an experience that will make you glad

Making house hold chores easier with a new trash bag package design.

the problem

Cluttered, disorganized packages cannot be accessed simultaneously.

Trash bags are sold in single packages, requiring individuals to purchase more than one box at a time if they wish to outfit their entire home with different sizes. Having multiple, separate packages causes clutter and frustration in the home where storage is limited. The packages in which trash bags are stored are notoriously difficult to keep under control when trying to grab just one bag.

our users

Apartment Renters

“I don’t have a whole lot of space in my apartment so everything I can do to keep my cupboard nice and organized is a bonus.”

New Homeowner

“We just bought our first home, we’ve got trash cans in every room like every house should but filling them all is a drag because I have to pull out two or three different boxes.”

user insights

Dispensing of the bag was a large issue for our users

“Finding the end that opens and keeping the roll neat once I tear one off is always a struggle for me.”

“Having the whole roll come out of the box when I grab one is very frustrating.”

collecting data

This innital survey I conducted helped determine how large the product could be made to maximize convenience and minimize its footprint.

The majority of participants had two trash bag sizes in their homes.

Most participants stored their trash bags under the kitchen sink in their homes.


To generate solutions for these problems, I began to understand our main insights and brainstormed some possible solutions to identify different ways this could be resolved.

Lack of Variety

Trash bag packages remain an item that must be purchased separately to attain every size necessary in a household.

Little Functionality

Trash bag packaging remains relatively simple, a borderline tissue box for trash bags. It serves no extra purpose. This feels like a missed opportunity.

possible solutions

Going Verticle

This first idea came in the form of vertically stacked bags in a tower form. The product designer I was working with made me aware of the materials which egg-carts used to keep eggs in place. This was utilized to maintain internal rigidity.

Can be stored in a lay-flat position for storage in drawers and spaces with less vertical clearance.

Utilizes a low center-of-gravity to keep object anchored while bagsare being dispensed.

Alternate Orientations

The next concept changed the layout of bag receptacles significantly. It maintaines the dimensional effectiveness of our first concept.

Different dispensing directions could provide recognition difficulties.

Form factor maintains versatility.

testing on real people

Some of our main issues were solved with these two solutions, such as our problems with dispensing the bags, and having to sort through several boxes.

“The little flaps helps keep the bags separate so I don’t accidentally grab multiple at a time.”

“The roll stays put when I try and grab a bag, I love that.”

However, a new problem presented it self with users wanting to be able to refill the bags.

“I wish I could restock the bags, or detach the boxes to get new ones.”

“I wish there was a way to refill the bags.”

refill the box

Side Flap Design

Taking queues from cereal boxes, we implemented a side flap into our package. For a side flap to work properly, the reenforcement material had to be shifted to one side to enable customers to retrieve the bags and not have to remove a support insert in the process.

Bags were shifted closer to the open end for easy retrieval

Easy to open, refill, and reseal

Building The Flap

We constructed a prototype with the flap to study how effectively users were able to operate it and refill the bags. It was immediately obvious that its likeness to a cereal box was a familiarity users took advantage of.

“The angle of the bags is a little strange at first but it actually helps me grab each one easier”

“It’s very convenient for when I run out of the big ones first!”

“It’s so much easier to buy them this way, why don’t they do this?”

label design

In keeping with Glads current branding system for their trash bags, we kept the on-box information the same so customers could scan the package for their same informati on they have used when shopping before.

the solution

Our proposed solution would involve combining the most popular types and sizes of trash bags purchased together into one package. The goal of a single package is to eliminate clutter and provide an easier dispensing experience when refilling multiple bags at a time.

whats next?


We believe a worthwhile exploration into ergonomics and handling could shed light on the experience customers have while refiling the trash bags. Several consumers pointed out how nice it was to be able to fill everything at once. What if we promoted this activity? Would handles or other niceties compel users to complete the task of filling trash bags faster and get back to their daily activities?

Product Rolls

A very time consuming, yet potentially beneficial area we considered while producing this package was the method which the rolls were constructed. Is a roll the most effective way to put trash bags into a container? Would a flat stack, similar to tissue boxes be better?

Web design and content © Amelia Iracki 2021