ClearBags A – Z Glossary of Packaging Terms

We often find that the world of packaging lingo can get a bit confusing. Take complicated names for different materials and mix that in with proprietary ClearBags terms, then add a dash of lengthy acronyms to get the perfect combination of often confusing packaging speak. We wanted to clear up some of those terms with this quick glossary of packaging terms. Hopefully, this helps! Let us know in the comments any additional questions you might have and we will add them to the list.

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Acid Free– safe for long term storage due to the acid buffer of plastic materials

Airsafe Boxes– art boxes that meet UPS and FedEx insurance standards for a full 2” of free air
space between your product and the outer wall

Airsafe Spacer– available in 1” or 2” depths to keep space between your product and the box

Album Sleeves– plastic sleeves that are designed to protect and display vintage vinyl records and
album covers. Also known as “Blake Sleeves”

Archival– plastic material is treated to product items from acid, dust, dirt, etc
Backing Board– A stiff, pressed cardboard made from 100% recycled fiber that is used for art
and photo to provide a firm backing for photos. Available in black or white.

Bags on a Roll– Large, heavy duty bags rolled around a plastic or cardboard core that can be
perforated for easy tear off

Barrier– a term used to describe the material of a bag or box that protects contents from
moisture, dirt and other contaminants. Different materials have different barrier properties.

Book Covers– a crystal clear plastic wrap designed to cover and protect most books

BOPP– aka Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene – a film that has been stretched in the machine in
the longitudinal direction and the transverse (lateral) direction to provide a crystal clear
Canvas Gallery Wraps– Bags that are thicker and stronger than a standard bag and have an
oversized flap to hold European and Domestic sized canvases

Card Jackets– A plastic that wraps around the front and back cover of a card to product against
dust and handling while allowing cards to be opened

Child Resistant– packaging that complies with regulations regarding safety of children from
harmful products

Clam Shells– Boxes designed to hold products in the retail environment. Place products inside
and snap shut for a tight closure. Great for products with sharp edges

Co-Ex Mailers– Also known as poly mailers, these bags are made of a 3-layer co-extruded LDPE
material that is opaque white on the exterior and silver in the exterior. Great for shipping non-
fragile items.

Comic Book Bags– clear bags specifically designed to protect and preserve comic books. Two
sizes available with or without adhesive.

Cupcake Bags/Boxes– Packaging made to hold standard, mini or jumbo-sized cupcakes. Options
available to hold one, a half dozen or one dozen cupcakes.

Customs– If we don’t carry the size you need, you can have it custom made. Custom sizes,
shapes and printing available with low minimums
Deckled– an irregular, untrimmed edge-often used for ornamental effects on stationery

Dental Barrier Bags– bags designed to protect items found in a dental office and aid in the
prevention of cross-contamination
Eco Clear– our line of environmentally friendly compostable bags, made from plant based (PLA)

Elastic Stretch Loop– elastic bands used to wrap, decorate and secure bags and boxes. Comes
with a pre-tied bow
Flap Seal Bags– plastic bags that come with a flap and an adhesive strip on that flap, which can
be folded and sealed over the bag’s opening

Foam Board– aka Foam Core – a stiff board with a foam core. Great for protecting art, photos,
prints, comic books and more. Available in two colors, with or without an adhesive backing

Food Safe– Bags and boxes that are FDA approved for food contact
Gift Basket Bags– bags that are specially designed to fit gift baskets to keep contents secure.
ClearBags gift basket bags come with a round bottom to better fit the curvature of gift baskets.

Glassine– paper and envelopes that are a translucent, frosted-looking material that is acid-free
and unbuffered. Ideal for protecting delicate artwork, photos, documents, cards and more

Gusset– describes the extra material located on either the side or bottom of a bag that allows it
to expand for additional fillable space
Hand Sealers– a device used to heat seal bags closed by applying a pulse of energy to the are to
be sealed.

Hang Tabs– plastic tabs meant to adhere to a non-hanging product to allow it to hang in the
retail environment

Hanging Bags– bags that are constructed with a reinforced hang strip on the top of the bag for
easy retail display

Heat Sealable Bags– a type of bag specifically designed to be closed using a hand sealer (or heat
sealer) to provide an airtight, secure closure
IPP– aka Isotactic Polypropylene, a version of polypropylene material that is softer than BOPP,
almost like polyethylene material only much clearer.

KPET– PVDC coated PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) film that is food safe and has a high
moisture, oxygen and aroma barrier

Kraft– a natural-looking material made from natural, unbleached paperboard
LDPE– aka Low-Density Polyethylene – a material that isn’t as clear as BOPP or polypropylene
but is commonly used in plastic bags

LLDPE– aka Linear Low-Density Polyethylene – a material that is stronger and clearer than LDPE.
Provides an excellent puncture and tear resistant packaging option
Macaron Bags/Boxes– packaging specifically designed to hold and display French macarons.
Packaging options available to hold 5-25 macarons

Magnet Sleeves– vinyl sleeves that hold a standard sized magnet for retail display. Great for

Mats– pre-cut mats available for photos and artwork in a variety of sizes, colors and thicknesses

Metallized– a food safe polymer material coated with a thin layer of metal, usually aluminum.
Offers high barrier properties from moisture, oxygen, and aroma.

