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Garbage bags

Garbage bag buying guide

Last updated: March 2015
Getting started

Getting started

If you're left holding the bag, you want the bag to be holding the trash, not spilling it onto the kitchen floor. But in past tests of tall kitchen bags, the top-selling type of garbage bags, we found big differences in performance.

Past tests

Hoisted aloft by a pulley apparatus, the top-performing garbage bags held about 50 pounds of barbells before stretching like taffy and dropping their load. The lowest-scoring garbage bag failed with about 35 pounds. For one of these tests, we put each bag in wastebaskets, and then tossed in cans of Vienna sausages and weights until the bags broke when lifted. Most ripped just below our tester's grip.

Bottom line

The best-performing garbage bags we last tested had distinct advantages. One garbage bag was advertised as using less plastic, based on thickness: Its maker said the top section was 0.95 mils thick; the rest, 0.78 mils thick. Most other bags were about 0.9 mils throughout. Another had a stretchable drawstring to help hold it to a wastebasket rim. If you use bags for light trash, as in a bathroom, consider cheaper products.

   

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