garbage/trash/rubbish/bin bags, bin liners

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meijin

Senior Member
Japanese
In English there is often more than one term to describe the same thing while there is often just one term for it in Japanese. I think the larger plastic bags you use for discarding or disposing of things you no longer need are called "garbage/trash bags" in AmE and "rubbish/bin bags" or "bin liners" in BE. Not sure what they are called in AuE etc.
Are these terms completely interchangeable (in your country)?

e.g.

Excuse me, where are <AmE: garbage bags / trash bags> <BE: rubbish bags / bin liners>? (Question in a supermarket)
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    In BE, bin-liners and rubbish bags are completely different items.

    Bin-liners only go in bins: the plastic is thin and will not take much weight and are usually white.
    If bin-liner means a dustbin-liner, then these do resemble a rubbish bag as they are stronger, but not as strong as
    Rubbish bags come in various grades from standard to heavy-duty - the latter is usually used for garden waste.
     
    Last edited:

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In AE "trash bags" is very common. "Garbage bags" is not. Some people use "garbage" to mean some kinds of trash (especially food trash), but the word isn't used for the plastic bags you purchase.

    In my cupboard I have rolls of thin plastic "tall kitchen trash bags" (used as a liner) and "large trash bags: 30 gallon".
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    Bin-liners only go in bins: the plastic is thin and will not take much weight and are usually white.
    If bin-liner means a dustbin-liner, then these do resemble a rubbish bag as they are stronger, but not as strong as
    Rubbish bags come in various grades from standard to heavy-duty - the latter is usually used for garden waste.
    So I suppose the first one below is a bin-liner and the second ones are rubbish bags.






    Would you say the black ones put over the small red, green and blue bins are "dustbin-liners"?




    In AE "trash bags" is very common. "Garbage bags" is not. Some people use "garbage" to mean some kinds of trash (especially food trash), but the word isn't used for the plastic bags you purchase.
    I didn't know this. So, are the bags in the photos above all "trash bags" in AmE?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Would you say the black ones put over the small red, green and blue bins are "dustbin-liners"?


    No. They are bins, not dustbins, and so they are all bin-liners.
    Dustbins are only found outside the house and usually have a capacity of about 90 litres.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    The roll of bags are what I call "bin bags". A dustbin liner is intended to be strong enough to be left out for collection, like the pile of bags next to the green "wheelie bin" in the earlier picture. "Bin" has a much wider meaning than "dustbin", just as "bin liner" has a wider meaning than "dustbin liner".
     

    meijin

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    A dustbin liner is intended to be strong enough to be left out for collection, like the pile of bags next to the green "wheelie bin" in the earlier picture.
    So "dustbin liners" and some of the "rubbish bags" are indeed quite similar (as Paul said).

    "Bin" has a much wider meaning than "dustbin", just as "bin liner" has a wider meaning than "dustbin liner".
    At least I've learned what dustbin and dustbin liners are.
     
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