Plastics are the foundation of modern life – almost every object we use on a daily basis has an element of plastic in it. Whether it’s polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC), these plastics all come from resins – and moving the resins in large quantities is made easier with bulk bags, or flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBCs).

Billions of kilograms of plastic resins are manufactured every year. These materials need to be moved from the production plants to a global supply chain of factories that turn them into everyday objects. As such, bulk packaging is a critical component of resin transportation and storage.

Custom Bulk Bags is a leading manufacturer and supplier of bulk bags in South Africa, offering high-quality, UN-certified bulk bags to various customers across the continent. We manufacture up to 3.5 million bulk bags per year; all of which have a minimum safety factor rating of 5:1. Our FIBCs are suitable for storing and transporting various substances, including plastic resins and pellets.

Are bulk bags truly environmentally-friendly

Why opt for FIBCs when shipping resins

Although there are many packaging options available, FIBCs have several unique properties that make them ideal for transporting and storing bulk quantities of plastic resins and pellets. Bulk bags are, themselves, made from woven tapes of PP, which makes them extremely durable, flexible and lightweight.

These packaging products can withstand a large amount of wear and tear while being able to hold up to two tonnes of material per bag. What’s more, they’re extremely lightweight which helps to keep shipping costs to a minimum as you don’t have to pay much more for the additional weight of the packaging.

When not in use, FIBCs can be folded up and stored in a small space. This reduces warehousing costs for companies. They are also highly water-resistant and can be customised with several optional extras to improve their resistance to heat, UV light and other elements that may degrade the fabric or the materials stored within the bags.

Transporting wet products in bulk bags

Three major resins used in plastic manufacturing

Most of the plastic products we use every day come from three basic resins; PE, PP and PVC:

  • PE – This is the most common resin and is used to manufacture plastic packaging and films, such as shopping bags, cling film, shrink wrap and plastic sheeting. PE resin usually comes in beaded or pellet form.
  • PP – This is the world’s second most widely produced resin. It’s used to manufacture flexible and rigid plastics, including food trays, medical equipment, bulk bags and BOPP. It comes in beaded or pellet form.
  • PVC – This is the world’s third most widely produced resin and is used to make flexible and rigid plastics, such as cable insulation, flooring, building conduit, irrigation pipes and some plastic bottles. PVC resin usually comes in powdered form.
A blue forklift picking up a loaded bulk bag from a large stack inside a warehouse

Which FIBCs are best for resins

FIBCs are highly customisable products with many attachments and special coatings. For storing and transporting plastic resins, we recommend using coated bulk bags that have been laminated in an extra layer of PP. This can be applied to the inside or the outside of the fabric and helps to improve the bulk bag’s resistance to moisture, dust and air. 

The laminate does not have any strength benefits, but it does reduce the likelihood of contamination, which is important for virgin polymers and resins. It also improves the durability of the FIBC by reducing fraying.

In addition to a coated bulk bag, we’d suggest opting for an inner liner. This is a thin film of PE that slips into to bulk bag and creates a solid barrier that prevents spillage, contamination or moisture ingression. The liner is vital when storing powdered substances, such as PVC resin.

Custom Bulk Bags makes FIBCs that range in volume from half a cubic metre to two cubic metres. These products can store between 500kg and 2000kg of plastic resins in each bag. If you need some guidance through the ordering and specification process, speak to one of our expert consultants. For more information about our bulk bags, please contact us today.

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Custom Bulk Bags is a leading South African manufacturer of woven polypropylene bags for various industries, such as mining, chemicals and food. We are able to produce over 3.5-million bulk bags per year, keeping our customers in stock at all times. Our bags adhere to the highest levels of quality as a result of our stringent in-house testing and quality control programmes.

Custom Bulk Bags holds ISO 9001 certification and we currently have a number of UN-certified designs. We are a Level 2 B-BBEE manufacturer and supplier and fall under the ownership structure of Deneb Investments Limited. For more information on our products, contact sales@custombulkbags.co.za. Follow us on Facebook for our latest news and industry insights.