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A bladder pack and a complete bag-in-box
Several Bag-in-Box containers connected to a soft drink system.
In packaging, a Bag-in-Box or BiB is a type of container for the storage and transportation of liquids. It consists of a strong bladder (or plastic bag), usually made of several layers of metallised film or other plastics, seated inside a corrugated fiberboard box. The bag is supplied to the 'filler' as an empty pre made bag. The 'filler' then generally removes the tap, fills the bag and then replaces the tap. The bags are available as singles for semi-automatic machines or as web bags, where the bags have perforations between each one. These are used on automated filling systems where the bag is separated on line either before the bag is automatically filled or after. There is now a technology available called FSF (Form Seal Fill) and pioneered by Scholle where equipment is supplied to the filler who manufactures the bags on-line from reels of film, then the FlexiTap is inserted then filled on the Scholle line.

Commercial uses

The first commercial Bag-in-Box was invented by William R. Scholle in 1955 for the safe transport and dispensing of battery acid. Scholle Packaging is still the worlds leading Bag-In-Box manufacturer to this day, with manufacturing facilities spread around the world. However, at present, the Bag-in-Box has grown into a considerably more diverse family of related products with many end uses for a diverse range of products.

The BiB has many common commercial applications. The most ubiquitous uses of BiBs by commercial users are to supply syrup to soft drink fountains and to dispense bulk supplied condiments such as ketchup or mustard in the foodservice context. And BiB technology is still used for its original application of dispensing sulfuric acid for filling lead-acid batteries in garages and dealerships. As explained further below, BiBs have also been implemented for consumer applications like box wine.

For commercial syrup applications, the customer tears a pre-scored opening at one end of the box and connects a compatible nozzle to a built-in port on the bag to pump out its contents. The port itself contains a one-way valve which opens only with pressure from the attached nozzle and which prevents contamination of the syrup in the bag. For consumer applications like box wine, there is a tap already present on the bag, so all the consumer has to do is locate the tap on the outside of the box.

After the contents are exhausted, the box and bag within are typically discarded rather than refilled, although both bag and box are fully recyclable.


Bag in a box packaging is liked by producers because it is inexpensive. Seen from the environmental perspective, a bag also has benefits. The bag allows a contents of 3-1000l, so that less packaging or labelling is required. The material it is made from is lighter than the alternatives, which reduces pollution caused by transport.

Wine cask

The 'wine cask' (or boxed wine) was invented by Tom Angove of Angove's, a winemaker from Renmarkmarker, South Australiamarker, and patented by the company on April 20, 1965. Polyethelene bladders of 1 gallon (4.5 litres) were put into cardboard boxes for sale to consumers. The original design required that the consumer cut the corner off the bladder inside the box, pour out the desired quantity of wine and then reseal it with a special peg.

In 1967 Charles Henry Malpas and Penfolds Wines patented a plastic, air-tight tap welded into a metallised bladder, making storage much more convenient for consumers. All modern wine casks now utilise some sort of plastic tap, which is exposed by tearing away a perforated panel on the box.

The main advantage to bag-in-a-box packaging is that it prevents oxidation of the wine during dispensing. After opening, wine in a bottle it is oxidised by air in the bottle which has displaced the wine poured; wine in a bag is not touched by air and thus not subject to oxidation until it is dispensed. Cask wine is not subject to cork taint or spoilage due to slow consumption after opening.

However, the bag is not hermetically sealed and has an unopened shelf life shorter than bottled wine. Most casks will have a best-before date stamped. As a result, it is not intended for cellaring and should be drunk within the prescribed period.

Bag in a box packaging is also preferred by producers of more economical wines because it is less expensive than glass bottles. A bag of wine, once removed from the box, will float on water; this allows quick cooling of a white wine by immersion in an ice bath.


Another type of Bag-In-Box system is the 'Jerribox' which is one brand for a style and size packaging. It can be used for various chemicals (including photographic development chemicals) and water. It is a lighter weight alternative to the Jerrycan, Cubitainer or polybottle. Jerribox which is based around a true Bag-in-Box system but offers the benefits of a Cubitainer or Jerrycan having a considerably plastic content.

See also


  • Brody, A. L., and Marsh, K, S., "Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology", John Wiley & Sons, 1997, ISBN 0-471-06397-5


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