOT A SATISFACTORY STANDARD FOR JUDGING OVERALL STRENGTH
Essentially, film thickness is no longer a satisfactory standard for judging overall strength. The development of resin grades in the industry have allowed manufacturers to produce end products which use less raw materials yet outperform previous generations of product. For example, one of our best selling products the GH16 is one of our thinnest products. It can be seen under 20kg test load below.
Previously, it would not be possible to get such a thin bag to carry such an excessively heavy load.
The GH16 was a ground breaking product for our company and continues to be commercially successful for our company. Never before had such a cost effective bag been able to perform so well. Whilst it took some time for this market to be developed, it is now a mainstay for our Company.
Each manufacturer has its own blend proprietary formulations, so the proportions of these materials will vary from one producer to another. The best way to determine the correct liner is to actually test some suggested samples.
In the previous post - there was an amusing image of the problem with poor quality bin liners. MaxValu garbage bags, bin liners and kitchen tidy bags have been used in Australia for decades - and in that time, they have been used at Australia's premier sporting events, shopping centers, public carnivals and offices buildings. Maxpak's garbage bags and bin liners have earned an awesome reputation of consistency and reliability.
Part of the reason why Maxvalu products have earned this reputation is due our unprecedented and proprietary raw material resins, combined with quality construction and workmanship. The result? Well, see for yourself what happens when our GH16 72 litre bin liner is put through a 20kg torture test.
There was an interesting article in the Herald Sun this past week which highlights some of the falsehoods that had been bandied around by various politicians in trying to justify the need for a Plastic Bag Ban - as well as highlighting the increase in sales of bin liners, garbage bags and kitchen tidy liners as a result of the South Australian Ban on Plastic Bags.
But remember the horror stories we were told to justify a ban or surcharge? Take Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett's scares. We had "Four billion plastic bags floating around Australia's environment", he said. False. Of all those bags we used each year, just 0.8 per cent became litter. On Garrett burbled. A beached whale in France "had 800 kilos worth of plastic bags and rubbish inside it". False. It had swallowed just two bags, and the rubbish in its gut weighed just 800 grams. The Rann Government was as reckless. Its Zero Waste website claimed a Newfoundland study found plastic bags killed more than 100,000 marine mammals every year. What a popular scare that was. Planet Ark used it, and a Senate environmental committee inquiry in 2002 believed it. But as a Productivity Commission report in 2006 confirmed, this claim was false, too. The Newfoundland study in fact said up to 100,000 animals a year might be killed or injured by discarded fishing nets and lines. It didn't mention plastic bags at all. Indeed, the commission said claims that plastic bags injured lots of animals weren't backed up with any evidence, and the "actual numbers of animals killed or injured ... is obviously nearly impossible to determine". Moreover, "the case for proceeding with the phase out of plastic bags appears particularly weak", and "the benefits ... would be significantly outweighed by the costs". Why not simply clean up the litter? In fact, the commission warned, a ban might not even work. Lots of shoppers who used free shopping bags for bin liners and to carry stuff "are likely to purchase more plastic garbage bags at additional financial cost".
Plastic Bag Ban? What a load of Rubbish!
Now this is hardly shocking news - if the SA Government paid attention to overseas examples (E.g. Ireland), then they would have easily been able to foresee this result - that plastic bag bans result in increased bin liner usage.
It will be interesting to see if there is a change in policy, should there be a change in Government at the next South Australian state election - as the Coalition opposition had described the policy as "tokenistic".
According to the Adelaide Now newspaper: "BIN liner sales in SA have doubled since free plastic shopping bags were banned more than two years ago. And most bin bags are made of thicker plastic than traditional bags, which means they take longer to break down in the environment. Woolworths says SA sales of plastic kitchen-tidy bags of a similar size, capacity and shape to single-use plastic shopping bags, are now double the national average.At Coles, sales of kitchen tidy bags increased 40 per cent in the year following the ban in May 2009. Bin bag manufacturer Glad reported a 52.5 per cent jump in kitchen-tidy bag sales in the first year of the ban, compared with a 5.5 per cent increase nationally… In 2009, South Australia led the nation with a ban on lightweight, checkout-style plastic bags."
Packaging, Environment and Legislation Observations from Maxpak
Environmental Packaging, Plastic Bags, Paper Bags, Shopping Bags, Cleaning Wipes & Products, Garbage Bags & Liners, Packaging & Cleaning Products