Packaging bags are so seamlessly integrated into daily life that we don’t often consider their prevalence. From shopping and shipping to storage, transportation, or just navigating work and school, we use a variety of packaging bags for safety, storage, and convenience.
While retail packaging bags and merchandise bags are generally meant for single-use purposes, improved materials and formats mean that these items are far more versatile and resilient than in the past.
Consumers also recognize that there is a packaging bag for every occasion, whether it’s food packaging bags or high-quality gift bags. They hold today’s brands to a higher standard when supplying the right types.
Generally, people prefer compostable or recyclable materials to plastic packaging bags. Zip-lock bags are great, but the modern age asks if we could do zipper bags a little better — more sustainable and eco-friendly.
In essence, packaging bags are required throughout the consumer goods economy, from the aisles of retail stores to ecommerce delivery services and luxury shopping experiences.
From food storage solutions to matte lipsticks and lip liners, shipping bags and packaging solutions need to be sustainable and safe for consumers.
Let’s outline 11 unique types of packaging bags that your brand may want to add to the mix moving forward.
1. Standard Grocery Bags
The lightweight, thin plastic grocery bag is synonymous with the American and abroad supermarket experience.
When asked about paper or plastic at checkout, most Americans trust materials like low-density polyethylene or other polymer films stretched into familiar formats with handles and branded prints.
Most grocery bags are clear poly bags, some with suffocation warnings. They are favored for their convenience, simple form factor, and the ability to reuse several times before ripping or degrading.
Many consumers use shopping bags as trash bags or to pick up after pets before finally disposing of them.
Though most PE bags are not biodegradable, they can typically be recycled with other polyethylene materials.
2. Stand-Up Pouches
The pouch format is increasingly popular for packaged foods, over-the-counter drugs, supplements, components, collectibles, and the growing cannabis sector. The format is slim, secure, and able to stand up independently, giving it a premium look and feel in retail settings.
High-density polyethylene or multiple layers of plastic films are required to retain their structure and stability, though kraft paper and other materials are also sometimes used.
As brands look to differentiate themselves and deliver a strong user experience, expect more stand-up pouch variations to appear in markets far and wide.
Dymapak leads the way with custom pouches made from rigid yet flexible materials. Our lab-certified Secure Sack sets a new bar for packaging solutions across industries from food and cannabis to pharmaceuticals, collectibles, and tech components.
The Secure Sack also features child-resistant mechanisms for added safety and assurance when bringing your products to the world, protecting your brand and family households.
3. Wide Exit Bags
While stand-up pouches are typically taller than wide, exit bags offer an alternative format with extra width and a shorter height. The longer opening allows for easier access to contents while still maintaining the structure and security of popular stand-up pouch formats.
This format allows for a broader base on which bags can stand, offering more stability and a unique look and feel on the shelf. These bags are ideal for storing specialty foods like candies, dried fruit, nut mixes, meat jerky, and other items that benefit from the grab-and-go experience.
Brands are starting to recognize how a bit of extra style goes a long way in competitive markets, so this novel format is a great way to stand out with a fun custom bag.
4. Press-Lock Sandwich Bags
The old-fashioned press-to-seal sandwich bag will always be part of the packaging industry, offering resealable potential with relative strength and reliability.
These baggies tend to be made from high-density polyethylene, often with self-adhesive sealers that lock in freshness for everything from fruit and chips to homemade sandwiches.
The downside is the lack of extra security and that most baggies are only meant to be reused if thoroughly cleaned and repurposed.
However, these reclosable classics will always be in the lunchbox and get the job done for a day at school or work.
5. Heavy Duty Storage Bags
Some bags are better suited for long-term storage of items like shoes, apparel, outdoor equipment, or even high-tech gear that must be handled carefully.
These comprise multiple material types and components not seen in your typical shopping bag or single-layer flex pack format.
For example, heavy-duty storage bags may contain a mix of rigid and flexible materials, combining to add more structure and stability to the unit overall.
Manufacturers may also add straps, handles, zippers, and other mechanisms that ensure security and protection for contents when shipping or storing materials.
