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Types of Plastic Food Bags

Choosing the Best Food Storage Bags

Choosing the right plastic bag can be daunting given the number of choices. However, armed with some basic information, you'll be able to choose the right food storage bag for your needs!

Eco-Friendly Plastic Bag Options and Alternatives

Green plastic t-shirt bag with various pastries in plastic containers surrounding it

Eco-Friendly Plastic Bags

Available in a variety of styles and materials based on your needs, an eco-friendly plastic bag is a great choice for any business looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Not only are these bags reusable, but many are also recyclable and even biodegradable. Whether you need deli bags, t-shirt bags, or even handle bags for produce, there is an eco-friendly option to meet your needs. Many of these bags also feature a recycling symbol to make the environmentally-friendly use clear to customers.

Narrow brown Duro paper bag with loaf of bread being placed inside on red and white checkered table

Eco-Friendly Paper Bags

For an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bags, paper bags are a great choice! Although they are often not as supportive as a plastic bag, paper bags are biodegradable and decompose much faster than plastic bags. Due to their material, they are also often recyclable. Paper bags are available in various colors, with or without handles, and come in different sizes for all of your food-wrapping needs.

Black reusable canvas bag with white sun graphic with container of tomatoes being placed inside

Reusable Bags

Reusable shopping bags are great for a variety of businesses, and are designed for customers to use again and again. These durable bags can hold more than a standard paper or plastic bag, allowing customers to carry fewer bags for the same amount of groceries. They're often available in insulated and uninsulated varieties to ensure food is transported in the best manner possible. These bags also save you money on the cost of stocking paper and plastic bags, providing an eco-friendly and cost-savings benefit.

Types of Plastic Bag Materials

We offer plastic bags in several different materials. Because each type of plastic has specific characteristics, understanding the differences can help you narrow your choices.
Chef placing tomatoes in white HDPE plastic bag

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Bags

HDPE features a variety of qualities that make it one of the most common plastics used in the world and many of these qualities translate to making it an excellent material for plastic bags. HDPE is light-weight, resistant to temperature, water, and vapor, has high tensile strength, is relatively transparent, and meets FDA/USDA food handling guidelines. These qualities combine to make versatile bags that are excellent for both serving and storing food in retail and take out situations. HDPE plastic food storage bags will allow your grocery store, convenience store, deli, or restaurant to work with greater efficiency, no matter how you choose to utilize them.


Sandwich packed in a clear LDPE plastic bag on a wooden counter

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) Bags

This type of plastic is commonly used for food bags and utility bags. Because low density polyethylene is breathable, products stored without refrigeration or freezing will not last as long, compared to a polypropylene bag. Though not as strong as HDPE bags, LDPE plastic storage bags are capable of storing bulk food items like fresh vegetables and fruits. Additionally, the clear plastic makes it easy to identify contents, so you can keep up in the fast-paced setting of a commercial kitchen. Highly versatile, the low melting point of LDPE makes these bags popular for use with heat sealing. Like HDPE, LDPE meets FDA/USDA food handling guidelines.


Hand holding hotdog buns wrapped in a clear LLDPE plastic bag

LLDPE (Linear Low Density Polyethylene) Bags

The biggest difference between LLDPE and LDPE plastic bags is that LLDPE food bags have a thinner gauge, but with the same strength. For example, a 0.85 mil thick LLDPE bag has the same strength as a 1.5 mil LDPE bag, allowing the user to "down-gauge" and save money! Similar to LDPE bags, LLDPE bags can be used for storing food in both refrigerators and freezers and the meet FDA/USDA food handling guidelines. These bags also allow for easy identification, and, as a highly versatile product, they are perfect for use in commercial kitchens.


Hands placing many Double Bubble candies in a clear polypropylene bag

PP (Polypropylene) Bags

Polypropylene bags combine excellent chemical resistance and strength. Unlike LDPE or LLDPE bags, polypropylene bags are not breathable, resulting in longer product shelf life for retail situations. Items like herbs, nuts, candies, and other confectioneries are perfect for storing in PP bags. Additionally, polypropylene bags are clearer than LDPE or LLDPE bags for enhanced product visibility. PP bags also have a high melting point, meaning they are great for heat sealing, and, similar to the other plastic food bag options, they are FDA/USDA approved.

Bag Gauges and Thickness

Gauge is the term used to describe the thickness of a plastic sheet, or in this case, bag. It's usually measured in mil's or microns. Generally, a higher gauge food bag should be used if the contents are particularly sharp or heavy. The higher the gauge mil or micron, the thicker the bag is.

1 mil = 0.001"
25.4 microns = 1 mil

Plastic Food Bag Gusset Styles

Loaf of bread being placed in plastic food bag on wood butcher block

Side Gusset

  • Allows the bag to expand into a box-like formation when fully packed
  • Provides more efficient storage than other styles of bags

Oranges piled in a plastic bag with lemons and sliced oranges behind it

Bottom Gusset

  • Allows a bag to stand up while being filled
  • Come in round bottom, k-seal bottom, and plow bottom styles

Mints being placed in a small plastic bag

Flat Bag

  • Ideal for small, lightweight items
  • Doesn't expand as much as side or bottom gusset bags

Seal and Closure Styles

There are several common seal styles available for commercial food storage bags.
Bagel being placed into a plastic flip top deli bag

Flip Top or Tuck Top

  • Common in deli saddle bags and sandwich bags
  • To close, the extra "flip" can be tucked and rolled into the "lip"

Mushrooms stored in a seal top plastic bag

Seal Top

  • Securely close to seal in freshness
  • Ideal for food storage

Two rolls in a plastic deli bag with slide seal being closed

Slide Seal

  • Small plastic "zipper" closes the seal for easier opening and closing
  • Ideal for food storage

Common Bag Styles

This section discusses the main types of plastic bags we carry along with some purchasing considerations.
Loaf of bread being placed in plastic bread bag

Plastic Bread Bags

  • Specifically sized for common bread types
  • Designed to preserve the quality of the bread

Saddle bag on stand with bagel placed inside

Deli Bags

  • Can be used with a saddle bag stand for easy dispensing
  • Ideal for sliced deli meats, cheeses, and sometimes bread or pastries

Produce bags on a produce bag stand with twist ties

Produce Bags

  • Ideal for grocery stores and markets selling fresh produce by the pound
  • Bag on a roll option is ideal for self-serve produce applications

Thank you t-shirt bag with groceries inside it

T-Shirt Bags

  • Ideal for a variety of retail and take-out applications
  • Many come printed with "Thank You" to show your customer appreciation

Peppers in resealable plastic food bag

Resealable Food Bags

  • Often used for food storage or portioning where the bag will be opened repeatedly
  • Some feature write-on blocks to quickly label and identify items

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