Perforated Plastic Bags: 4 Common Uses

Poly Plant Bags

What are 4 of the Most Common Uses for Perforations?

We oftentimes refer to perforated plastic bags as “perf bags” or “perfs.”  They are exactly what the word sounds like:  they are polyethylene bags with some type of perforation.

Depending on its purpose, you can make your choice as to where, how, how many and what size of perforations you need.

Custom Perforated Plastic Bags

1. Horizontal or Vertical Perforated Plastic Bags

Why do we choose one or the other?

It really depends on the shape of the product inside of the bag.

  • By tearing open the package by its perforated line, the end-user has easy access to its contents.
  • A manufacturer can usually punch a straight line of perforations anywhere on the package.

2. “Easy Tear” versus “Hard Tear”

What really makes the difference between the two?

  • Easy-Tear Perforations are openings placed closer together, hence making it easier to tear open the bag.  For that reason, consumers use them for lighter contents.
  • Hard-Tear Perforations are punched further away from each other, so a person needs more strength to open the package.  As a result, this kind of “perf” is most suitable for heavier contents.

The Medical Industry oftentimes uses perforated plastic bags, such as for surgery tools in the operating room.

Custom Perforated Plastic Bag Easy Tear

Here are a few reasons why they use this feature:

  • Healthcare professionals need easy and fast access to contents since people’s lives might be at risk.  Time is of the essence.
  • Hand coordination can be somewhat restrained, due to the wear of sterile gloves.


3. Tear Notch Perforated Plastic Bags

Is there yet another tear-feature and what is its purpose?

A “tear notch” is a puncture in the top portion of a poly bag. This attribute allows the user to easily tear open a package from the top down or horizontally from the sides.

The best location for a Tear Notch depends on the type of polyethylene:

  • A High Density (HDPE) bag is suitable for heavier contents since it has more tensile strength. The material is harder to rip apart sideways, due to its vertical molecular structure, which makes it fit for a vertical tear notch.
  • Medium Density (MDPE) plastic bags can either have a horizontal or a vertical tear notch, depending on their unique molecular build-up.
  • Low Density (LDPE) poly bags usually have one or two horizontal tear notches.

Perforated Plastic Bag

4.  Larger And/Or Fewer Perforations

What are the main reasons for larger and/or fewer perforations in bags?

Professionals in the Nursery Industry, for example, refer to large punches as “vent holes.” The purpose of these punctures is very different from the ones mentioned before.

  • Large holes in plant or seed grow bags allow for enough oxygen supply, which helps to stimulate plant growth.
  • Also, bigger gaps in the polyethylene material provide for better water drainage which prevents rotting.
  • One large punch through the bottom of the bag is there to help the root to grow inside the plastic without tearing it apart.

Don’t Forget to Recycle Your Plastic Bags and Film!

TDI always makes sure to either reuse or recycle all of our scrap material.

WRAP UK advocates the idea of a Circular Economy. In this type of economy, we reuse, recycle, and recover all plastics.  Read about a Circular Economy here.

Other Custom Packaging Capabilities

Creating perforations is just one the many features we can add to your custom poly bag order.

Check out TDI’s Manufacturing Capabilities.


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