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FAQ - Bags

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What are the options available when making a custom bag?

Answer: There are a large number of alterations that can be made to a bag to ensure that it precisely matches your application.

These changes can be done individually, or in combination, depending on your needs. The list below contains many, but not all, of the custom options we have to offer you.  And if you don't see the particular option you are looking for, please call our custom product experts at 800-535-9550.

Vent Hole - A small hole is added to the bag to allow air and moisture to pass through the bag

Hang Hole - A hole is added to the bag, usually near the top, allowing it to hang on a hook or have a tie inserted

Grommet - A hang hole reinforced with a metal ring to help keep the bag from tearing

Flap Lock - A lip folded back and sealed on the sides, allowing it to be flipped over to lock in the contents of the bag

Lip - Making one side of the bag longer at the opening, allowing the bag to be closed by folding over the longer side...can be used with a glue strip

Glue Strip - A line of adhesive added to the bag to make it self-sealing...can be permanent or resealable

Imprinting - Adding words and/or graphics in one or more colors to the bag

White Block - A white area imprinted on the bag allowing it to be written on

Pocket - Adding another sheet of plastic to the bag, usually sealed on three sides, to provide additional, separate storage

Perforation - A line of small holes placed on a bag to make it easier to tear off or open...can also be used to make a tamper-evident bag

Header - A separate, sealed area at the top of the bag, often used to allow a sealed bag to have a hang hole

Zipper - A strong, recloseable seal that can be added to many different types of bags

Please don't hesitate to call our Customer Service Department at 800-535-9550 for further information.


What are the Custom Printed Bag Artwork Requirements?

Customer artwork requirements:

Camera-Ready Artwork Requirements: Camera-ready artwork refers to a computer generated (digital) file originally created within one of the software programs listed below. Scans and images taken from the Web are not usable for high-quality printing. Your camera-ready artwork should be the exact size you wish to have printed.

Adobe® Illustrator® 10.0 (.ai, .eps, .pdf)
Please convert all text to outlines (Select all text on page, go to menu bar, then select Text - Create Outlines).

QuarkXPress™ 4.1  (.qxd, .pdf)
All supporting graphic files, plus all printer and screen fonts, need to be included (make sure all graphic files are linked in document, go to menu bar, select File - Collect for Output). Please include a PDF of document.

Adobe® Acrobat®  (.pdf)
Only PDFs created from QuarkXPress using Acrobat Distiller, or PDFs created from Illustrator and InDesign can be used. Please make sure that all text/fonts have been embedded.

Adobe® InDesign®  (.ind, .pdf)
Please convert all text to outlines (select all text on page, go to menu bar, then select Text - Create Outlines). All supporting graphic files need to be included (make sure all graphic files are linked in document, go to menu bar, select File - Package).

Plus Packaging Inc's Art Department operates on PC computers, but we can work with Macintosh files as well. To ensure quality printing, files created on a PC need to have not only all of the graphic files, but also the printer and screen fonts included.

Additional artwork charges will apply for the following file types: .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .EXE, .PUB, .WPD, .DOC, or Paint programs.

E-mail your digital file to . Please include the name of the customer service or sales representative you are working with in the subject line.

Mail your CD or DVD to:

Plus Packaging Inc.
10 Mt. Pleasant Rd.
Morristown, NJ 07960

Please don't hesitate to call our Customer Service Department at 800-535-9550 for further information.


What are the differences between HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, metallocene, and polypropylene?

The differences between HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, metallocene, and polypropylene are:

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) is non-porous, non-stretching and just as strong as low density bags that are twice as thick. Because HDPE is thinner, it typically costs 25-50% less than comparable Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) products! It is suitable for general packaging applications and trash collection that doesn't include sharp objects. It also creates a moisture and vapor barrier.  

Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) is porous, somewhat stretchable, and has good clarity. It is suitable for everyday packaging needs and all-purpose trash collection.  

Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) is non-porous and very stretchable. It is stronger than LDPE so a thinner gauge bag or liner provides comparable performance to LDPE. It is also 15-50% less expensive than LDPE! It resists punctures and tears, and is suitable for everyday packaging needs and all-purpose trash collection.

Metallocene is thinner, stronger, and 15% less expensive than comparable LDPE! It is a new-generation polyethylene resin that offers outstanding toughness and tear resistance in a film that's approximately 25% thinner than low density polyethylene. If you could or were to make an automobile analogy, metallocene is the luxury car. A 3 mil metallocene bag equals the strength of 4 mil low density polyethylene bag.  

Polypropylene is an all together different resin than polyethylene. It is non-porous, super-clear, non-stretching and generally stronger and more rigid than polyethylene. It is commonly used for packaging foods and displaying merchandise at retail.

Please don't hesitate to call our Customer Service Department at 800-535-9550 for further information


Ethylene Market Update – June, 2007

Ethylene - the Main Ingredient in Poly Bags

The price fluctuation in the global poly market over the last several years has been anything but predictable. Dramatic increases in polyethylene, polypropylene, and PVC have caused great uncertainty for both poly bag manufacturers and consumers alike.

These price upheavals hinge on the use of several raw materials key to poly bag production, most notably crude oil and natural gas. These commodities not only fuel our cars and heat our homes, but also are two of the primary building blocks used to produce ethylene – the main ingredient in poly bags.

Crude Oil Prices

In January 2004, crude oil was selling at approximately $34/barrel. The price has since more than doubled however, reaching a record high of $78/barrel in July 2006. Today's crude oil of $64/barrel has leveled somewhat, but consumers are still paying more at the pump, and manufacturers continue to pay a premium as compared to past years.

Asian market pressures, sudden changes in U.S. supply and demand, and unpredictable political and global weather conditions have all contributed to increased price. More importantly, these economic factors have combined simultaneously to forever change the market.

Uncertain Future

Booming economies like China continue to compete with and outpace other countries in their demand and usage of raw materials. In addition, new ethylene production plants are being constructed in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, which will put even more stress on domestic producers.

Ethylene production has certainly returned to pre-hurricane levels, but the outlook is still uncertain.  Experts predict the worldwide demand for ethylene will continue to rise.  World politics, production outages, severe weather, or heavy summer demand could cause instability. We will continue to monitor this very closely, and provide updates as changes occur .


Glossary of commonly used packaging terms

Contains an anti-static additive that dissipates static electrical charges. Good for short-term storage.

Bags on a Roll
Continuous roll of seamless tubing perforated under bottom seal. Bags must be torn off to open.

Barrier Film
Specially formulated film typically used to extend the shelf life of food products. Prevents transmission of moisture and gases.

Bottom Seal Bags
Individually cut bags from seamless tubing, sealed on the bottom. Flat or side gusseted bags with a strong seal – usually have a tail.

Transparency of the film based upon surface gloss and haze.

Doorknob Bags
Side-weld bag, staple-packed with perforated lip and hole just below the top of the bag.

Electrically Conductive
Carbon-impregnated polyethylene bags providing exterior protection from static charges.

Ethylene Vinyl Acetate. Additive that strengthens and improves sealability. Appropriate for use in cold-temperature applications.

Faraday Cage
Provides both interior and exterior protection from static and other charges.

Flap Lock
Bag has lip folded back with side seals. Commonly known as a sandwich bag.

Flat Bags
Two-dimensional bag (width x length) with bottom or side seals.

The thickness of material. The higher the gauge, the thicker the material.

Gusseted Bags
Flat style bag with both sides or bottom tucked in to form gussets. Designated with three dimensions; Side Gusset (width x depth x length) or Bottom Gusset (width x length + gusset).

Header Bags
Side-weld bag with continuous seal along top, 2"-3" below fold. Bag is loaded and sealed from the bottom and typically has a hang hole.

