Consumer Reports: Testing garbage bags

May 10, 2012 1:36:55 PM PDT
Americans generate 250 million tons of garbage each year, and that means we use a lot of garbage bags.

So, Consumer Reports tested the leading brands, including new Glad bags, which promise to be more environmentally friendly.

To see just how strong the new Glad bags are, Consumer Reports' Bob Karpel put them through some tough tests.

In all he compared ten tall kitchen bags from big-name brands like Hefty, Kirkland Signature from Costco and Great Value from Walmart.

Karpel built a contraption to measure just how much weight each bag can hold. Once he loaded the bag with weights, he lifted it higher and higher.

The Glad bag held about 50 pounds!

"You'll notice that the bag has stretched but it hasn't broken," Karpel said.

Since, at home, you have to lift garbage bags out of a pail, Karpel also tested how well the bags work for that. He put 20 pounds of small cans into each bag, then loaded more weight on top. The best bags could hold around 50 pounds!

Those winners are Hefty's The Gripper for 16 cents a bag, and that new Glad bag for 15 cents, the one that promises it's stronger than plastic.

So, the Glad bag is good for heavy kitchen use and may just be better for the environment.

If you don't load your bag with a lot of heavy garbage, Consumer Reports says consider Costco's Kirkland Signature Drawstring trash bags. At seven cents a bag, they're half the price and still did a pretty good job.