Frequently Used Poly Bag Terms

The Types of Poly we Offer

HDPE:  High Density Polyethlene. Bags with HDPE film are commonly seen in retail and grocery stores because they’re light weight and economical.  This poly is somewhat cloudy, so it is often ordered in a colored film. This plastic film known for it’s resistance to oil and grease.

LDPE: Low Density Polyethylene.  Similar to HDPE, but more translucent and flexible  It’s often used for higher quality custom printed bags

Coex: A two layer film usually HDPE/LDPE

Polypropylene (PP) Low density, strong, lightweight, and crystal clear. PP has a high melting point, is highly colorfast, and is popular in food packaging.


Special Films and Additives

HC: High Clarity Film has a freedom from Haze and is commonly used for Clear bread bags.

FDA Compliant: This poly complies with the Code of Federal Regulations and is approved for food packaging.  Also called Liner Grade

Anti-Static  : This poly does not create static electricity. The bags produced will not create a “spark” when handled. However, they do not protect the item inside from external static electricity.  They are recommended for use in static sensitive environments.

Anti Block: Poly additive which prevents plastic layers from sticking together.


Poly Bag Styles


Thick/Thin Bag: For strength and support, these bags are thicker in the handle area than in the body of the bag.

T-Shirt Bag:  A conventional plastic grocery bag is a T-Shirt Bag.

Side Gusset: Bags made with a Side Gusset, have a fold or pleat on both sides of the bag, which expand when the package is filled.Bottom Gusset: The Bottom Gusset runs along the bottom of the bag, making a bellow-like fold or pleat.  The Bottom Gusseted Bag helps the bag sit flat on a surface when filled.

Flat Bag: This bag is the most basic poly bag. They have no gussets or pleats, and will lie flat. They can be packed loose or rolled.

Bags on a Roll: Bags can either be rolled onto a cardboard tube, or “coreless”. They can be either gusseted or flat. Examples of a rolled bag are trash  bags and produce bags.

wicketedbagsWicketed Bags: Wicketed Bags are stacked and held together on a metal wicket, which is a dispenser. There’s a lip where holes are punctured which allow the wicket to hold the bags. They can be quickly filled with merchandise, and will reduce handling time when filling.

Staple Pack:  Poly Bags which are staple packed to  a cardboard header.  The bags tear off at a perforation.



Lip: Part of the square tube or pouch which extends past one side of the bag.

PMS #: The PMS # refers to the ink color number. PMS color charts are helpful, but not reliable on a monitor. Drawdowns are recommended if an exact ink color needs to be matched.

Gauge or Mil: The term mil refers to the thickness of the poly. In poly bag manufacturing, the measurement refers to the thickness of the film for one side of the bag, and is one of the leading factors in determining bag strength.   Film which is 1.0 mil is .001 inches thick.

Mil-Micron Conversion TableTypes of Handles:

Die Cut

Fold Over Die Cut


Rigid Loop

Patch Handle

Soft Loop

Draw Tape

Draw String

How to Measure a Poly Bag




How to Measure a Flat Bag: The formula is written as “W x L.” It is important to note that the width MUST be written first so the manufacturer will know where the opening needs to be.






How to Measure a Bottom Gusset Bag: A Bottom Gusset Bag is measured the same as a Flat Bag, but the depth of the bottom panel written at the end. For example, a bag with the width of 9”, length of 12”, and bottom gusset of 4”, would be written as “9 x 12 x 4.”






How to Measure a Side Gusset Bag: The Side Gusset Bag is measured the same as a flat bag, but with the depth of the side panels in the middle of the formula.. The formula for a side gusset bag is “width x side gusset depth x length.” For example, a bag with a width of 20”, side gusset width at 10”, and length of 30” would be written as, “20 + 10 x 30.”


Plates: A curved or cylindrical shape carrying the printing impression, used on a printing press.

Artwork Proof: Check of the printed materials before the plates are finalized. It includes bag measurements, the wording, sizing and positioning of artwork, and the print color.