Ages ago I saw a Dirty Jobs episode where Mike took recently used diapers from a daycare to a chemistry lab. After sampling it and putting it in a device to analyze it, Mike asked what the use of this data was. The chemist said that, for instance, it could be used to improve the garbage bags to keep this particular stench inside.
So, how does a garbage bag work?
cieluv: It’s important to remember that scent is transmitted via tiny particles of whatever substances. When you smell poop, that means there are small particles of poop in your nose. That said, small particles can’t pass through all materials. Garbage bags are designed to be very non-porous, so that floating particles get trapped inside. Unless you stick your nose over the small opening some heathens leave on the top, you won’t be in contact with any of the scent particles.
Many of them are also coated with chemicals that grab onto many small particles and hold onto them, so they can’t escape the trash bag while it’s open. Some of them release chemicals into the air around the bag, which effectively crowd the space and make it difficult for floating particles to pass, like an invisible non-porous surface.
puffmouse: something that always confused me. if our office smells i tell everyone to empty their garbage and head out to the dumpster. usually its food sitting in someones desk can from yesterday. Within just a minute or two of everyone clearing out their trash, the office smell is gone. How does the smell go away so quickly? if its particles, shouldnt the smell linger awhile?
chapterpt: Garbage bags keep in smells for the same reason you can suffocate inside of one – the particles that make up the smell can’t get through. If oxygen isn’t getting through, other bigger particles aren’t either.
CriticalShitass: Why does weed still smell even though it’s in a bag?