What are the different bag closing options for industrial bakeries?

In the fast-paced world of baking and food packaging, selecting the right bag closure is crucial to ensuring optimal production efficiency, product freshness and sustainability.

Whilst various options are available, in recent years tape sealing equipment has come to the forefront due to its versatility, consumer-friendly features and environmental emphasis.

Here’s an overview of the different types of bag closing methods and a look at the advantages which sets tape sealing apart from other methods.

Twist tie   

Twist tie machines apply a thin metal core encased in a plastic strip to secure bags by twisting them around the neck of the bag. Whilst simple and effective, these closures cannot be recycled due to their mixed material composition. They also have very sharp edges, with the metal cores often protruding from their casing and presenting potential health hazards. The surface area does not allow for printing any information, meaning ‘best by’ dates are confined to the bag along with all the other product information.

twist tie on plastic bag

Twin wire clip

Twin wire clips are another example of metal encased in plastic, similar to twist ties but designed to bend around the bag neck to keep a tight seal. These closures also present similar potential hazards associated with the sharp edges and cannot be recycled. They also present choking risks as they could be easily ingested by children or pets.

Plastic tags

Plastic tagging machines attach small, barbed plastic tags to the bag’s neck to seal it in place. These can be also be manufactured from other materials such as cardboard or resin, and whilst some compostable and recyclable options are available, they are difficult to use more than once and are prone to ripping. They allow for a very small amount of text to be printed on the closure, but sharp edges can also present hazards, especially as the plastic variety can snap easily.

plastic bread bag tag

Tape seals

Tape sealing machines apply resealable polypropylene closures to seal bags securely. They are made from the same material as plastic bread bags – meaning that they can be left attached and recycled together. They have neutral tabs to facilitate easy opening and a large print area to allow for an easily accessible ‘best by’ date, in addition to space for traceability or other information. Tape sealing specialists, We Seal, have recently created a formula which incorporates post-industrial-recycled content into their seals, whilst remaining fully recyclable after use. Thanks to their lightweight design, there is a huge saving in the raw material – with 80% less required for each individual seal compared to plastic tags.  

Tamper-evident sealing

More and more baked goods producers are searching for tamper-evident packaging solutions, with several methods currently available. These vary from heat sealing, perforated bags, stickers and laser stitching, all utilised by manufacturers to provide visual indications to consumers if a product has been opened.

We Seal have also addressed this need by introducing a tamper-evident bag closure. This seal has an ingenious design, with the combination of a transparent window and logo transfer which cannot be re-aligned once the seal has been opened. Watch this video to see how they work:

 

Tamper-evident seals  

In conclusion, whilst twist ties and plastic tags have historically played a large role in bag sealing within the baking industry, tape sealing has emerged as the superior and more sustainable option for modern bakeries and conscientious consumers.

By choosing tape sealing equipment and eco-friendly tapes, bakeries can enhance productivity, reduce waste, and contribute positively to sustainability efforts, meeting the demands of both their consumers and regulatory standards as we all work towards a greener world.

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engineers working on a We Seal bag sealing machine

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