Where Do All Those Plastic Bags Come From?

As you walk into the grocery store you might make your way to the produce department for some fresh fruits or vegetables. Maybe you want some bell peppers or perhaps some nice firm lemons. You routinely reach for a roll of clear bags and probably think little of it. In fact, as you leave the checkout counter, all your items are probably in secure and sturdy plastic bags, but where do the bags come from? The truth is, these handy containers are made by equipment like Gloucester bag machine parts and they have a lot to do with the economy today. Let’s look a little closer at the method of creating these bags, to give you a greater appreciation of the process.

It Begins with Resins

To start with, two different resins are used. One is very dense while other is not and once the two resins are blended they go through an extrusion process. When you think of extrusion you may think about metal extrusion methods like seamless guttering and manufacturing processes creating long iron rods, bars and many other metal shapes. However, the extrusion process is also used to create modern plastic bags.

Instead of drawing shapes from heated metal, the plastic is turned into to a hot liquid and then it is blown from the extrusion equipment. In fact, this turns the molten plastic into bubbles. These bubbles are extremely large (3 times the height of a standard one story home) and they are blown in a vertical position. By the time the bubble deflates and flattens, it has cooled down.

After cooling, the extruded plastic material goes through several different rollers. This flattens it out and it is then wound on hard cores. This creates an enormous film roll, weighing in excess of a ton. Now it’s time for Gloucester bag machine parts to come into the picture.

Large rolls of plastic film are placed on machines where they are unwound and the sheets are treated with static electricity. This enhances printing. After printing, sleeves are formed by a process which cuts and seals the edges.

Very long sections of pre-printed plastic sleeves are then placed into bag machines. These machines utilize special Hudson Sharp or Gloucester bag machine parts (depending on the brand) to cut the bags into the proper length. A wicketer seals the bags and place them into neat stacks. If handles are required (as with grocery bags) they are cut during the process.

There is essentially no waste created during the manufacturing of plastic bags because all scrap can be recycled. In fact, the bags themselves are easily recycled so they are a good choice for eco conscious people.

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