Tricks of the trade

The difference between low density and high density can liners

Heather Mahr, a Ferguson author

by Heather Mahr


Are you throwing money away? If you aren’t aware of the different types of can liners available on the market, then chances are you might be. Knowing what makes each type of trash can liner unique will help you choose the right one to use for certain applications so you can avoid waste and save resources. Learn about can liner materials and their advantages to help you keep your money from going in the trash.

Can liner materials and advantages

There are three main types of materials, or resins, used to manufacture can liners: linear low density polyethylene, low density polyethylene and high density polyethylene. These materials have unique characteristics that are derived from differences at the chemical level.

High density polyethylene

High density polyethylene, or HDPE, is one of the strongest types of polyethylene available. HDPE can liners can also withstand extreme temperatures compared to the other liner materials. Because of its strength, can liners made from HDPE do not need to be as thick as other liners. HDPE liners do not require as much material to construct, so HDPE liners offer excellent value because they save in shipping and storage costs.

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Linear low density polyethylene

Liners made from linear low density polyethylene, or LLDPE, are very flexible. LLDPE liners offer maximum puncture and tear resistance. These liners can be used for a range of purposes, but are ideal for waste involving sharp, rough edges and even broken glass. In addition to their function, they are also available in a variety of colors. LLDPE liners are widely available as they are the most commonly used liners on the market.

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Low density polyethylene

Low density polyethylene, or LDPE, is flexible and is a great budget-conscious alternative for your facilities supply needs. The LDPE savings do come at a cost as these liners are not as strong, dense or as tear-resistant than the other other materials. These liners would not be able to stand up to heavy, bulky items or waste with jagged edges compared to HDPE and LLDPE. As such, the best way to use these liners is for small, gentle waste items that do not require durability. Because of their fragile nature, LDPE can liners are becoming less commonly manufactured and are not recommended for facility maintenance purposes.

Ferguson Facilities Supply is your source for can liners and all of your other janitorial and custodial supply needs.

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Heather Mahr, a Ferguson author

Heather Mahr

As a writer, Heather is dedicated to providing readers with valuable information. She is passionate about helping people find the answers they need to make their life easier with her words.