International Plastics, Inc.

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How are custom poly bag and plastic bag prices calculated?

APR 19, 2023 • BY ROGER •

Many customers ask how we quote a custom poly/plastic bag job. The full answer is surprisingly complex yet answered simply. Here are a few of the major considerations that go into our custom bag quote for you.

1.) RESIN: The essence of a plastic bag and the primary consideration when having a custom manufactured resin-based product created is the current resin price. Resin is the raw material used to produce LDPE and HDPE polyethylene, PP polypropylene, and many other thermoplastic polyolefin films. Resins are produced by cracking ethylene atoms (a natural gas byproduct). Resin prices fluctuate for various reasons, some of which include: energy prices, production capacity, current inventories /supply/demand, acts of God (hurricanes and severe winters), plant shutdowns for scheduled or non-scheduled maintenance, etc.

2.) MATERIALS: Knowing what size of film and or bags, what quantity of film and bags are needed, including anticipated scrap rates. Understanding this will help determine how much resin is needed, what machines will be used in production, and if there are opportunities to run multiple impressions at the same time. Each custom bag size, construction, quantity, and print (if printed) has a unique historical scrap value included in the cost of the bags per 1000.  

3.) PRINTING / ARTWORK / PREPRESS / PLATES: We will determine what art time is needed to prepare prepress art files for plates. Then we will determine how many plates will be required. Many jobs can print multiple identical impressions for efficiency. The primary factors in deciding plate costs, which is calculated by the size of the plates, is the length of the plate, if the plates repeat (which is determined by bag width), and the amount of print coverage. Each job is analyzed for maximize efficiencies. Plate costs are usually a one-time fee. The plates can be used over and over again at no additional cost, but they do have a "life". On some jobs, we can utilize digital printing, eliminating the need for plates, but it does come at a cost as state of art digital machinery is very expensive.

4.) PRODUCTION TIME NEEDED: Production and machine speeds - extrusion, pre-press / plate mounting, printing presses, bag machines, automated and or manual packaging, etc. Lead time can, at times, dictate cost structures. When enough time is allowed, the proper-sized materials can be utilized, and the job can run on the most efficient machines and printing presses unique to that item. When lead time is constrained, larger materials may have to be used and trimmed to size, and the jobs may have to run on less efficient machinery than optimal for the item, which all impacts the bottom line

5.) PACKAGING COSTS: Determining how many corrugated containers will be needed to package the finished bags or film properly and what size boxes, roll cores, wickets, tape, pallets, stretch wrap, strapping, etc. The number of bags per master case and the potential inner packaging required can impact the overall cost.  

6.) SCHEDULING AVAILABILITY: Is the job a rush?  What is the expected lead time? What does the current production schedule look like? Where will the various production steps fall in the current scheduling? What if scheduling processes must be moved around to meet expected delivery times?  See "#3 Production Time Needed" above. All of these time sensitive factors are taken into consideration, and we do our best to make them as efficient and cost effective as possible so that we can pass the savings onto you.

7.) OUTBOUND FREIGHT: When considering your custom printed job, we don't overlook the aspect of shipping the job to you. We have to take into account all of the following:

  • Where will the finished goods be shipped?
  • What carrier type will be used: LTL or Parcel?
  • What will be the estimated packaged weight of the finished goods?
  • Will freight be F.O.B. or Delivered prices?
  • What percentage is the freight to the actual cost of goods?

All of these factors impact the final cost and we understand that the cost, of goods is just as important as the cost of shipping to our customers.


Overall, the price of custom poly/plastic bags will depend on the above 7 factors. It's always best to get a quote from us before the custom poly / plastic bag process even begins. We will be with you every step of the way.
INTERNATIONAL PLASTICS' SECRET SAUCE:  People + Purpose + Process + Passion = Operational Excellence. Our entire organization is constantly driven by a commitment to excellence and a desire to exceed our customer’s expectations. We go to every length to ensure our processes, services, and products exceed industry standards. Our ISO 9001 certification assures you of consistent quality in products and services, a prompt resolution to problems, and our commitment to continuous improvement. The advantage for you is quality products at the lowest possible cost!


As you can tell, we take pride in ALL that we do…  Just give us a try… We will win you with price and keep you with service! ™

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