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Best Trash Bags of 2023

Updated
Can your trash bag handle the weight of its responsibilities?

Your trash bags hold a bunch of gross stuff. The last thing you need is for the bag to break and spill the stinky contents onto you and the floor.

The good news is that there are some amazing trash bags on the market, even better than the ones you can buy in your nearest store. We have spent hours researching dozens of trash bags, expert advice, and real customer reviews.

Our research led us to putting together a list of the best trash bags available. We have seven options to share. Whether you want something biodegradable, for lawn debris, or something else — we’ve got many recommendations.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Reli. Biodegradable 13 Gallon Trash Bags | 100 Count, Green | ASTM D6954 | Eco-Friendly Garbage Bags 10 Gallon - 13 Gallon | Oxobiodegradable Under Certain Conditions (See Product Description)
Best Biodegradable Trash Bag
Reli Biodegradable Trash Bags
  • Comes in 100 pieces
  • Decompose within three years
  • Leak proof & tear resistant
Product Image of the Plant Based - Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags with Handles, 13 Gallon (45 Count)
Best Tall Trash Bags
Plant Based - Hippo Sak Kitchen Bags
  • Mostly plant-based
  • Puncture & leak proof
  • Fits tall trash cans
Product Image of the Member's Mark 39 gal. Power-Guard yd Drawstring Trash Bags (90 ct.)
Best for Leaves & Lawn Debris
Member's Mark Power-Guard
  • Convenient drawstring closure
  • Tear- & leak-resistant
  • 39 gallons of space
Product Image of the Glad ForceFlex Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags, 13 Gal, 100 Ct (Package May Vary)
Most Durable
Glad ForceFlex Drawstring Trash Bags
  • OdorShield technology
  • Two layers to prevent leaks
  • Three-ply drawstring
Product Image of the 95-100 Gallon Clear Trash Bags, (Huge 25 Bags w/Ties) Extra Large Clear Recycling Trash Bags, 90 Gallon, 95 Gallon, 96 Gallon, 100 Gallon
Best Extra Large Trash Bag
Veska Gallon Clear Garbage Bags
  • 95-gallon capacity
  • For commercial & household waste
  • Leak- and tear-proof
Product Image of the Amazon Basics Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags, 13 Gallon, 120 Count (Previously Solimo)
Best Value for Money
Amazon Basics Drawstring Trash Bags
  • Budget-friendly
  • Convenient drawstring closing
  • Unscented
Product Image of the GreenPolly Blue Tall Kitchen Recycling Bags with Drawstring, 13 Gallon, 90 Count, Made from Recycled and Renewed Material, Heavy Duty and Durable
Best Drawstring Trash Bag
GreenPolly Blue Trash Bags
  • Made from 90 percent recycled plastics
  • Convenient drawstring mechanism
  • 3-ply construction


Product Reviews

We’ve spent hours researching real customer reviews, expert advice, as well as applying our own insight to recommend to you the seven best trash bags on the market. We looked at each product’s durability, eco-friendliness, and closing mechanism, among other details.

Here are seven trash bags that are built to impress.

1. Reli 13 Gallon Biodegradable Trash Bags

Best Biodegradable Trash Bag

Reli trash bags are our top pick for a biodegradable option. They use technology to ensure the trash bags decompose in the soil through the help of EPI additives.

It takes about two to three years for these trash bags to biodegrade, which is significantly quicker than regular plastic trash bags. However, it’s still long enough to ensure that they won’t start decomposing when they’re in use or stored in your home.

Pros

  • They decompose within three years.
  • 100 bags included.
  • Leakproof and tear-resistant.
  • Works in trash compactors.
  • Star seal bottom for extra strength.
  • Low price point per bag.

Cons

  • High-density means they’re pretty thin.
  • No closing mechanism or drawstring.

Product Specs

Durability Low-density, tear-resistant
Eco-Friendliness Biodegradable
Size 13 gallons
Closing Mechanism None
Quantity 100 bags

2. Plant-Based - Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags

Best Tall Trash Bags

If you have a tall trash can, you need a tall bag! The Hippo Sak Tall Kitchen Bags are the way to go.

They have a 13-gallon capacity, and the dimensions are 15.5 inches X 8.5 inches X 29 inches. Make sure to measure your trash can before ordering to make sure they fit!