Micro-Perforated– bags that feature small perforations or holes in the material that allows the
material to release scent, allow excess moisture to escape and keep products fresh for longer

Mounting Corners– acid-free, self-adhesive corners that adhere artwork and photography to
backing/foam board without the sticky mess of glue.

Mounting Tape– tape that is safe and convenient to use to mount prints or artwork to
backing/foam board
No Flap Bags– bags or sleeves that do not feature a flap or an adhesive closure (bag is sealed on
3 sides).
Ornate Boxes– boxes in unique shapes that are ideal for packaging decorative food items, party
favors, craft and hobby projects and more. Multiple sizes and shapes available

Oven Bag– a food safe bag that is heat resistant up to 220°C. Great for oven, microwave, crock
pot and more

Oxygen Transfer Rate– the measurement of the amount of oxygen that passes through a
material over a period of time. Commonly used when determining the barrier level of a
PET– Polyethylene terephthalate material which is FDA approved for direct food contact

Photo Mounts– clear sleeves that can be adhered to the back of photos, in albums, or to the
back of certificates of authenticity. Acid and lignin free for photo storage and archiving
Pillow Boxes– boxes that fold to create a “pillow” effect that turns dull packaging into a unique
packaging option

PLA – stands for polylactic acid or polylactide which is a biodegradable and bioactive
thermoplastic aliphatic polyester derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch (in the
United States and Canada), tapioca roots, chips or starch (mostly in Asia), or sugarcane (in the
rest of the world). (Source: Wikipedia)

Polyethylene– known by the abbreviation PE, material that is most commonly used in plastic

Polypropylene– known by the abbreviation PP, material that has a higher clarity than

Poly Tubing– a soft plastic packaging that is ideal for poster sleeves and other items that are sold
rolled up

Premium Bags– our standard clear bags made from a thicker and stronger material and stronger
side seams

Protective Closure Bags– bags that feature a resealable adhesive located on the body of the bag,
not the flap to prevent contents from coming into contact with the adhesive

PVC– Polyvinyl chloride material used for non-food related packaging. Archival quality.
Quad Seal– a four-sided gusset that allows the base of the bag to mimic a box to offer a sturdy
Resealable Adhesive– adhesive strip that allows for opening and closing multiple times without
losing adhesive ability

Rice Paper– material that has an unique fiber pattern and textured feel. When used for bags,
usually lined with a poly material to keep products inside fresh.

Rigid Mailers– white chip board mailers used to protect art, photos, documents and more during
shipping or mailing. Available in two weights, heavy (28pt) or light (18pt)
Stand Up Pouch– a food safe bag that is constructed with a self-supporting pouch design that
allows the bag to stand by itself when filled. Available in different materials, sizes and colors

Static Shielding– a transparent metallic bag that is static electricity resistant. Made from a 4-
layer construction and used for packaging sensitive electronics and more. Available open-ended
or with a resealable zip closure.

Suffocation Warning– resealable bags that come with a pre-printed suffocation warning in 3
languages. ClearBags brand suffocation warning bags are Amazon FBA complaint.
Tamper Resistant– a type of bag that doesn’t feature tear notches or resealable adhesive for
easy opening, which adds an extra child safety measure

Tear Notches– small notches located at the top of a bag that allows for easy opening once heat
sealed for a secure closure

Truffle Boxes– boxes designed specially to hold chocolates and truffles, comes with a clear insert
to make loading candies quick and easy

Tubes– a flexible packaging option great for retail use, food products and packaging gifts. Set
includes two thermoform lids for a secure closure. Multiple shapes available, ships and stores

Two-Piece Folding Boxes– boxes that are ideal for packaging greeting cards or photographs.
Multiple sizes and colors available. Slip covers and box tops sold separately

Value Bags– economy clear bags that are durable, look professional and provide protection.
Bags are 1.2 mil (vs the standard 1.6 mil) and made with acid and lignin free material

Value Boxes– economy clear boxes that are made from a 10 mil material versus our standard 12

Vellum– translucent and frosted material that allows the contents to be seen through the

Vinyl– a strong, crystal clear material that provides protection to products. Great for packaging
sharp or pointed products

Vinyl Stretch Loop– a vinyl flat band that is used to wrap, decorate and secure closure to boxes.
Multiple sizes and colors available

VMPET– Vacuum Metallized PET is a metallized PET material that offers a high barrier to light
and oxygen. Provides a smoother appearance and more flexible material than aluminum-lined
Water Tight– bags that are made from an exclusive PE and Metallocene blend of materials that
provides the strongest seams available


Zipper Closures– bags that feature a zipper to provide an airtight closure and to help seal out the
elements. We offer standard zipper bags, zipper pouches and sliding zipper bags