As a follow-up to our blog post on selecting the proper can liner, we shot the below video. Our Janitorial Product Specialist, Tom Sughrue, walks you through the basics of can liners and how to measure to find the proper size for your receptacle.

If you are having trouble watching the video, you can watch it on YouTube or read the transcript below.


“Hey, this is Chris Theisen with FlexPAC, and we just want to bring you today some insights on can liners. What companies do right, what companies do wrong, some questions to either ask your staff or ask your current vendor, when it comes to purchasing can liners. So, today I have with me Tom Sughrue, and Tom is our Janitorial Specialist with over 30 years in the industry.

Tom, what have you seen in your travels as the number one error that companies make when purchasing can liners? Probably the most common problem you see with trash liners is that customer’s buying a bag that doesn’t fit the can correctly. it’s not uncommon to go into a facility and see a bag, a container with a bag hanging over this much.

can liner

You’re basically wasting your money when you buy a bag with that much waste. Also, I know one of the things that I see quite often is the weight of the contents of the bag. That’s a very good point. People buy a bag that’s way too heavy for their needs. For example, if you use a .35 mil bag, which is the lightest bag on the market, that will hold 15 pounds of dry trash. So, think about how many times in an office atmosphere that you have more than 15 pounds of trash in your container.

Yeah, not very often and just as an example this is trash out of my container. In a typical office environment, there’s paper, there are cups in there, some light plastics but it’s rather light and you know, just to make sure that you have the proper bag. Like Tom said, nothing too thick, nothing too heavy.

A lot of people purchase bags, Tom, just because they have for a long time, and the number’s in the box, correct?

That’s correct. They’ve always done it this way, so they’re going to continue doing it that way.

Sure, as you can see now we have the proper bags to fit the can liner and Tom can quickly run through how to measure, so you have the proper size bag.

So, if you want to measure a can liner correctly, you take the container and you measure the width by taking diagonal across. In this case, it’s 15 inches. That is the width of the bag. If you want the length of the bag, you take the height of the container, which in this case is also 15 inches, plus half the size of the bottom, in this case, 7, plus three inches for overhang, so that’s a total of 25 inches.

So, 15 x 25 would be the bag you put in here.

So, there you go. So, for people that have, you know, just keep on purchasing bags because it’s what’s in stock, you now know how to measure to get proper can liner for that bag. Also, another thing is just the variance in density versus high and low on bags.

There are two types of resins that go into trash liners, linear low density, and high density, and you ask the question, what kind of trash is going into the bag. If the trash has any kind of sharp objects in it at all, then you want to use a linear low-density bag. If you are trying to put sharp objects in a bag that’s high-density, this is what happens.

You puncture it and then the bag would simply zipper and fall completely apart. If you had a sharp object in a linear low bag, it would still retain its integrity, no matter how many holes you put in it, so you’re not going to have a bag that’s going to spill trash all over the ground. So, you know, there’s just a couple, a couple good pieces of insight from Tom.”


If your company has never really had a needs analysis on your refuse- on your can liners, if you don’t know what linear density means- low density, high density, or you have never heard the word microns. Give FlexPAC a call. Tom will be happy to stop on out to your facility and do a needs analysis.

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