High Density Polyethylene
Thinner, yet stronger than low density polyethylene. Moisture and vapor barrier, non-porous.

Linear Low Density Polyethylene
Stronger than low density. Resistant to punctures and tears, non-porous, and stretchable.

One side of the bag is longer than the other; allows bag to open easily.

Low Density Polyethylene
Porous and somewhat stretchable. Good clarity.

Thinner and stronger than low density polyethylene. Puncture resistant.

Thickness of material. The higher the mil, the stronger the material. (1/1000 inch = 1 mil)

Highly puncture- and tear-resistant. Not affected by extreme temperatures. Does not possess barrier properties. Good clarity.

Stronger and more rigid than polyethylene. Preserves freshness with vapor and moisture barriers. Non-porous and excellent clarity. Ability to withstand high temperatures.

Reclosable Bags
Seal-top reclosable and reusable bags can be made with or without a tamper-evident adhesive seal. Also includes zipper and slider zipper bags.

Side Weld
Bags are sealed on the side. No bottom seal.

Additive that helps decrease slippage of packaged goods when stacking and prevents bags from sticking to each other.

Star Seal
Strongest bottom seal for liners that combines four sections in a star design. Seal maximizes carrying capacity.

Static Shielding
Four layer construction providing Faraday Cage protection. Offers greater protection than anti-static.

Tensile Strength
The force required to break through film and bags, or snap rope, cable ties, and wire by pulling on opposite ends. Determined by material thickness and width.

Ultra Violet Inhibitor. UV additive extends life of the product in sunlight conditions.

Wicketed Bags
Tear-off bags held in place by a metal wicket on the lip of the bag.

Please don't hesitate to call our Customer Service Department at 800-535-9550 for further information.


How do I measure a stand up barrier zipper pouch?



How to measuer a flat polybag


Flat Poly Bags

Width (W) x Length (L)

Bag widths under
18" do not include
bottom tail in length measurement. Sizes
18" & over include bottom tail.



How to measure a side gusseted polybag


Side Gusseted Bags

Width (W) x Depth (D) x Length (L)

Depth = Gusset (G) x 2

A gusset is a triangle shaped fold on either side of a bag. The gusset is considered the depth of a bag.

Bag widths under 18" do not include
bottom tail in length measurement.
Sizes 18" & over include bottom tail. 


How to measure layflat tubing


Layflat Tubing

Layflat Width = 1.57 x Diameter of Object (round up to next size)



How to choose the best bag for your specific needs.

1 mil - Used for dust protection; small parts, stationery, and   box liners.

1.5 mil - Used for moisture protection; manuals, clothing, nuts, candy, other food items, and box liners.

2 mil - Used for protecting parts, supplies, lightweight, items, clothing, food, and box liners.

3 mil - Used for medium weight items; hardware, electrical, and plumbing supplies; mattress covers.

4 mil - Used for bulky items or items requiring added strength; bolts, screws, and industrial parts.

5 mil - Used for items that require heavy-duty protection; hardware, construction waste, sharp-edged objects.

6 mil - Used for items requiring extra heavy-duty protection; sharp-edged objects and industrial parts.

8 mil - Used for heavier; bulkier items requiring maximum strength bag; industrial parts, gears, and heavy metal objects.


Rush charges for small run printed plastic and paper bag orders.

Rush Charges for quantities less than 5,000 pcs


0 Working Day * $250.00
1 Working Day * $150.00
2 Working Days $125.00
3 Working Days $105.00
4 Working Days $90.00
5 Working Days $75.00
6 Working Days


*Call For Availability.

Orders requesting same-day and 1-day rush service are available for Ink and Silkscreen imprinting only.

All rush orders must be pre-paid or on approved credit terms.  Artwork is required by 9:30 a.m. EST and must be print-ready, requiring no art services.



Glossary of Environmental Terms

ASTM 6400
Test for plastic products to assess ability to degrade in a composting facility at the same rate as yard trimmings or food waste.

