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Plastic Bag Thickness Explained.

Just as important as length and width, it is also important to specify the right bag thickness for the bags you are ordering. Before specifying a bag’s thickness, think about the application.

  • What item(s) will your bag contain? Consider both the size and weight of the item(s). For example, a heavy, medium-sized item would require a thicker bag than a light, large-sized item.
  • Does your bag need to provide protection? If the item is delicate or easily scratched, use a thicker bag.
  • How long will your bag be used? If you want the bag to be reusable, specify a thickness of at least 2 mils (.002”).

What is a Mil?

Bag weight is measured by a micrometer (pictured above). A Mil is a unit of measurement used to describe the thickness of plastic film in thousands of an inch. To provide context, a human hair is about 1 mil. Mils are sometimes listed in decimal format as thousands of an inch.

1 mil = 1/1000 inch or 0.001

The best way to understand the thickness of a Mil is to share some examples of common everyday bags and their associated Mil thicknesses:

  • A grocery store bag is 0.5 mil
  • A dry-cleaning bag is 0.75 mil
  • A bread bag is 1.5 mils thick
  • A freezer bags is generally 1.75 mils
  • A retail shopping bag is usually 2 mils

Choosing the Right Mil Thickness

Use the guidelines below when choosing the Mil thickness of the product you are looking for. Keep in mind that the clarity of a bag is also affected by the thickness. A 4 Mil bag would not be a clear as a 1 mil bag.


Protection Level


1 mil bags


Perfect for packaging of lightweight products, 1 mil bags are an economical choice.

1.5 - 2 mil bags


This is the most commonly used thicknesses for storing, shipping, or displaying everyday items. 1.5 mil – 2 mil bags also offer lightweight protection from dirt and moisture

3 - 4 mil bags

Heavy duty

Heavy duty 3 mil and 4 mil bags protect and support heavy & abrasive items. The offer protection for hardware, nuts, bolts and industrial parts.

6 mil bags

Extra heavy duty

Our toughest stock bags, 6 mil bags offer total protection for the heaviest products. These bags provide extra heavy-duty protection against punctures and tears on bulky items or items with sharp corners.

Still not sure which type to choose for your product?
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