Bags from Hefty and Glad top Consumer Reports' Tests of 10 Trash Bags

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Consumer Reports talks trash — trash bags that is, in the magazine’s June issue. In its intrepid tests of ten national brands of tall kitchen bags, Glad Drawstring Stronger with Less Plastic and Hefty the Gripper with Unscented Odor Block Drawstring topped the ratings.

For one of CR's trash bag tests, project leader Bob Karpel put each bag in wastebaskets, then tossed in cans of Vienna sausages and weights until the bags broke when lifted.

Paying more also doesn’t get you a better bag: A 7-cent Kirkland Signature (Costco) bag outscored a 23-cent Ultra Tuf (Walgreens).

Consumer Reports talks trash — trash bags that is, in the magazine’s June issue. In its intrepid tests of ten national brands of tall kitchen bags, Glad Drawstring Stronger with Less Plastic and Hefty the Gripper with Unscented Odor Block Drawstring topped the ratings.

Among the bags tested, CR found big differences in performance. CR used two tests to measure the bags’ might: In the first test, testers’ placed bags in various trash baskets and filled them with cans of Vienna sausages and barbell weights, then lifted them to see how much weight they could hold before they ripped. In the second test, testers used a pulley contraption to lift aloft bags with increasing numbers of barbell weights until the bags broke.

When the top-rated Glad and Hefty bags were hoisted aloft by the pulley, they and other high-rated bags held about 50 pounds of barbells before stretching like taffy and dropping their load. The lowest-rated bag, Member’s Mark (Sam’s Club), failed with about 35 pounds.

CR’s testers advise consumers not to buy trash bags only based on brand: Although Glad ForceFlex was almost as good as its brandmate, Hefty CinchSak did a bit worse than Hefty the Gripper. Paying more also doesn’t get you a better bag: A 7-cent Kirkland Signature (Costco) bag outscored a 23-cent Ultra Tuf (Walgreens).

Bottom Line: For heavy use, try one of CR’s Recommended bags. If you use bags for light trash, such as in the bathroom, consider the less- pricey Kirkland Signature.

Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

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Rachel Zuckerman
Consumers Union
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