Biohazard Waste Bags – What Goes In Which Bag?

BioHazard Waste Bags are an important part of medical and healthcare. Be safe, medical procedures also generate significant amounts of waste, which can pose a threat to humans.

Whereever you work, a dental office, veterinary practice, laboratory, or a hospital, it is imperative to take necessary precautions when disposing of medical waste.  

For this, health care facilities must understand the classification of medical biohazard waste bags, as well as the appropriate ways of using different hazardous trash bags.

Not all waste can be handled in the same manner.   

What Is Medical Waste?

First, it is important to understand what qualifies as medical waste. It comprises all materials that may be infectious or toxic.

Medical bio-hazard waste is any waste that is generated during research, testing, sampling or treatment of animals and humans.

Use BioHazard Waste Bags for any waste that is generated during research, testing, sampling or treatment of animals and humans.
Identifying and segregating biohazard waste is a key part to healthcare waste management. Infectious Waste Bags are a critical piece in the handling, treatment, and disposal of medical waste.

It can contain numerous types of contaminants, including body fluids and blood. Some examples are: bandages, petri dishes, glassware, used needles, scalpels, gloves, and leftover organic material on tissues and swabs.

Reasons for Strict Hazardous Waste Bags Rules

Medical waste poses if not handled properly can cause grave harm to our society.Items that might be contaminated with bodily fluids can result in the spread of disease.

Items like scalpels and needles are sharp and may carry pathogens and lead to spreading infections and illness.

You must properly dispose of these items and materials.

Hazardous waste may also include chemicals such as: heavy metals, disinfectants, solvents, and mercury.

These have high potential to cause organ damage, poisoning, and birth defects. More so, waste with radiation can lead to the enhanced risk of cancer, or cause burns.

In comparison to household waste, the disposal and collection of medical waste is rather costly.

Minimize medical waste generation to reduce costs.

Improper disposal of medical waste can result in increased health risks, including:

  • Used syringes on the seashores
  • Infectious blood being dumped in numerous landfills, thereby damaging the soil
  • Pathogens contaminating air, water, and drinking supplies
  • Animals and humans getting deadly diseases when accidentally making contact with medical waste
  • Sharp objects resulting in injuries, not to mention the spread of infections

Since millions of surgeries are performed every day, it is the cleaning staff’s duty to thoroughly clean out operation theaters after every operation. And dispose of medical waste properly, and sanitize the area.

The challenging part is the staff has to decide what waste belongs in which type of hazardous trash bag category.

Red and Yellow: What Items Go in Which Bio-hazard Can Liner?

All waste items that have been generated from immunization, treatment, or diagnosis of animals and human beings must be regarded as medical waste.

Non-medical waste that has been contaminated with bio-hazardous material, is also considered to be medical waste.

These waste items have different ways of disposal, which is why there are different categories of medical waste bags.

The two most common types of hazardous trash bags are red plastic bags and yellow plastic bags.

Red Hazardous Waste Bags

Red biohazard waste bags are utilized to gather anatomic waste and bodily fluids.

These bags can be used for the disposal of:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Blood-soaked cloths and drapes
  • specimen swabs
  • medical apparatus
  • any item that has been contaminated visibly with bodily fluids or blood

Bodily fluids include saliva with blood (dental procedure), amniotic fluid, peritoneal fluid, pericardial fluid, pleural fluid, synovial fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, vaginal secretions, and semen.

Red Infectious BioHazard Waste Bags Liner, 15 Gal., 24x32, 250/case
Red Medical Waste Bags

Anything that has a visible amount of blood or other bodily fluid, even if it is difficult to determine what fluid it is, must be disposed of in red plastic bags. Any unfixed human organ or human tissue must also be disposed of in this bag.

Yellow Infectious Waste Liners

Yellow medical waste bags are utilized for disposing of clinical wastes, which include nappies, pads, aprons, soiled gloves, tissues, dressings, and swabs.

These bags must also be utilized for collecting fluid bags and IV lines, which are utilized for pharmaceutical medicines, syringe bodies, and disposable metallic parts.

It is important to note that yellow plastic bags must only be utilized for disposing of infectious and clinical waste, which contains pharmaceutical medicines and chemicals.

Avoid getting rid of placental waste, non-infectious waste, domestic waste, anatomical waste and pathological waste in these bags.

Red and Yellow BioHazard Waste Bags and Can Liners
Use Bio-Hazard Can Liners for Effective and safe healthcare waste management.

This shows how important it is for medical facilities to dispose of any waste that contains potentially contaminated by-products of medical treatment, research, or other medical activity. Whether it is from research laboratories, veterinary clinics, dentists, physician’s offices, or even funeral homes.

All types of medical waste must be disposed of in the right hazardous trash bags. Segregating medical waste allows medical staff to handle the waste easily and send the right items to the right disposal. Moreover, this is a great environmental practice that prevents the spread of diseases.

Bio-Hazard trash can liners and waste receptacles keep infectious waste separated from your other trash.

Also Consider Biohazard Specimen Transport Bags

When you need to take a biohazard sample from point A to point B, you need specialized pouches to do the job right.

Great for labs to keep staff, documents, and specimens safe during transport to testing.

Specimen Transport Bags, 100/pack
Zip-Style Biohazard Specimen Transport Bags for samples of swabs, urine, and other biohazard material that you need to safely transport.

If you are looking for such medical waste bags, then visit us Harmony as a distributor of lab and safety supplies that has been in the business for 15 years.