What makes them so great? First, they have wide useful handles, making it easy to take them out of the trash can and tie them for mess-free removal.

Next up, they’re super strong. Even though they’re made from mostly plant-based materials, the bags are still leak-, tear- and puncture-proof.

Finally, they have a reinforced bottom, making them 10 times stronger than similar trash bags. So if the trash is really heavy, the bottom won’t split and spill.

Please Note

These bags are made from plant-based materials and do reduce your carbon footprint. However, they are not compostable or biodegradable.

Pros

  • Made from mostly plant-based and renewable materials.
  • Puncture- and leak-proof.
  • Fits tall trash cans.
  • Reinforced bottom to prevent splitting.
  • 100 percent recyclable material.
  • Ergonomic handles for carrying and tying.

Cons

  • They aren’t biodegradable or compostable.
  • Expensive.

Product Specs

Durability 1.02 mil thickness, reinforced bottom, low-density
Eco-Friendliness At least 80% plant based materials, but not biodegradable or compostable
Size 13 gallons for tall trash cans
Closing Mechanism Wide ergonomic handles
Quantity 45 bags

3. Member's Mark 39 gal. Power-Guard

Best for Leaves and Lawn Debris

For disposing of your lawn waste, go for the Member’s Mark Power-Guard option. It holds up to 39 gallons of waste, so you have space for everything you want to dispose of.

The bag itself is leak- and tear-resistant. So if you’re disposing of sharp objects, twigs, or branches — you don’t need to worry about the bag rupturing. Dispose of your trash with confidence!

The top of the bag is twice as strong as the rest of the bag. This ensures it doesn’t tear open when the bag is packed to the brim. As for the rest of the bag, it uses Power Flex technology to expand around larger objects without ripping.

Pros

  • Twice as strong as the leading national brand.
  • Convenient drawstring closure.
  • Elasticated plastic, so it’s tear- and leak-resistant.
  • 39 gallons of space.
  • Great for heavy debris, like yard waste or transporting books.

Cons

  • Drawstring sometimes rips.

Product Specs

Durability 2.2 mil thickness, Power Flex technology
Eco-Friendliness No
Size 39 gallons
Closing Mechanism Drawstrings
Quantity 90 bags

4. Glad ForceFlex Drawstring Trash Bags

Most Durable

For ultimate durability, we recommend the Glad ForceFlex Drawstring Trash Bag. It uses two layers of protection to limit leaks and tears. The inner layer, in particular, is super strong and resists tears before they can reach the outside of the bag.

The Leakguard technology traps liquids inside the bag, and the outer layer protects against leaks. So no matter what lurks in your trash bag, there won’t be any leaks on your floors or shoes.

Finally, this trash bag neutralizes odors. The 3-in-1 OdorShield traps, locks, and eliminates bad smells. This protects your kitchen and house from smelly diaper waste, cat litter disposal, and other sources of odors.

Pros

  • OdorShield technology traps bad smells.
  • Two layers to prevent leaks and tears.
  • Tall size, so they fit narrow and tall trash cans.
  • Three-ply drawstring for easy removal.
  • It won’t rip even if holding sharp objects.

Cons

  • The added Febreze scent is overwhelming for some.
  • They don’t fit regular-shaped trash cans. Best for tall ones.

Product Specs

Durability 0.95 mil thickness, two layers of protection
Eco-Friendliness No
Size 13 gallons for tall trash cans
Closing Mechanism Drawstrings
Quantity 100 bags

5. Veska Gallon Clear Garbage Bags

Best Extra Large Trash Bag

The Veska trash bags have a 95-gallon capacity, so they are ideal for larger trash cans or outdoor bins.

They’re made of strong, low-density plastic, which handles all household and commercial waste. So whether you’re using this for your home, or your business, it’s a top choice.

Although the trash bags are clear, they are highly durable. They have been designed to hold 95 gallons of trash without tearing or leaking. So you don’t have to worry about spills inside your can or all over your shoes when taking out the trash.

Plus, they’re puncture-resistant and flexible. You can also use these trash bags to clean up yard waste.

Pros

  • 95-gallon capacity.
  • Handles commercial and household waste.
  • Leak- and tear-proof.
  • Works excellent for yard waste.
  • Keeps inside of a trash can clean.

