Can Liners - more than just a trash bag.

Can Liners - more than just a trash bag.

How often do you think about can liners? Do you sit back and think about the job they perform for you and how well they accomplish what you need them to? There’s a lot more to can liners than meets the eye and chances are you aren’t particularly familiar with your liners. While they might not seem like a high priority item, many companies waste money on can liners that aren’t good enough, or are even too good for the job they’re doing. Today we’re going to outline some factors you should consider to make sure you’re getting the most out of your liners.


Can liners are made using polyethylene resin. They have two common varieties that meet consumer’s needs differently. They are Linear Low Density and High Density;

  • Liner Low density (LLDPE)
    •  - Low density can liners are Generally made from Hexene resins, are the stronger of the two, and are noticeably more tear resistant. However, they tend to handle lower load capacities when compared to their high-density counterparts at similar gauges.
    • - Low density bags are ideal for industrial waste, contractor bags, medical isolation liners, objects with jagged corners or protrusions, or demanding transportation conditions.

  •  High Density (HDPE)
    • - High density bags can handle higher load capacities and have the ability to stretch more than low density, but once they have been punctured or torn they lose a lot of their integrity.
    • - This makes them ideal for holding things like refuse without jagged edges, paper products, food waste, and cloth.

Inside the linear low-density category, there is also the recycled material (REPRO) option. These tend to be made to a thicker gauge than other low-density bags, but are not as reliable as the source material varies for each batch.

Another category that we have available from our liner provider Colonial Bag is the exclusive HI/LO Blended resin bags. These function in the marketplace similarly to the REPRO bags, but are more durable and reliable.

Seal Style

The base of your can liner can come in one of three styles, each of which has different properties that can affect how they perform. They are Guesseted, Flat, and Star or X; 

  • Gusseted
    • - Gusseted bags have their bottom sealed through and tucked back in on top of itself. While this allows it to fit most cans nicely, the center of the bag is only sealed through two layers, making them fairly weak. Because of this, Gusseted bags are not recommended for any heavy or wet refuse.

  • Flat
    • - Flat bottom bags are sealed thoroughly across one bottom seam. While this makes them virtually leak proof, it gives them an awkward shape that makes them hard to handle, while also having the tendency to get stuck in the bottom of your can. This also results in not utilizing their full capacity.

  • X seal/Star seal
    • - X seal or Star seal style bags are designed to fold in and seal on itself without the gussets and with extra integrity in the seams to allow it distribute heavy loads evenly and effectively, while providing leak resistance. While generally not as leak-proof as flat style bags, the leak protection they provide is still above par, while allowing the liner to conform to the shape of the can, maximizing its capacity.


With so many sizes and shapes of trash cans on the market, knowing how to figure out what size bag you need contributes greatly to your cost savings. The two main can types are rounded or square/rectangular. You can figure out what kind of liner you need for your can by following these steps;


You will need to know the diameter and the height of your receptacle. Your diameter is the distance across the top of the receptacle.

  • Calculating height.
    • - Bag Height = half of diameter + 6 inches + height of receptacle

  • Calculating width.
    • - Bag width = Diameter of receptacle x 3.14 (pi) 2


You will need to know length of the adjacent sides of your receptacle.

  • Calculating height.
    • - Half of the smallest of the 4 sides + 6 inches + height of the can

  • Calculating width.
    • - The total of the length of the two adjacent sides.

Another handy calculation to know is the thickness of a bag and its relative counterpart between Millimetres and Microns.

  • - For any Mil thickness, multiply that number by 25.4 to find its relative Micron thickness. For a Micron to Mil conversion, divide by 25.4 instead.

You can also reference this sizing chart to get an idea of what your needs might be.

With all of this information at hand, you can move forward knowing that you are equipped to make the price conscious choice for your company, and the effective choice for your can liner needs. If you would like to look at our range of available can liners, head on over to, and if you have any questions reach out to