Ability to completely break down, safely and relatively quickly, by natural or biological means, such as microorganisms like fungi, algae, bacteria, into raw materials of nature and then disappear into the environment. These products are not recyclable.

Ability of materials to break down, by bacterial (biodegradable) or ultraviolet (photodegradable) action.

A mixture of garbage, degradable trash and soil in which bacteria in the soil break down the mixture into a soil conditioner (not a fertilizer). It has high organic content but low nitrogen.

Greenhouse Gasses
O2, Methane, N2O, Fluorinated Gas emitted through human activities.

Post-Consumer (PCR) vs. Post-Industrial (PIR) PCR: Recycled after product is used for its original purpose. PIR: Recycled from internal mfg. scrap, trim, etc.

Recycled vs. Recyclable
Recycled: Products made from items recovered from waste. Recyclable: Product that can be collected from waste for reuse.

Sustainable Packaging maximizes use of renewable or recycled source materials.


How to measure a zipper style bag


Zipper Bags

Width (W) x Length (L)>
Zipper bag measurement does not include the
zipper and lip.

For more information on zipper style bags click here.



Plastic bag recycling tips


DO find out if your curbside recycling program will accept plastic bags. If not, many of your local department and grocery stores are now collecting used plastic bags for recycling.

DON'T recycle the wrong type of plastic bags. Most programs only accept type 2 - HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) bags and type 4 - LDPE & LLDPE (Low & Linear Low Density Polyethylene) bags.

DO check with your recycler before adding other types of plastic film. While some programs do recycle used dry cleaning bags, newspaper bags, and pallet wrap, many are still only accepting type 2 and type 4 plastic bags.

DON'T recycle bags that are in any way contaminated. Bags that have been in direct contact with food or other organic matter are not accepted. Additionally, bags with added features such as zippers, drawstrings, rigid handles, etc. are not recyclable. And make sure that all bags to be recycled are completely empty, clean and dry…even small amounts of contaminants will ruin the recycling process.

Please don't hesitate to call our Customer Service Department at 800-535-9550 for further information.


How to measure can and drum liners



Can and Drum Liners

Length: Measure container height and add ½ the width, plus 4" for the overhang. Choose the exact size liner or the next larger size for best fit.

Circumference: Measure around the top of the container. A flexible tape measure works best.


How to measure covers and liners



Covers and Liners

Cover: Add approximately 4" to either width or depth for a loose fit. For length add one half of depth to actual length.

(W) 50" + 4" = 54"
(D) 44" = 44"
(L) 48" + 22" = 70"
Size to Order = 54" x 44" x 70"

Inner Liner: Add approximately 4" to either width or depth for a loose fit. For length, add all of depth to actual length plus a few inches for overlapping the ends of liner.

(W) 50" + 4" = 54"
(D) 44" = 44"
(L) 48" + 44" + 4" = 96"
Size to Order = 54" x 44" x 96"


How to choose the right liner material for your specific needs.

Low Density Polyethylene - Industry favorite for everyday packaging needs, low density material provides good clarity ideal for packaging small parts.

Linear Low Density Polyethylene - Lighter and lower cost than standard low density liners, gauge can be cut up to 30%.  Material provides improved stretch and puncture resistance for heavier items.

High Density Polyethylene - Extremely lightweight, star-sealed liners provide the strength of low density liners at savings in weight of 50% and cost of up to 65%.  High density material is also an excellent moisture barrier.

Metallocene - Higher stretch and strength allows for a guage reduction of 25% and a cost of up to 10% compared to low density liners.  The metallocene formulation greatly improves both clarity and puncture resistance.

Titanium - High-stretch, ultra-strong material allows for reducing gauge without sacrificing performance.  Opaque material combines maximum puncture resistance with a tough, star-sealed bottom of your heaviest loads.


Product glossary of bag terms.