While “heavy-duty” is a catch-all term in the storage world, you know these bags when you see them. Materials may include thick layers of polypropylene, woven fiber handles, hard plastic clips or locks, and even some metal components for industrial settings.
6. Vacuum-Seal Bags
The vacuum seal process is not as complex as it may appear, and the benefits are great for any family looking to maximize economy and efficiency.
Vacuum bags are designed with strong barrier properties, and electric components or hand pumps make removing oxygen from the interior easy while locking in freshness.
The vacuum seal approach is tried and true for those needing a reliable form of long-term food or dry goods storage.
However, the formats and materials of these bags tend to vary in quality, and lower-strength polymers may not deliver the desired level of barrier strength or protection.
7. Paper and Kraft Bags
The paper bag has stood the test of time, long before plastic came onto the scene and changed the packaging landscape forever.
Paper bags are highly variable in terms of thickness, composition, format, and application, but they share many familiar properties and have an eco-friendly advantage with recyclability. As long as you keep a paper bag clean and not too crumpled, you can use it repeatedly until it breaks.
Kraft bags are made from at least 80% sulfate wood pulp, making them one of the strongest paperboard variants for packaging bags.
If you want a premium look and feel while maintaining the rustic quality of wood or paper, kraft is a great pick. For instance, if offering custom tote bags for every t-shirt is too expensive for your small business, consider using kraft for your garment bags.
8. Cellophane Bags
Cellulose is a naturally occurring compound with surprising strength and barrier properties when formatted for packaging bags. The material is perfect for lightweight, fold-seal bags that hold small amounts of coffee, tea, candies, spices, and other specialty goods and carry-out items.
You might not trust cello bags to store heavy items long-term, especially in settings with variable temperatures or atmospheric hazards.
However, for a quick and affordable packaging solution for retailers and restaurants, cellophane is a classic format consumers appreciate for convenience and fun.
9. Slider Zip Plastic Bags
The slide-zip is a childhood favorite for many American consumers, providing a simple approach to resealable bags. The mechanism is smooth and satisfying, combining a solid slider component in contrast with the smooth polyethylene bag with decent strength.
Slider zips might be slightly costlier due to the extra materials and construction, but consumers are happy to pay extra for the convenience and nostalgia factor.
These bags are unsuitable for consumer goods like OTC drugs or cleaning supplies, but they do the job for many classic snacks and treats.
10. Eco-Friendly PE Bags
Many shoppers lean to paper when seeking an eco-friendly packaging bag, but polyethylene is also overlooked as a recyclable material.
The Secure Sack Eco is here to remind brands that they can achieve sustainability goals while meeting high standards of safety, security, and product freshness at all storage stages.
As long as consumers are conscientious about sorting and recycling their polyethylene bags, the material can be used nearly infinitely throughout ongoing production cycles.
This is excellent news for any brand on a quest to reduce waste, clean up carbon emissions, and earn the trust of eco-conscious shoppers across generations.
11. Heat-Seal Mylar Bags
Mylar emerged in the 1950s as a tougher, stretched form of polyethylene that quickly caught the attention of researchers and scientists. Before long, it went mainstream with certain consumer products and is now rising in various packaging formats like sealed bags and pouches.
The heat seal is unmatched in terms of efficacy and strength, so don’t miss out on this method’s fantastic freshness and preservation.
The flexible material is strong and features superior barrier protection compared to traditional poly bags and even the toughest polypropylene solutions.
You can also ensure perfect heat seals on all Mylar bags by teaming up with a trusted supplier like Dymapak. Solid seals and custom formats make for happy customers and winning products.
The main critique of Mylar is its inability to be recycled, but its durability and reusable potential make up for this shortcoming in the eyes of many brands and consumers.
Find Your Next Packaging Bag Solution With Dymapak
You may not have realized the range of variety available in packaging bags for safety and storage, but plenty of examples are on hand.
From reliable favorites to next-gen technologies, these bags will cover all your brand needs and keep customers returning.
Not sure which bag is best for your product goals?
Dymapak helps you determine the best materials and formats, then creates a custom solution that enhances every aspect of your final product. Reach out, and let’s get started today.