More useful information for healthcare professionals and more:

Do you know the difference between nitrile gloves and latex gloves?

Latex vs Nitrile Gloves | What’s the Difference?

Trash Can Liner Basics

Trash Can Liner Basics

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Plastic Types

There are three types of plastic used in can liners: High-Density (HD), Linear Low-Density (LLD), and Reprocessed.

High-Density (HD) Plastic

High-Density plastic makes a “crinkly” noise when you move it – like a supermarket bag.  HD plastic is also harder to start or puncture a hole in than Linear Low-Density (LLD). Once a hole is started in HD plastic, it will spread quickly or “zipper”. While High-Density can liners are thinner than Low-Density can liners, HD plastic can hold the same or greater weight. The thickness of this type of plastic is measured in Microns. This type of plastic can liner is best suited for cans without edges, paper, food, and smooth heavy objects. High-Density can liners offer substantial cost savings on a per-liner basis.

Linear Low-Density (LLD) Plastic

Linear Low-Density plastic can liners are quiet when moved, without a “crinkly” sound. It is easier to start or puncture a hole into than High-Density, but a hole with spread less quickly. The thickness of LLD plastic is measured in Millimeters. This plastic type is the most common. It has multiple uses and is recommended for sharper objects and tough transport conditions.

Repro Plastic

Repro plastic is reprocessed or made from recycled material. According to the EPA, 10-100% of the plastic is post-consumer recycled content. Reprocessed plastic can liners have a lower capacity for weight, but are also cheaper. Thicker reprocessed plastic can liners are needed to list the same amount of weight as a virgin resin bag (compared to the other types of plastics).

Bottom Seal Types

Select the proper can liner bottom seal type for its use and seal efficiency.

Star Seal star seal

A star seal is the most common kind of bottom seal for can liners. The bottom of the bag resembles a star shape or “bunched up”. This bottom seal type conforms better to larger, round trash cans. Star seals are not likely to leak. Star seal can liners are the most expensive and highest quality bottom seal type. Star seal liners are designated by two dimensions (i.e. 40 x 46).

Gusset Seal gusset seal

A gusset seal can liner is a flat style bag with both sides tucked in which forms a gusset. If the bag is lying flat, it will have a third dimension like an expandable envelope. Gusset seal can liners confirm reasonably well to the shape of the trash can. However, this type of bottom deal may leak and has a potential for a weak bottom. Gusset seal can liners are the least expensive bottom seal types. Gusset seal liners are designated by three dimensions (i.e. 23 x 17 x 46).

Flat Seal flat seal

Flat seal liners will lay out perfectly flat like a tube with a seal on one end, or resemble a pillowcase. This type of bottom seal does not conform to the shape of the trash can. Flat seal can liners hold 20-30% more than a star sealed can liner. This seal has a medium leak potential. It is designated by two dimensions (i.e. 40 x 46).

Package Dispensing

Can liners are packaged to dispense in different ways. Be sure to choose the appropriate package dispensing method for your desired use.

Flat (Bulk) Pack

Flat Pack can liners are individually folded and boxed for one at a time dispensing.

Coreless Rolls

Coreless can liners are packaged with no cardboard cylinder. The liners have perforated edges or are interleaved for non-perforated dispensing.

Cored Rolls

Cored roll can liners are rolled together on top of a cardboard cylinder (similar to paper towels). Can liners that are core rolled have perforated edges.

Tips to Consider

When Choosing a Can Liner, Remember These Tips

1) Choose bag size and bottom seal of the liner based on type of trash can being used

  • Some manufacturers will state liner sizes in “gallons” in an attempt to offer smaller liners that use less plastic.
  • Star sealed can liners are the most expensive and highest quality since they conform better to larger, round trash cans.
  • Gusset sealed bags are the least expensive and will tend to leak, unlike star seal or flat seal.

2) Choose plastic type (HD or LLD)

  • High density liners are lower in cost than low density liners.
  • Recycled plastic or repro liners yield a bag with a lower capacity for weight at a lower cost. A thicker repro liner is needed to lift the same amount of static weight as a virgin resin bag.

3.) Verify the gauge or thickness of the liner

  • Some manufacturers avoid stating the actual thickness of the liners, an attempt to sell less plastic for a higher price.
  • There is no governing agency to ensure that a thickness listed on the carton is what is actually in the box. Comparing against other brands will help identify any differences. Less weight equals less plastic.
  • Many manufacturers will test liner samples in their lab to give you the actual mill/mic thickness of a competitive product for comparison purposes.

4) Check how many liners are in the case and calculate the cost per can liner pricing

  • Fewer liners in a case gives the appearance of a better value because of the lower price
  • Calculating the cost per can liner will give you the true cost per use.

Why Gauge is Not Always Important

Film thickness is no longer the only standard for judging overall bag strength. The development of advanced resins and additives has changed the standard method for selecting the correct can liner. Manufacturers are producing thinner, lighter trash bags that are stronger and more durable than thicker bags made from lesser quality raw materials.

Strength Grade Key

Light For crumbled papers, cups, light waste, etc.
Medium For packaging waste, wet paper, etc.
Heavy For light wood, metal scraps, wet cardboard, etc.
Extra Heavy For heavy, sharp, or wet trash.
Super/Extra Heavy For heaviest cleanup jobs in warehouse, cafeteria, or facility ground.



Most Common Cans & Recommended Liner Sizes

cans and liners



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