FOOD 101: Bread Bag Clips
How about those flat plastic closures that close loaves of bread?
People all over the world get with their packaged bread—and they’re so much easier to use than wire twist-ties.
After the bread is gone, we keep them to use as closures for other plastic bags, like the produce bags at the market.
We even know parents who make art projects from them.
Who makes them?
The majority are made by a family-owned company in Yakima, Washington.
Kwik-Lok has been manufacturing the closures since 1954.
Founder Floyd Paxton, an engineer, saw that packaging technologies post-World War II were changing.
At the time, his company made machines to nail-close produce boxes and labeling machines, largely for the Washington State apple industry.
When apple distributors moved from boxes to bagging, they didn’t like the wire and tape closures in use at the time, and asked Floyd for help.
As the story goes, the flat clip came to Paxton in 1952, during a flight.
While he was on the plane, nibbling on a package of complimentary nuts, he realized he didn’t have a way to close them in order to save some for later.
He took out a pen knife and hand-carved the first flat closure from a credit card (in some tellings, it was an expired credit card [source]).
The Kwik-Lok closure prototype was born.
In its first year of production, the flat tab quickly became the preferred method for closing bags of apples.
It was not long before it was adopted by manufacturers who used polyethylene bags, like bread producers.
Today, Kwik-Lok is an international company that closes billions of bags a year [source].
So the next time you’re thinking of cutting up an expired credit card…think of what you can cut from it!