For all your carrier bags needs.

Buy carrier bags

Buy from a wide range of carrier bags.

Carrier bags are lightweight but strong bags made from polythene and given away (or sold) by supermarkets and other retailers to consumers for the purpose of carrying goods away from the store. Available in a range of styles and made from polythene of varying thicknesses, depending on the required strength and quality of the bag, carrier bags are used on by retailers everywhere to help their customers. Retailers often order printed carrier bags, complete with their company logo or branding, to help advertise their store to others as the bag is carried around outside the store.

Common types of carrier bag

Vest carriers - the classic carrier bag, as used by most supermarkets, smaller shops and newsagents. Available in a wide range of colours and offer good strength if not totally filled.

Patch handle bags - include an extra patch of polythene glued to the inside of the bag handle to strengthen it. Used in retail stores for heavier or higher value items.

Clip close carriers - side vented or gusseted bags featuring two plastic handles which clip together to close the bag.

Drawstring bags - carrier bag with no handles, but a string looped through the top and down the side of the bag, which is pulled tight to close or loosened to open.

Counter bags - small but strong bags commonly found in supermarkets, butchers, grocers or other food retailers. Usually clear or white, these bags come in large dispensing packs from which customers help themselves.

Printed carrier bags

Carrier bags offer the ideal way for businesses to advertise themselves directly within their target market. They are already a necessary overhead for all in-store retailers, as shoppers expect something to carry their shopping home in - if customers weren’t offered a carrier bag to carry their shopping home in, then there might be a few questions asked! - so why not go that little bit further and let the carrier bags work for them.

Turning a standard plain carrier bag into a smart, striking, company-branded carrier bag can mean the difference between catching a potential new customer’s eye or missing out on them altogether.

Once they have left the shop, printed carrier bags act as a mobile advert for the retailer as the customer carries their bag around with them among other shoppers. Right in amongst it, with hundreds if not thousands of shoppers rubbing shoulders on an average shopping day, and there’s your advert on the side of every bag given out to your customers. Talk about direct marketing!

What’s more, not only do printed carrier bags help to advertise to other shoppers, but they also reinforce the brand directly with the initial customer.

Carrying around a cool, smart, trendy or eye-catching bag helps the customer to feel better about their purchase. Plus after the bag is packed away at home and then pulled out a while later to help with the shopping, then it serves as a reminder to the customer about the company, thus encouraging them to shop their once again.

Where can I buy carrier bags?

Manufacturers and suppliers of carrier bags include:

Printed Carrier Bags
Stand out from the crowd by getting your carrier bags customised with your company logo, brand design or a bespoke message using their personalised printed carrier bag service and let the world know your name.

Carrier Bags
In conjunction with Polybags provides a big range of plastic carriers and paper bags. Also offering a custom printed carrier bags service if you need personalised carrier bags.

Discount Carrier Bags is the best place to source carrier bags at manufacturers prices. Find the best suppliers of polythene bags, plastic carrier bags and shopping bags. Also available on their website is a buyers guide for carrier bags with information on the different types of carrier bags and printed carriers available.

Discount Printed Carrier Bags is dedicated to provide you with discount suppliers of plastic carrier bags. Whether you are looking for basic t-shirt(vest style)carrier bags or exotic printed carrier bags.

Printed Carrier Bags 2U
Printedcarrierbags2u is your resource for all kinds of printed carrier bags. You could also have your logo printed on any plastic carrier from patch handle carriers to varigauge carriers.

Printed Carrier Bags Direct
Personalised carrier bag service provider with free quotation option. Have your logo or design printed on any plastic carrier bag be it a standard carrier bag or vest type carrier bag.

Coloured Bags
Website offering colour printing of polythene carrier bags, useful to promote and advertise your company image or product.

Printed Carrier Bags Direct
Visit Printed Carrier Bags for a range of high quality printed carriers stocked carrier bags. Buy online securely from their supplier at discount prices with free UK delivery.

Discount Printed Carrier Bags
Discount Printed Carrier Bags offers information about plastic carrier bags and printed carrier bags, buy direct from manufacturers at discounted prices and with free delivery within the UK.

Coloured Bags Direct
Offering colour printing of polythene carrier bags. Give a professional look to your carriers and promote and advertise your company image or product. Get a free quotation for your design.

Carrier bags and waste

Carrier bags are seen by many to represent of all that is bad about our attitudes to packaging and waste - a bag that is given out too readily by retailers, accepted too quickly by consumers and thrown out too easily, being left to fill up landfill sites for years on end.

The Governments of Wales and Northern Ireland have already introduced a 5p levy to customers for a ‘single use’ carrier bag in an attempt to discourage customers from using them. The Scottish Government will have a similar law in place by October 2014.

While use of conventional, lightweight carrier bags made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) has been discouraged in recent years, many retailers have pushed ‘Bags for Life’, made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), along with more durable bags made from non-woven polypropylene (PP), as well as paper or cotton bags.

These alternative bags have been viewed by many people to be a ‘greener’ solution to carrying home your shopping and have become a must-have for your discerning 21st-century shopper.

However, the answer may not be quite so simple.

Life-cycle impacts of different carrier bags

In February 2011, the Environment Agency published a report of a study that assessed the “life cycle environmental impacts of the production, use and disposal of” different types of carrier bags used by supermarkets in the UK.

The report found that, to ensure that each of the alternative bags had “lower global warming potential” than a conventional HDPE carrier bag used only once, they would need to be reused between 3 times (paper bags) and 131 times (cotton bags). The table below includes the full breakdown of results.

Table: Number of uses required from reusable bags to take them below the global warming potential of a standard HDPE carrier bags

Type of bag HDPE bag used only once HDPE bag re-used as bin liner
Paper carrier bag 3 9
LDPE bag (‘Bag for Life’) 4 12
Non-woven PP bag 11 33
Cotton bag 131 393


The report concluded that: "Whatever type of bag is used, the key to reducing the impacts is to reuse it as many times as possible and where reuse for shopping is not practicable, other reuse, e.g. to replace bin liners, is beneficial."

Perhaps we need to think a bit harder about how we use our bags, whether a conventional HDPE carrier bag or a cotton bag, but perhaps we also need to think twice about what sort of bags we use.

Opting for the ‘greener’ alternative may only prove to be that if the bag is used and reused properly. There’s no point turning down the carrier bag if the replacement gets thrown away too soon.

A Bag for Life is no good if its life is cut short.