FIBC Bulk Bag Frequently Asked Questions

1.What is a FIBC bag?

FIBC stands for Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container. They are also known as Bulk Bags, Big bags, Jumbo bags, Super sacks, …  The bags are classified as intermediate containers because of their size; typically having loading capactity between about 500 and 2000kg. Big bags were originally developed in Europe in the 1970’s, but then were adopted in the Americas and other developing industrial countries. Today, Bulk bag are used nearly in all industries, where dry bulk solids are handled including food, chemicals, construction materials and even pharmaceuticals.

2. What is coated/ laminated big bag?

The coating, also referred to as laminate, is an additional PP film that is added to the bag’s fabric. This film can be added to the inside or outside of the bag.

Coating/lamination also act as a moisture barrier. For some uses a poly liner / PE liner is a better choice to protect the contained materials. 

3. What is SWL of a FIBC bag?

SWL is an abbreviation for safe working load.  A bulk bag's safe working load is the amount of weight that the bag is rated and tested to hold safely. Jumbo bags are manufactured to have a Safe Working Load (SWL) of anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 lbs. Some specialty bags are manufactured to hold up to 5,000 lbs., but these bags are uncommon and hard to find.

4. What does 5:1 and 6:1 SF mean? 

Most woven polypropylene bulk bags are manufactured for single use only. These bags are made with at least a 5:1 Safety Factor which means that they can hold up to five times the amount of their rated safe working load (SWL). However, for safety reasons, EPP doesn’t not recommend filling a bag over its safe working load.

FIBCs are specifically manufactured for multiple uses. These multiple use/multiple trip FIBCs must have a safety factor ratio (SFR) of 6:1, which means they can hold up to six times their safe working load. Again, for safety reasons, we do not recommend filling a bag over its safe working load.

5. Can we reuse a bulk bag?

FIBCs are made from 100% polypropylene and can be recycled. This requires a multi-trip bulk bag, which is made with at least a 6:1 Safety Factor. This type of bag is designed to be used for a specific amount of uses. However, this practice may be dangerous because bags can get damaged while in use and decrease their life expectancy.

6.How do you unload a jumbo bag?

Bulk bags are typically emptied by a spout that is attached to the bottom of the bulk bag. This is also known as a discharge spout. Usually the discharge spout is tucked inside a closure on the bottom of the bag. The closure is designed to protect the spout and to prevent the product from sifting out of the discharge before its intended discharge.

7.Can you print onto a FIBC?

All FIBC bulk bags can be printed. Usually the printing is on the side panels of the bag. Print colors are usually one, two, or three colors, but EPP has the capability to print with more colors, which affects the cost of the bag. We can also print custom logos.

8.What is a UV inhibitor?

A UV inhibitor is an additive that is added to the resin during the extrusion process. It will assist in protecting the bulk bag from the harmful effects of UV rays, thereby protecting it from degrading and becoming unstable and unsafe.

9.How fast can customers get their big bags delivered?

That depends on several different factors including availability. For stock bags, Suppliers can ship the same day, depending on what time the order is placed. For custom made bags that are imported, the lead times are usually 4-6 weeks for bags made overseas. Lead times can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. EPP always try to give the best estimate, and we do everything we can to expedite the process.


What is Polypropylene (PP), and What is it Used For ?