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From coffee to cannabis, mylar bags are a saving grace product

While you may never have considered the material before, Mylar has been surrounding you for most, if not all, of your life.

mylar bags
Image: Unsplash

Even if you’ve never thought about Mylar before, you’ve definitely encountered or used this material at least once in your life, if not more. Mylar is used across innumerable industries for innumerable products, perhaps the most recognizable form being the silvery Mylar balloons you can buy at the grocery store.

But you’ll find thicker, sturdier, variously colored Mylar in bag form in the coffee, nut, and granola bar aisles, as well. Nowadays, you’re also likely to encounter Mylar bags when you enter a cannabis dispensary. So what is it about Mylar that makes it so popular and attractive as a packaging, balloon, and food wrapper material? Let’s dig in and find out. 

Mylar was invented by the DuPont Company in the 1950s and to this day is trademarked and manufactured by DuPont Teijin Films. It’s an innovation on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic called biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BoPET), which is the fancy scientific way of saying “a high tensile strength polyester film.” In its original form, it’s typically reflective, flexible, and, most importantly, highly resistant to airflow and moisture. 

When Mylar first came on the market, the food industry took immediate notice. You see, because of its ability to block out oxygen, moisture, oils, and more, it became the perfect material for packaging a range of food products.

One of the most notable food product industries that rely on the resilience and strength of Mylar bags is coffee – a product that requires a dry, airtight environment to remain fresh and usable until you scoop it into your countertop machine. You can probably see and feel the Mylar texture in your mind’s eye –  it’s thick, flexible but strong, and colorful on the outside but silvery on the inside. Another role Mylar plays when packaging coffee? Keeping that intense aroma locked inside. 

But outside of the food industry you’ll find Mylar in tons of unsuspecting places. The top layer of Polaroid paper, some kinds of electrical insulation, and the clear sleeves that protect some of our nation’s most important documents at the Library of Congress are all made from various types of Mylar. Oh, and you know that thicker than usual, shiny tissue paper? That’s Mylar, too. But there’s one more industry taking full advantage of Mylar’s incredible packaging and decorative features: cannabis

Much like various food products, cannabis flower requires an airtight, moisture-resistant, smell-proof container to remain fresh. Okay, the smell-proof part is more for discretion’s sake, which is an amazing result of Mylar bags being highly impermeable to airflow. Just like how the coffee industry discovered that resealable Mylar bags were the perfect contraption to house their element-sensitive products, cannabis manufacturers, dispensaries, and consumers are fully latching onto the same idea. But don’t get us wrong – the cannabis industry has been on Mylar bags for a while now. It’s just that as the industry burgeons, so does the necessity for quality, attractive, protective, and secure marijuana packaging

The security aspect is perhaps one of the highest priorities for both state cannabis commissions and safety-conscious consumers, particularly those with young kids. One of the most common regulations on cannabis packaging and sales in almost every legalized state is that containers must be child-resistant. Thanks to the strength of the Mylar used for making cannabis pouches, manufacturers have been able to create child-resistant closure mechanisms that can be resealed and reopened over and over again. 

Take, for instance, these Pinch N Slide Mylar bags. The design is certified by the ASTM child-resistant gurus, but it’s also sleek, customizable, and keeps cannabis flower or edibles fresh and potent for weeks on end. 

Next time you’re in the grocery store, looking through old Poloroid photo albums, buying a balloon for your kid, or shopping at a cannabis dispensary, check out the strength, smoothness, and resilience of the Mylar materials used. While you may never have considered the material before, Mylar has been surrounding you for most, if not all, of your life. 

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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