A bin bag (British English) or garbage bag, or trash bag (American English) is a disposable bag used to contain rubbish (British English), or the North American equivalent trash or garbage. Such bags are useful to line the insides of waste containers to prevent the insides of the receptacle from becoming coated in waste material. Most bags these days are made out of plastic, and are typically black in color.
Plastic bags are a convenient and sanitary way of handling garbage, and are widely used. Plastic garbage bags are fairly lightweight and are particularly useful for messy or wet rubbish, as is commonly the case with food waste, and are also useful for wrapping up garbage to minimize odour. Plastic bags are often used for lining litter or waste containers or bins. This serves to keep the container sanitary by avoiding container contact with the garbage. After the bag in the container is filled with litter, the bag can be pulled out by its edges, closed, and tied with minimal contact with the waste matter.
Created in 1950, this invention can be attributed to Canadians Harry Wasylyk, Larry Hansen and Frank Plomp. In a special on CBC Television, the green garbage bag ranked 36th among the top 50 Canadian inventions.
Plastic bags can be incinerated with their contents in appropriate facilities for waste-to-energy conversion. They are stable and benign in sanitary landfills; some are degradable under specified conditions.