Several design options and features are available. Some bags have gussets to allow a higher volume of contents. Some have the ability to stand up on a shelf or a refrigerator. Some have easy-opening or reclosable options. Handles are cut into or added onto some.
Plastic bags usually use less material than comparable boxes, cartons, or jars, thus are often considered as "reduced or minimized packaging".
Depending on the construction, plastic bags can be well suited for plastic recycling. They can be incinerated in appropriate facilities for waste-to-energy conversion. They are stable and benign in sanitary landfills. If disposed of improperly, however, plastic bags can create unsightly litter and harm some types of wildlife.
Bags are also made with carrying handles, hanging holes, tape attachments, security features, etc. Some bags have provisions for easy and controlled opening. Reclosable features, including press-to-seal zipper strips such as Ziploc, are common for kitchen bags. Some bags are sealed and can only be opened by destroying the packaging, providing some tamper-evident capability.
Bags can be made with a variety of plastics films. Polyethylene (LDPE, LLDPE etc) is the most common. Other forms, including laminates and coextrusions can be used when the physical properties are needed.