Decoding Plastic Bags

plastic bag numbers

Have you ever noticed the markings on plastic bags and found yourself wondering what all those symbols, letters and numbers mean? You’re not alone. As the plant manager at Hilex I’ve been asked about this many times! This particular aspect of the bag manufacturing process is (like many things we do) part of the effort to ensure that Hilex produces the highest quality products possible. These codes give us the information we need to track each and every bag we produce here in the USA. In the rare event that we do have an issue with a product, these codes provide the detail needed to identify:

  • Which manufacturing facility produced the bag
  • On which day and shift the bag was produced
  • Which machine and operator produced the bag

Quality control measures, like the codes on our bags, are important, not only because our customers expect a high-quality product, but because at Hilex we are committed to sustainability and waste reduction. Ultimately, a higher quality bag means less waste because stores don’t waste bags through double bagging.

Take a look at this image of the bottom of one of our bags. Try to guess what each making means, and then check to see if you’re right with the key below!

plastic bag numbers


  1. Made from recyclable High Density Polyethylene
  2. Proudly marked as “Made in the USA,” along with the plant code
  3. Hilex Poly Co LLC Corporate marking
  4. Recycling / Recyclable emblem (to remind consumers that this bag is 100% recyclables and reusable)
  5. The day of week, and week of year the bag was produced
  6. Production line and indication of the shift
  7. Identification of operator