Cons

  • Super high price point per bag.
  • No closing mechanism.

Product Specs

Durability 1.5 mil thickness
Eco-Friendliness No
Size 95 gallons
Closing Mechanism None — you have to tie it yourself using the plastic top of the bag
Quantity 25 bags

6. Amazon Basics Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags

Best Value for Money

The Amazon Basics trash bags are at a more budget-friendly price point, but they are still quality trash bags. If you want something worth the money, but doesn’t cost a bomb, then we recommend these.

Keep in mind that these trash bags are suited to fit tall trash cans. That being said, they have a great 13-gallon capacity.

They are 0.9-mil thick, which is decent. The handy drawstring closing mechanism makes them easy to tie, lift and remove from the trash can without getting your hands dirty.

Pros

  • Best value for money and budget-friendly.
  • Convenient drawstring closing mechanism.
  • Unscented. Great if you’re sensitive to chemical smells.
  • Satisfaction guarantee.

Cons

  • They aren’t puncture-resistant.
  • Not super stretchable, so won’t fit on every trash can. Best for tall, narrow ones.

Product Specs

Durability 0.9-mil thickness, not as durable as other options
Eco-Friendliness No
Size 13 gallons
Closing Mechanism Drawstring
Quantity 120 bags

7. GreenPolly Blue Trash Bags with Drawstring

Best Drawstring Trash Bag

Drawstrings make closing a trash bag easier. So removing it from the can and to the outdoor waste facilities is a simpler (and less gross) task.

The GreenPolly Blue Trash Bags have an excellent, durable drawstring mechanism. It’s easy to use and makes carrying the bag to the outdoor bins a total breeze.

These bags are also made of 90 percent post-consumer plastic and reusable sources. Although this doesn’t make the bags compostable or biodegradable, it’s better than virgin plastic.

Lastly, these bags have three-ply construction, making them less likely to leak or tear. However, they are on the lower side of thickness, only 0.9 mils, so some customers have found they puncture easily.

Pros

  • Made from 90 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
  • Convenient drawstring mechanism for easy tying.
  • 3-ply construction makes it less likely to tear and leak.
  • Customers were impressed by the durability.

Cons

  • May puncture and tear if overstuffed.
  • May not fit standard kitchen trash cans.

Product Specs

Durability 0.9-mil thickness, not as durable as other options
Eco-Friendliness Made from 90 percent recycled plastic
Size 13 gallons
Closing Mechanism Drawstring
Quantity 90 bags

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Eco-Friendy Size Closing Mechanism Quantity
Reli Biodegradable Trash Bags Biodegradable Trash Bag Yes 13 gal. None 100 bags
Hippo Sak Kitchen Bags Tall Trash Bags 80% plant-based 13 gal. Wide ergonomic handles 45 bags
Member’s Mark Power-Guard For Leaves and Lawn Debris No 39 gal. Drawstrings 90 bags
Glad ForceFlex Drawstring Trash Bags Durable No 13 gal. Drawstrings 100 bags
Veska Gallon Clear Garbage Bags Extra Large Trash Bag No 95 gal. None 25 bags
Amazon Basics Drawstring Trash Bags Value for Money No 13 gal. Drawstring 120 bags
GreenPolly Blue Trash Bags Drawstring Trash Bag 90% recycled plastic 13 gal. Drawstring 90 bags

Are Trash Bags Sanitary?

Yes, they’re hygienic and the best place to store your trash. They keep everything contained, so things don’t spill out when taking out the trash. Plus, they keep the inside of your trash can clean.

A lot of people also use trash bags for packing and moving, which is totally fine. However, some think it’s okay to use trash bags to store food. That’s actually a dangerous decision.

Garbage bags are not made with food-grade plastic, so it’s unsafe to store food in them (1). The chemicals in the bags can easily contaminate your food. Instead, store your food in reusable tupperware to save money and reduce plastic waste.

What Makes a Trash Bag Strong?

High-quality materials and superior construction make a trash bag strong.

One thing that a strong trash bag has is elasticity. So when it’s super full and heavy, it doesn’t rip open. Instead, it stretches slightly to distribute the weight.

A good trash bag will also feel slightly thick. If it’s really thin, it will puncture easily, which leads to tears and leaks.

