Tin tie bags: Not just for coffee anymore

By: Mya Koch
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There’s nothing like it. You go to your favorite coffee purveyor, pick out your beans, they bag it up and you travel home. Now, the best part – you unfold those tin ties, unroll the top of the bag and take a big breath in, smelling the aroma of your chosen brew. Tin tie bags are the most wonderful way to showcase a good java.

But did you know, coffee isn’t the only thing that can find a great home in a tin tie bag? Businesses everywhere are discovering their many uses, styles and benefits. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at what tin tie bags have to offer.

What is it about tin tie bags?

Well, for starters, these traditional bags are an easy way to seal and secure the bag and its contents without an additional clip. Simply roll down the top of the bag and fold the wired ties around the ends.

In addition, by having the ability to roll down and reclose the bag as its contents are used, you’ll have a visual reference for how much of the product inside you have remaining.

Relatively inexpensive, too, tin ties are easy to fill up with a small scoop or a funnel. Just be sure to leave enough room at the top to roll it down as you go.

Another version of these bags now comes with a popular zipper seal. Take a look at those here.

A bag for many uses


Tin tie bags are perfect for coffee because they are designed to block moisture or oxygen from contaminating fresh coffee beans or ground coffee. Some even come with valves to help release gasses.

According to the folks at, Diacetyl, 2, 3-pentanedione, other volatile organic compounds and gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are naturally produced during coffee roasting and released (off-gassed) during and after roasting. Bags fitted with one-way valves allow the coffee to off-gas after it is packaged.

Inside these bags, there’s a small plastic, one-way valve. The valve not only allows the gasses to escape, but also prevents oxygen from entering the bag, which would reduce shelf life and cause your favorite java to go stale. Read more about this helpful invention.


Tin tie bags are a optimal way to store – and showcase – your most popular (or your customers’ favorite) snacks, such as:

  • Popcorn – Those kernels fit snugly inside a tin tie bag, yet the salts and butters don’t leak through. Companies across the country have found the benefits of using them, including Pittsburgh Popcorn, a thriving business for decades in the heart of the Steel City’s Strip District.
  • Candy – Think M&Ms, wrapped caramels, small lollipops or bridge mix. Even homemade hard candies or chocolates would work well. Just remember to store them in a cool, dry location.
  • Nuts – Grease resistant liners mean that oils are contained in the bag, and candied nuts will stay fresh and not clump together.
  • Pretzels – Mini pretzels look fantastic and stay fresh inside a nice tin tie bag.
  • Chips – Many restaurants showcase their homemade potato chips and offer them to take home inside of a tin tie bag. This provides yet another way to make money from your restaurant or café.


  • Biscotti – These tasty treats (that are awesome with a hot cup of coffee, by the way) line up nicely in a tin tie bag.
  • Cookies – All sorts of shapes and sizes of chocolate chip, oatmeal, shortbread and more can be easily tucked away inside one of these great bags.
  • Mini Donuts – You’ve seen in the grocery store how Little Debbie uses tin tie sacks for their donuts. You can, too, and with your label instead of theirs.


Many of our clients here at MrTakeOutBags have found the benefits of using tin tie bags for unique items, such as:

  • Soil samples — Because tin ties can pack flat, easily close and be written on in the field, they are a great choice for this industry. Their strength and moisture barrier with the poly lined option make them a practical pick.
  • Bath products — Many boutique fragrance shops use tin tie bags for their bath salts, bath bombs and potpourris.
  • Beading and jewelry supplies — Smaller tin tie bags are a great choice for folks browsing through bead bins or crystals.

black tin tie bag laying downTin ties bags take shape

Tin tie bags have four walls and a gusset, created from a single sheet of paper. A peak is created at the top when the bag is sealed.

Because they have a flat bottom, they stand upright. There are several benefits to this. They display beautifully and are easily stocked on shelves. In addition, they can easily sit flat inside of other, larger flat-bottom bags.

Tin tie bag sizes are generally based on dry weight measurements. They are available in a wide range, from half-pound to 5-pound capacity.

There’s a style for every use, too, including:

  • Poly lined, which keeps contents free from contamination
  • PLA lined – the perfect choice for any eco-friendly coffee shop or business.
  • Poly / plastic laminate bags, which use a combination of these materials merged together to provide a barrier for your products.
  • Window tin ties, which are a great way to show off those specialty items in your shop
  • Heat sealable. With these bags, the top opening can be sealed (with your own heat sealer) to provide a durable and secure fit. Once sealed, the top of the bag becomes tamper evident, with tear notches for the buyer to remove.
  • Chalkboard black is a popular choice for shops that use a white ink pen to personalize their items. These also are available with a PLA liner.

Are they earth-friendly?

In short, it depends. Tin tie bags generally are not recyclable if they’re made of a paper-poly combination. In addition, you’ll need to remove the actual tin tie by tearing it off before recycling the rest of the bag. This holds true for the PLA version as well.

PLA or pure paper tin tie bags are fully recyclable. The PLA version is made from 40 percent recycled, unbleached natural kraft paper that contains 25 percent post-consumer content. They are compostable as well.

Many plastic tin tie bags, which are becoming more popular, can be recycled with other plastic items. If you use these, be sure to check the bottom to see if the recycle number matches your area’s guidelines.

custom label on a tin tie bagPut your name on it!

Tin tie bags can easily be customized to showcase your brand or company logo. Hot stamping or full-color printing are two ways to accomplish this.

Another great idea that many shop owners employ is having a custom label made for the front of the bag.

In some cases, you can even request a custom color for the tin tie itself.

Check out some ideas for customizing your tin tie bags here. And if it’s a custom label you’re leaning toward, here’s a place to start.

No matter what size, color or style you choose, a great tin-tie bag is the perfect addition to your business and your customers’ pantries.

Mya L Koch is a Sales Order Specialist for who has vast experience as a journalist, writer and editor for publications such as The Wilmington Star-News and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, where she managed staffs of young writers and photographers and helmed daily, monthly and annual publications seen throughout the region. Her writings have been published in magazines, newspapers and most recently in a hard-cover book for the national Bring Music Home initiative. She has extensive experience as an editor, manager and in retail sales. She welcomes your ideas and suggestions for her blog post as part of the BABCOR Packaging / team.

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