Plastics 101: LDPE versus HDPE

By May 18, 2020poly film

There are many types of resin in the plastics industry. But when it comes to flexible poly films, only a few are commonly used. Now the question is: How does the type of resin affect your packaging? The answer to this question will become clear once we compare the two popular resins LDPE versus HDPE.

In order to determine which compound material is best for your application, you need to understand their unique characteristics first. So let’s take a closer look at these substances.

What is LDPE?

LDPE is an acronym for Low-Density Polyethylene. Technically spoken, the individual molecules here are not packed tightly together. What this means, is that it has more flexibility.

ldpe bottom gusset bag

an LDPE clear bag.


  • This type of film is so clear, that you can see its contents.
  • It has some level of elasticity, which makes it more flexible.
  • Because it is thin and lightweight, it takes less energy to produce.
  • As a result, it works best for lighter-duty jobs.


LDPE bags are great to package bakery products, candies, garments, just to name a few.

What is HDPE?

HDPE stands for High-Density Polyethylene. Here the molecules are so densely packed together, that it gives the film more strength.


  • This type of material is rigid and thick.
  • Also, it is more puncture-resistant.
  • In addition, it is resistant to extreme weather conditions (UV-resistant)
  • These characteristics make it suitable for heavy-duty jobs.
    HDPE medical packaging

    HDPE in medical packaging


A few examples of HDPE plastic bags are nursery grow bags, trash bags, and grocery bags.

Plastic Packaging Facts: Resins and Types of Packaging

Other resin options

Besides the two common resins, there are other options to choose from, such as:

  • LLDPE – Linear Low-Density Polyethylene
  • MDPE – Medium-Density Polyethylene
  • A mix of compound materials
  • Recycled resin

Comparison LDPE versus HDPEComparison LDPE versus HDPE


How TDI can Help

We understand that the difference between LDPE and HDPE is not always clear-cut. So that is why team TDI is here to help you make an informed choice.

During the initial stages, we will review your specific needs. Oftentimes we use a specific blend of resin materials in the manufacturing process. And then we will give you the best option to create your custom packaging product.

information requestPlease ask us for details!


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