Trash bags are so common and essential nowadays that we do not really question where they are from or what they are made of. Commonly also known as garbage bags, can liner or bin liner, they are needed in every household and workplace for keeping everything clean and tidy. 

But when did we start using trash bags? 

When did we start using trash bags? 

In 1950, Harry Wasylyk, Larry Hansen, and Frank Plomp from Canada invented the trash bags. They were first targeted for commercial use rather than for household use. The first ever trash bags were disposable green polyethylene garbage bag. These were sold to Winnipeg General Hospital for disposing medical waste. In 1960, they started making garbage bags for home use to contain household waste. The Union Carbide Company brought the plastic trash bag invention then marketed it under the name Glad. 

Glad went on to improving the trash bag vastly by including a drawstring. The drawstrings help to carry the trash with little spillage and pull the bags out of the trash cans much more easily. 



Figure 1 Black drawstring garbage bag 


What are trash bags made of? 

Most trash bags nowadays are made of polyethylene plastic. The main components can either be high-density polyethylene HDPE or low-density polyethylene LDPE plastic. The LDPE material often provides more robust and more flexible bags than the HDPE counterpart. Polyethylene is a polymer that is from petroleum source that is resistance to wear and tear. 

Why are trash bags mostly black? 

Trash bags are often made from recycled material waste. The recycled material can be any color, so after mixing them, they form dark color mixture. The best and easiest way to have a uniform color is to add black pigment to darken this mixture and produce a uniform-colored mixture. 

Furthermore, from the practical perspective, the black color protects consumers’ privacy. Behind a layer of opaque black film, the content of bags will not be visible.


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