Sealing and Re-sealing Bags
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Sealing & re-sealing bags
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Resealable polythene bags open and close with a plastic seal that can be repeatedly sealed and opened, allowing the bag to be used more than once.
Self-seal bags are polythene bags featuring an integral seal that allows the bag to be closed without the use of any external object, such as an adhesive, tape or a bag tie, and without the plastic having to be sealed on bonded together using a heat sealer.
All resealable bags, such as minigrip bags, can be described as self-seal bags, as they do not require anything else to close them. However, not all self-seal bags can be described as resealable bags as some of them, such as the popular mailing bags, feature a seal that can only be used once. Once a mailing bag’s seal is opened, the bag cannot be used again.
Ways to seal a polythene bag
There are four main ways to seal a polythene bag. These are presented below, with examples to illustrate the sealing method:
1. Seal with bag clips or ties
You can seal a polythene bag by pulling together the two sides of the bag’s open end and then fastening with a plastic bag clip or tie. This is a particularly popular method for sealing food bags, either to store food in the fridge or freezer, or to tie up sandwiches etc. for packed lunches.
To seal bags with a plastic clip, place the two sides of the bag flat together, place them in the jaws of the clip and close it around them. To seal with a bag tie, scrunch the open end of the bag into a tight bunch, wrap the bag tie around it and tie up tight.
2. Seal with an adhesive strip
Another method for sealing plastic bags is with an adhesive strip. This method of sealing is used most widely in the manufacturing of mailing bags, as the bag can only be sealed once using this method, in the same way as standard paper envelopes, which means that any tampering with the bag’s seal would be obvious to the recipient of the mail.
To seal a mailing bag, place your items inside the bag, peel off the thin cover from the integral adhesive strip located on the mailing bag’s ‘tongue’, fold this flap over and press down to seal.
3. Seal with an integral reusable seal
Probably the easiest method of sealing a polythene bag is via an integral sealing device, such as a grip seal or a ziplock. Designed for ease of use, these sorts of bags - including grip seal, minigrip, slidergrip ziplock, ziplite and zipper bags - provide a simple method of opening and closing and can be used time and time again.
To close a grip seal bag, place one end of the seal between your forefinger and thumb and gently squeeze the bag from one end of the seal to the other. To open, simply give the two sides of the bag a gentle tug. To open or close a ziplock bag, just slide the zip all the way across to the correct end of the bag.
4. Bond/fuse polythene together with a heat sealer
The final and arguably the most professional way of sealing a plastic bag is to bond the polythene together by melting it. The best way to carry out this method of sealing is through a professional heat sealer. Just take the open sides of the bag, lay them together flat in the jaws of the heat sealer and press it down for a few seconds. Open the sealer and the bag will be sealed shut.
When used with layflat tubing - a long thin roll of polythene tubing - heat sealing is great for creating your own bespoke bags. Just place the item inside the layflat tubing and then seal one or both ends of the bag for your own made-to-measure polythene bag.
Antistatic self-seal bags
Antistatic self-seal bags are a specialist bag designed to store electrical components that require protection from the potential damage caused by static electricity.
They are also known as conductive bags, as the bag itself is a conductor. This does not mean that it collects tickets on buses or leads a miniature plastic bag orchestra, but that it conducts electricity, thus keeping it away from the contents of the bag.
Where can I buy sealing and re-sealing bags?
Manufacturers and suppliers of sealing and re-sealing bags include:
Discount Self Seal Bags
Heat Sealers Direct
Self Seal Bags
Zip Lock Bags
Research & Resources
For further detailed information about sealing and re-sealing bags, right through their life-cycle from production to recycling, including details of the variety of re-sealable bags available, please visit:
What is static electricity?
Every object in the world - ourselves included - is made of atoms, which are in turn made of protons, neutrons and electrons. While neutrons have no charge, protons are positively charged and electrons are negatively charged.
In normal circumstances, the number of protons and electrons in an atom balance each other out, meaning that atoms have no charge. However, when two items rub together or separate, the electrons contained within these items can move from atom to atom or even from item to item, thus giving the atoms a positive or negative charge.
If the items involved in this situation are made from a material that does not conduct electricity - an insulator - then this charge can not move. The result is static electricity.
How do antistatic self-seal bags work?
If any static electricity comes into contact with an antistatic self-seal bag, rather than pass through the bag and risk damaging the electrical components inside the bag, the electricity passes around the bag and dissipates before it can make contact with the components, thus removing the possibility of damage.