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High Density Plastic vs Low Density Plastic

High Density Polyethylene


HDPE is the 2nd most commonly recycled plastic. It is used to make a large number of items from plastic milk jugs, park benches, hard hats and many other things. It is a very strong material; with a thickness of 16 microns, bags can be strong enough to hold up to 40 pounds or more depending on the handle and product. For comparison purposes (an average human hair is 100 microns).  Custom printing Hi-Density plastic bags is a low cost way to get your store’s name out in front of customers and give your place the exposure it deserves. Hi-density plastic can be thin and still maintain its strength. This is a great way to save money, because you can use less material and not have to worry about the bag tearing out at the seams. Hi-density bags “crinkle” and are “see-through”.  HDPE bags can be made very thin or thick depending on your preferences and local regulations. We also work with you to meet your requirements for ‘reusable’ bags as well as custom options like adding your logo,custom sizes and custom handles.

Low Density Polyethylene


LDPE is the 4th most commonly recycled plastic. It is used to make packaging foam, shipping envelopes, trash cans and liners, floor tiles and more.   The molecules are further apart than they are with HDPE so it makes a softer, less tear resistant bag. You will give up some strength but a LDPE bag is less likely to tear and works well for items with sharp corners. Low-Density (LDPE) and Super Gloss© plastic bags are the “next step up” in quality. They are also a little more expensive than Hi-Density bags. Low-Density plastic is a softer, more pliable plastic and most people consider it a higher quality bag. If you are in the beauty, home furniture or fashion industry you may want to consider a Low-Density or Super Gloss bag because these bags help sell your image.

Even though these are more expensive than Hi-density Low-Density bags are still a great value.

Some manufactures do offer bags that are a blend of HDPE and LDPE. This gives you the softer feel of a low-density bag and the strength of a hi-density bag.

American Retail Supply will help you to find the perfect bag for your business. Just call or e-mail and talk to one of our experts. Samples are always free, we even pay the freight!