Varigauge carrier bags are extremely popular heavy duty LDPE polythene or Biopolythene carrier bags. Named vari-gauge because the thickness of the polythene varies from top to bottom of the bag. While other bag styles reinforce the handle area with a patch or a turnover top, these bags naturally gradient from standard grade film at the base to double the grade at the top. They offer a very neat finish and are especailly good for clear films where a patched handle can look obvious. 

So, why are they so popular? Its possibly because they are a familiar face in the world of bags. This bag style having been around for over 50 years is the Volvo of carrier bags! They have stood the test of time because they are reliable, strong, available in over 18 base film colours, made the UK  and can be overprinted which means very small quantities can be achieved.


Flexo printed with rubber printing plates for small order volumes or gravure engraved cylinders for larger orders.

We use water based pantone inks and can even offer CMYK printing which is mostly suited to larger order sizes due to the associated set up costs. 

With all flexographic printed products, each colour printed and side printed will require a  rubber plate to be made. However for overprinted bags we can use the same plate for both sides of the bag as they are printed then turned over for a second print pass. We can print just a single colour design when overprinting onto a stock bag, while multi colour printing is possible for machine reel to reel printed carrier bags. 

Each plate carries a charge. This is why adding extra ink colours onto a flexographically printed bag costs extra up front. 

Unlike litho plates, we keep the flexo rubber plates for re-use so the upfront set up charge only applies to the first order. The plates keep well and can be used for many years to come. 

The screen ruling  for designs with tints and tonal elements is 55 LPI so shaded areas are best kept to a minimum as the dots can be quite visible to the naked eye and are not fine like digital or litho prints. 


The most popular size is 38cm wide x 45cm high plus 8cm bottom gusset but lots of sizes are possible.

Smallest possible size is : 25cm wide x 30cm high plus 8cm bottom gusset.

Largest possible UK size  is: 76cm wide x 60cm high plus 10cm bottom gusset 

We have a wider choice of sizes possible with our European partners. 


The bags can be tailored to suit your exact needs and include extras such as:


From 500 bags, although 5000 bags is a super price point to start at.


Our standard lead time is 3-4 weeks and for larger orders over 10,000 we can also import from one of our estabglish factories in Europe, offering great savings and more choice. This usually takes 6-8 weeks. 


We aim to include a minimum 30% recycled content in all our films, as standard, and we can supply up to 100% Post Consumer Waste (PCW) recycled LDPE too for those clients keen to make a positive impact on our planet.

The inks used are water based. 

UK made bags offer a low carbon footprint due to transportation savings. Imported bags arrive via truck or sea into our local port, Grangemouth, and we try to consolidate orders so they don’t travel alone. This
helps to keep the carbon footprint as low as possible.


All prices are calculated individually based upon your requirements.
We don’t have a price list.
However, as an example of pricing please see the illustration below.

W38cm x H45cm + G7.5cm
180/360 gauge (45/90 micron) White recycled LDPE varigauge punched handle bags
Printed 1 colour 2 sides 

This includes delivery to 1 mainland UK address.

There is a £70 printing plate cost for your 1st order. We keep your plates for next time.

Note that as with all flexographically made products, there is a 10% tolerance allowed on the final quantity made and we always charge for the exact number produced. 

Please fill in the enquiry form below and we will be in touch shortly.

Longer deadlines will allow ESC to provide a reduced price whereas immediate deadlines will result in higher costs.