Basis Weight
The weight in pounds of a ream (500 sheets) of paper to a given standard size for that grade; e.g., 500 sheets, 25” x 30”, of 70 pound white kraft shopping bag paper would weigh 70 pounds.

Bridge Handle Bag
A bag with brief case style handles that snaps closed. Made from hard rigid plastic, it is heat sealed to top of bag and can be described as “Snap Loop” or “Carrier Style”.

Clay Coat
Bleach kraft paper that is coated with a liquid application of kayolin clay in the manufacturing process to provide a gloss finish. Clay coated papers are used when high quality color and print detail are specified. Trade names are known as “Crystalcote”, “Higlo”, and “Radiant Coat”.

The process in which plain or pre-printed paper or poly film is mechanically- machined or hand made into a fully finished or partially finished bag.

Coupon Bag
A Fold Over Die Cut style with a 3” perforated coupon at the bag bottom.

Double Wall Bag
A bag that is made out of two layers of poly film. The outer layer is usually clear.

Draw Closure Bag
Closure for this bag is made from either a choice of poly tape or cotton string. These materials are inserted through a heat sealed fold-over hem at the top of the bag.

Emulsion Side
The side of the photographic film that is coated with a silver halide emulsion.

The main panel(s) of the bag. Front is considered where the primary design or message appears. Back is utilized for the same imprint or for a secondary imprint. Front and back are differentiated when there are side and bottom gussets. The back is identified where the fold of the bottom gusset occurs.

Flat Bag
Poly bag that has no side or bottom gussets. Can be made with or without a die cut handle.

Fold Over Die Cut Handle Bag
Poly bag in which the material at the top of the bag is folded over to the inside and heat sealed. Fold over reinforcement provides double reinforcement around entire top. Handle is an oval cut out within the fold over area.

The thickness of poly material. Can be measured in mils (English) or microns (metric).

The side and/or bottom measurements of a paper or poly bag.

High Density Plastic
A type of plastic typically having a stiffer feel or mil thickness.

A paper containing unbleached wood pulp, brown in color, made by the sulfite process.  Also referred to as “Natural Kraft”.

Brown kraft paper that is put through a bleaching process.

A plastic film bonded by heat and pressure to a printed sheet for protection or appearance.  Can be supplied as gloss or matte finish.

Litter Bags
A poly bag style usually seen with a round cut hole at the top for hanging in automobiles. Also offers the convenience of a side opening. Typical size is 9” x 12”, however other sizes of choice can be made. Also available with a perforated coupon at the bottom.

Low Density Plastic
A type of poly film typically feeling softer and having more gloss and elasticity to it.  Most popular as base material for fold over die cuts, soft loop handles, draw closures and litter bags.

Abbreviation for a quantity of 1000 units.

Matte Finish
Flat paper finish with out gloss or luster.

A highly sensitive measuring device used to provide the mil thickness of poly bags.

The metric measurement used to describe the thickness of poly.
One micron is one one-thousandth of a mil.

The English measurement used to describe the thickness of poly. One mil is one one-thousandth of an inch.

The property of paper or poly film that minimizes the show-through of printing from the back side of the printed area.

Patch Handle Bag
A straight cut top plastic bag with a heat sealed reinforcing patch attached to the inside of the bag around the area designated for the die cut. An oval shaped handle is cut through both the bag and patch for carrying.

Post Printed Bags
Any bag that is printed or hot stamped after the bag has be manufactured.  Allows for small quantities to be printed with faster lead times.

A measure of 500 sheets of paper.

Serrated Automatic Handle Bag
A bag that is machine converted with four sides (front, back, and side gussets) and bottom.  Top edge is with “saw tooth” edge designed specifically to prevent paper cuts.

Single Wall Bags
Poly bags manufactured from a single layer of plastic. Single wall bag varieties are the most
typical of all poly bag choices.

