It's one of those little inventions that we take for granted today, and you wonder how people ever lived before it came to market.
I'm talking about the plastic drawstring on trash bags, of course.
In the early 1980s, Hefty (owned by Mobil Corp.) and Glad (owned by Union Carbide Corp.) were in a fierce battle for the trash bag market and both were trying to make an innovation. Glad was considering adding handles to its trash bags and Hefty was thinking differently.
The podcast Every Little Thing often does deep dives into small inventions that make a big difference in everyday life, but often go undetected. (Another episode I recommend checking out tracks down the engineer responsible for the little arrow on your dashboard indicating where your gas tank is located.)
The podcast uncovers the story behind the Hefty “Cinch Sak” and talks with Dana Boyd, the engineer at Hefty who helped bring that product to market.
"It was one of the biggest, most complicated projects anyone around here has ever done," Boyd said about figuring out how to put that plastic drawstring inside the plastic bags and continue to churn them out at 100 bags a minute.
In fact, it was such a difficult engineering problem to solve, there were a lot of people who doubted it could be done.
Check the episode out below, it's definitely worth a listen.