If you are worried that the bottom of the trash bag you have selected will burst open or the handles will tear off, you have come to the right place. The most important thing to avoid this from happening is by knowing beforehand what the trash bag is going to be used for. The one you will buy will depend on what’s going inside. With this in mind, here are the main factors you need to consider when purchasing a trash bag.


The thickness of a trash can is measured in mil, which is one-thousandth of an inch (.001). For example, for the kitchen, you would like to get a .90 mil bag as it will hold cereal boxes, milk cartons, leftovers, old fruit, and other kitchen garbage.

13 Gallon Drawstring Kitchen Bags

0.9 Mil, 24″W x 27″H, White, 200 / Case


In the scenario where you require a bag that needs to stretch to carry a heavy load rather than survive punctures or tears, then select a high-density bag. These bags are clear, thin bags you often find in office restrooms. Use them to collect paper or other light items.

32-33 Gallon High Density Bags

11 Microns, 33″W x 40″H, Clear


Red Medical Waste Disposal Bags

Red medical waste bags are specially made to contain medical or biohazardous waste. But what exactly should go in them and what should go in the trash? Use these bags to dispose of solid or liquid items contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM). OPIM can be classified as:

  • Human bodily fluids, including semen, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva that contains blood (i.e., from a dental procedure), any bodily fluid that is visibly contaminated with blood, and all bodily fluids where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between bodily flu.
  • Any unfixed human tissue or organ from a human.

Still confused? Follow these simplified guidelines for using red bags.


  • Dispose of biohazardous waste in red bags. Only biohazardous waste should be placed inside red bags for disposal.
  • Dispose of items such as plastic vaginal speculums, used specimen swabs, used glucose test strips, urine dipsticks, blood-soaked drapes and gloves, and anything contaminated with OPIM in a red bag.
  • Check the integrity of the red bag before lining it in the medical waste bin.
  • Contain sharps in a closed and locked sharps container before placing them in a red bag.
  • Segregate and label human pathological waste before putting in the bag.
  • Make sure to seal the red bag after removing it from the waste disposal bin.
  • Wear personal protective equipment (gloves, apron, face mask and eye protection) when handling, changing or transporting red bags.

Medical Bag

33″W x 39″H


Why so-called ‘recycling’ plastic bags exist

Here are two situations when ‘recycling’ bags make sense, there are sure to be more.

Multi-floor commercial buildings commonly collect trash and recycling together in one cart for efficiency.  Down at the dumpsters, the blue bags are chucked into the recycling container, the other bags go in the trash.


Because soft plastics are difficult to sort out of the household recycling stream, many local retailers provide access to a free, drop-off recycling programs.  Target, Best Buy, Walmart, Walgreens, all participate; look for the Plastic Bag Recycling bins located near the front doors. Generally these recycling programs accept: clean bags and wrap made from #2 or #4 plastic film. They do not accept: stretchy food wrap, frozen food bags, cellophane, or pre-washed salad bags because of incompatible chemical make-ups.

95-96 Gallon Recycling Bags

1.5 Mil, 61″W x 68″H, Blue, 25 / Case


If you are remodeling you will need a bag that can stand up to punctures and tears from plaster, broken glass, hangers, and many others. Use a bag that is 2.0 mil or thicker. Contractor bags are one of the most common trash bags around. Contractors, disaster relief workers, moving companies, and even homeowners use them. All of the major trash bag brands make them, from supermarket brands to commercial brands. They truly are a magnificent bag for heavy loads of sharp trash, books, and construction debris. The standard contractor bag is a 42 gallon bag boasting to be 3 Mil thick and capable of handling the toughest trash.

32-33 Gallon Contractor Bags

3.0 Mil, 33″W x 39″H, Black, 50 / Case

What’s the Right Trash Bag Size?

If you’re using more bag than you need, you’re wasting money. How do you know? Take a walk around your facility and look at how the bags fit each bin or can. If a trash bag hangs over the edge of the can or receptacle by more than 4 inches, you’re using too much bag for the job.

General Guidelines For Trash Bag Sizes

Bag Width: Use ½ the outer circumference of the container
Bag Length: Use the height of the container plus ½ the diameter of the container bottom and add 3” for overhang.

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