Soft Loop Handle Bag
A handled bag made with soft poly loops heat sealed to a folded top.
One of the most comfortable versions of poly bags.

Self Opening Style. Four bag sides and bottom, with no handle, and serrated-top edge. Generally known for use as lunch bags and grocery style in a variety of sizes.

A pre-drawn detailed mechanical layout of a particular bag. Considered a great aid for artists and designers to insure proper art position.

T-Shirt Style
A side gusseted poly bag with side strap handles. Best identified as the poly bag of choice by national supermarket chains.

Turntop (Folded Top)
A style of bag construction where the top of the bag is folded to the inside yielding a more finished look than the “saw toothed” serrated style.


Glossary of terms for imprinting bags.

The printed area on a mechanical layout which extends from 1/8” to _” beyond the visible print area.

Camera Ready Art
Crisp black and white art that is laid out properly in a format that can be directly taken for reproduction.

Chokes and Spreads
Overlap of overprinted images to avoid color or white fringes or borders around image detail. Also referred to as trapping.

Acronym for Cyan Blue, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. Printing colors for Process Color reproduction.

Continuous Tone
A screen image which contains gradient tones from black to white.

Dots per Inch
A measure of the resolution of an image. The more dots per inch, thee finer the screen, and the greater the detail. Also referred as “LPI”, lines per inch. DPI or LPI tolerances are dependent on the method of printing along with the finish of the printing surface.

A two color halftone reproduction.

Fill In
The undesirable effect of type or copy filling in with ink, usually occurring when reverse copy that is not bold or thick enough.

Flexographic Printing
Method of printing most commonly used to print paper and poly bags, using flexible rubber or photopolymer materials to create the printing plates. Plates are mounted onto cylinders of various diameters for rapid, continuous imprinting.

A complete assortment of letters, numbers, and punctuation marks of a given size and design.

The reproduction of a continuous-tone image, through a screening process, which converts the image into dots of various sizes and equal spacing between centers. Generally refers to one-color dot imprints.

     20%                 30%            40%            50%            60%

                                       30 LPI/Grayscale

Hot Stamping
The process in which foil is directly transferred by means of pressure and heat to a hot stamp printable surface.

Knock Out
Also know as reverse imprint. When printed surface allows for image to reproduce in reverse. Base stock shows through the surrounding inked area.

The undesirable effect of an unplanned pattern which can be created when two or more screens overlap or overprint with each other at certain incorrect angles.

Photo film that is a reverse representation of the original copy. All printed areas are clear, and non print areas are black. Negatives are required to make Blue Lines, Color Keys, and Plates.

PMS Colors
Pantone Matching System. An internationally recognized standard color pallet of over 700 colors allowing designers and manufacturers to consistently specify and reproduce an exact color tones.

Pre Printing
Custom print of paper or poly film prior to converting into a bag.

Process Printing
A printing method which uses screen separations of the four basic colors, CMYK. Reproduces vast color spectrum with photographic clarity.

Rotogravure Printing
A method of printing which uses etched metal cylinders and yields a very high quality imprint. “Roto” is generally available for printing from off shore facilities and is used for large quantity print runs of high density frosted bags.

A uniform measurement of dots in rows or lines per square inch.

Step and Repeat
A printed design in which an element is copied and reproduced over a given area, maintaining equal spacing and direction between elements to create a pattern. Most often identified with simple logo design in repeat pattern on tissue and gift wrap.

Through the use of “chokes” and “spreads”, overprinting of multiple colors to prevent unprinted areas from showing due potential press movement.


Where can I view all of your Pre-Printed Polypropylene Bag, Sleeve, Roll, and Sheet Patterns?

Please click on the links below to view our Pre-Printed Polypropylene Bag, Sleeve, Roll, and Sheet patterns.  Note that we have broken them down into catagories to make your search easier.  Not all prints are available in all bag, sleeve, roll or sheet styles. 


If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our sales representatives @ 800-535-9550 or


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