fresh apples in clear plastic food storage bagslines and lemons in a clear high density polyethylene bag

High Density vs. Low Density Bags

CiboWares has a variety of high and low density food storage bags and take-out bags available to suit any restaurant or food service location’s needs. From deli sandwiches to herbs and candies, these multifunctional bags are sure to impress. But is there a difference between high and low density bags? Which density is best for holding food items or carrying out certain tasks? 

The differences Between Low Density and High Density

Our disposable food storage bags are available in both high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). While these styles are both durable and functional, there are some notable differences when it comes to the two types of polyethylene.

Thickness and Strength

The main difference between HDPE and LDPE is their density. HDPE has a higher density, which means it is more durable, can carry heavier loads and has a higher melting point than LDPE. However when it comes to puncture resistance and stretch LDPE wins out. This means that anything with rough edges will do better with LDPE, while heavy smooth edged products do better in HDPE.


LDPE is more transparent than HDPE, making it a good choice for products that need to be visible, such as food products. If you want to get technical this is because of the molecular structure, since it's more spread out and less dense it allows light to pass through more easily.

Temperature Resistance

HDPE can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable for packing warm materials. LDPE has a much lower temperature resistance. While HDPE does have the higher temperature resistance it should not be used in the microwave since it will still melt or warp. If you're looking for disposable kitchen storage that can also be microwaved we recommend using deli containers.

Heat Sealing

When it comes to heat sealing HDPE has a bit too high of a heat tolerance. We recommend choosing the LDPE storage bags to heat seal. The recommended temperature for heat sealing LDPE is usually between 275°F to 350°F but make sure you follow the sealer manufacturer's instructions.

Environmental Impact

It's difficult to say which is more eco-friendly between the two -this is a widely debated topic. Both are recyclable, HDPE is recycling number 4 and LDPE is recycling number 2, but HDPE is easier to recycle and has a much higher recycling rate. It also takes less energy and resources to create HDPE however, LDPE creates fewer greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing. If environmental impact is your key priority it's important to remember that these are still single use plastics. For more eco-friendly options look for reusable food storage options like deli containers, and use paper takeout bags instead of plastic.


Overall, HDPE is stronger, more durable, and has better temperature resistance than LDPE, while LDPE can be used for heat sealing, is more transparent and flexible, and is more cost-effective. The choice between HDPE and LDPE really depends on what you'll be using it for and which qualities are needed at the time.

How to choose your food storage bags

LDPE Food Storage Bags

Store fruit and vegetables with ease with these quality bags. These bags shouldn’t be used for heavy-weight items since they're less durable than HDPE bags. Since LDPE has some stretch they do better when it comes to packaging products with rough edges. If you're planning to use LDPE bags to store Food for extended periods of time these convenient lightweight bags will need to be refrigerated or frozen to stay fresh and ready to serve long-term. Since they're made from clear plastic, they allow for quick and easy identification of food items which comes in handy in a busy kitchen. To allow for maximum functionality, their low melting point makes them the ideal choice for use with heat sealing.

Essentially you should choose these bags for food storage if you're looking for something see through, lightweight and flexible to store and organize your food prep ingredients, or if you're needing to heat seal products. For take-out bags LDPE is a lightweight and affordable option for take-out orders that aren't too heavy.

HDPE Food Storage Bags

High Density Polyethylene bags are typically made from thinner but more durable plastic and can handle heavier weight orders. Since HDPE is low-stretch they shouldn't be used to package anything with sharp or rough edges, this could cause them to tear. Mainly transparent, these bags are perfect for storing and serving food. Their transparency allows for the easy identification of items for quick service, and they are ideal for use at takeout locations or convenience stores to store everything from vegetables and meat to nuts and cheese. Resistant to water and vapor, they have a breathable design and can withstand both hot and cold temperatures for maximum convenience. While HDPE has a higher temperature resistance they still aren't able to be used in the microwave.

To sum it up, HDPE bags are perfect for storing anything that's heavy or hot as long as there are no rough edges. Use HDPE food storage bags to organize all sorts of things in your kitchen -especially the heavy stuff. HDPE take out bags are perfect for getting large heavy delivery orders to your customers.

Ready to Order?

Looking for more quality disposable bags to suit your restaurant or food service location? Be sure to check out our selection of durable and functional disposable bags, and our Disposable Bags Buying Guide for more information!

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