Lastly is the trash bag density. Similar to thickness, if a trash bag is low density, it will be thicker, more flexible, and resistant to tearing. If it’s high density, it’s going to be thinner. These are an excellent choice for office and bathroom trash cans where most waste is paper.

How Long Do Trash Bags Take To Decompose?

Some sources state it can take between 10 and 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose (2). However, plastic bags haven’t been around for that long, so we don’t know exactly how long some plastic takes to decompose. Some sources predict it could take upwards of 500 years (3).

So, overall, it can take between 10 and 1000 years for a plastic bag to decompose in a landfill (4).

What to Look For (Buying Guide)

When you shop for trash bags, it’s normal to grab the first one you see on the shelf, especially if it’s on sale. But to get the best of the best, here are the top details to consider when buying new trash bags.

Durability

How durable is the bag going to be? The best way to measure this is to check the density. A low-density trash bag is going to be the most durable.

Second, check the thickness, which is measured in mils. We recommend going for something 0.9 mils or higher. This is the standard thickness for a kitchen bag, but the higher this number — the more durable the bag.

Eco-Friendliness

As mentioned, it can take around 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose. Maybe even longer. So if you want to cut down on plastic waste, choose an eco-friendly bag.

Some are made from recycled plastic, which definitely eases your carbon footprint. Others are compostable, so they will biodegrade much quicker. This is definitely way kinder on the environment.

However, eco-friendly trash bags aren’t that popular yet — so we only have a few options on our list.

Top Tip

Contact your local landfill site to check if biodegradable bags will decompose there. Some landfill sites state otherwise because of the lack of oxygen.

Size

Most kitchen trash cans are around 13 gallons, but yours might differ. Always check the size of your trash can first before buying new trash bags.

For instance, are you buying trash bags for your bathroom, kitchen, or outdoor bin? Then you’ll need a different size of trash bag.

Closing Mechanism

We always buy trash bags with a closing mechanism. It makes it so much easier to tie the bag and take out the trash. You can get bags with handles, ties, or even better — drawstrings — which make this nasty chore a little bit easier.


What Can I Use Instead of Trash Bags?

Although trash bags are common and convenient, there are some other options.

  • Reusable plastic bags: You know those heavy-duty reusable plastic bags you can get at the store? You can fashion that into a trash bag. While it’s best for paper waste and recycling — since this won’t dirty the bag — you can use it for general trash. Just be sure to wash it between uses.
  • Reuse other items: If you have other items you will dispose of anyway, why not put them to good use first? For example, you can upcycle your pet’s empty food bag or a big cardboard box into a temporary trash bag. That way, it gets another life before it needs to be thrown out.
  • Go bagless: You could go bagless. This cuts down on plastic waste entirely. Although it means more maintenance for cleaning your trash can and perhaps a little bit more odor, it’s a sure way to save money and cut down on plastic.

FAQs

Are Trash Can Liners the Same as Trash Bags?

Trash can liners are the same as garbage bags because they line the garbage bin, come in rolls or flat packed, and help to collect and store garbage when full.

What Is the Difference Between High and Low-Density Trash Bags?

The difference between high and low-density bags is the quality and feel. Low-density bags are thicker and can take a higher weight load of garbage. High-density bags are better for lightweight trash.

Why Are Trash Bags So Expensive?

Trash bags are so expensive because of increasing production costs and raw materials. The prices vary between high and low-density bags, but none are particularly cheap.

How Can You Save Money On Trash Bags?

The best way to save money on trash bags is to recycle more and split recyclable materials from food waste. Cardboard, paper, plastic, and other materials can be stored safely for collection.

Are Scented Garbage Bags Toxic?

Scented garbage bags contain chemicals that can have health side effects. These chemicals can cause sickness in humans as the trash bags decompose. They are also harmful to animal and plant life.

What Can I Spray on My Garbage To Keep Animals Away?

Ammonia can deter animals from rifling through your trash. This works for cockroaches, raccoons, rats, and other small animals. To use, mix a 1:1 solution of ammonia and water and spray it inside your trash cans.

Another option is hot pepper spray. Chop one yellow onion, one Jalapeno or Habanero pepper, and mix with one tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Stir this through two quarts of water and bring it to a boil on the stove for 20 minutes.

Let the water cool down and strain it. Spray it inside the trash can, around it, and over the lid. You will need to apply more spray twice a week.


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Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!