Sanitary bags

Somehow I've started collecting these barfbag lookalikes too. Here's a selection of receptacles provided by hotel and toilet managements to make your stay as pleasant as possible. Collecting bags from women's toilets involves potential embarrassment for males, so special thanks to those understanding females who have provided much of this collection.

If you're really interested in sanitary bags, then check out:

bulletJoerg Meyer (2004) Die Unpaessliche Tuete: Eine visuelle Hommage an den Hygiene-Beutel. Diploma thesis, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. (This even comes in its own sanibag - also featured below.)
bulletMuseum of Menstruation and Women's Health.

Check this list carefully, and you'll also find a perfumed nappy bag and a condom bag... 

Adolf Rick Nachfolger

Eight languages: German, English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Greek.
Thanks to Homer Goetz. (2003) 

Astrein, (1670202)

From a women's loo at the University of Bochum in Germany. Packed with disposal information in German, French, Danish, Czech, Russian and Polish. Plus addresses for where to get more of these bags in Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic. 

"Astrein" is German for "above-board" or "genuine".

The only thing that confuses me? If this is a feminine hygiene bag, why is there a picture of a workman at the top? And why is he winking?
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2002)

Astrein (1670201)

From a loo in an international training centre in Feldafing, south of Munich. I must admit I haven't detected a difference between this bag and the one above, except the article number at the bottom.

The training centre serves people from the developing world. Wouldn't Hindi, Swahili, Wolof and Vietnamese be more appropriate than Danish and Czech?

Astrein 01

With addresses at the bottom for bag refills in Germany, Austria, France, Denmark, Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic.

From the Speuerhaus in Frankfurt-am-Main in Germany.
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2004)

Astrein 02

With an address in Switzerland at the bottom too.Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Astrein 03

Bigger bag bearing the number 1670202.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Bangkok Centre Hotel

Sanibag in English, Japanese and Chinese, but not Thai.
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003) 

Best Western, Hamburg, Germany

Boring, boring: check into the Best Western near the airport in Hamburg, and this is all you get. For something more interesting, visit the Seehofer Restaurant instead. (2002).

Best Western

Much better effort from this multinational chain. This one features printing in three colours, as well as a "Recyclable-- Biodegradable -- Renewable Resource" logo on the back. Good luck if you try recycling the contents.
Thanks to Steve Silberberg. (2002)

Bolsa higiénica

This plastic item came from the Expo Hotel in Barcelona.
Stole this myself. (2004)

Blue plastic

Don't know where this one came from. But it looks like it was hanging up somewhere -- there's a hole in the middle.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

CKS Airport Hotel

How thoughtful of an airport hotel to provide a sanitary bag that you can also take onto the plane for barfing purposes -- saves the airline from having to provide their own bags?
Thanks to Winny Sanjaya. (2002)

Contentitore per assorbenti igienici femminiii

Yes, the last word really does have four i's in the last five letters.

Gilles Beger sent this to me. "It's a gift", he said. "I don't know what to do with it." Er, might I suggest you ask your wife or girlfriend, Gilles?
Thanks anyway! (2004)

Contentitore igienico per signora

"Higenic Bag for Ladies. Please do not throw in the toilette. Use only the proper can". In Italian, French, German, Spanish and what I guess is Serbo-Croat.
Thanks to Christian Annyas. (2003)

Contentitore igienico per signora (no Croat)

Similar design to the bag above, but does not cater to Croats. 
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003)


Sanitary bag with instructions in Norwegian, (incorrect) German, and English. 
Thanks to Frank Mulliri. (2003)


Deutsche Bundesbahn

You would have thought that after the prices they charge for a ticket, German railways would provide a better bag than this. From an express train from Cologne to Berlin (2002)

Deutsche Bundesbahn ICE (1)

That's InterCity Express -- the extra-fast train that zips from Cologne to Frankfurt in an hour (faster than the plane, especially if you include the waiting time). You get a selection of pretty patterns in ICE loos. Here's the first. (2003)

Deutsche Bundesbahn ICE (2)

Here's an alternative design. (2003)

Deutsche Bundesbahn ICE (3)

And here's my favourite. (2003)


Too small for a sanitary pad. Just the right size for a condom.
Thanks to Homer Goetz. (2003) 

Durner (blue)

From a bagmaker based in Nuremberg.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Durner (green)

At last, a rest from the barrage of blue bags.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Dutch sanitary bag

Certainly not worth a visit to the Netherlands to pick up this bag.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

Generic (Japanese?)

Big type says "for sanitary napkin disposal" in English only. The smaller type adds, "Please dispose into the dustbin", in both English and Japanese. No idea where it came from, though.
Thanks to Graham Curran (2002) 

Holiday Inn

Boringly unbranded bag from this hotel chain.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

wpeF.jpg (2198 bytes)

Hotel Chitwan Keyman, Bharatpur, Nepal

Not an airsickness bag, but a bag for "disposables" from a hotel in a town in southern Nepal. "Please put your disposables in this bag and place it in the bin. Do not flush", it says. I just couldn't resist stealing it. The start of my collection of hotel bags. (1999)

Hotel Vila do Mar, Natal, Brazil

That's the Natal in Rio Grande do Norte in Brazil, not the one in South Africa.
Thanks to Fernando Canteras de Assis. (2002)

Hotelia (dark blue)

A pretty chain of blue daisies adorns this Italian bag.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

Hotelia (lighter blue)

The daisies must have faded in the the light.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

hygia, Germany

Cosmopolitan bag with instructions in Dutch, English, French and German. Don't leave it on your seat or hand it to the cabin crew, but leave it in the pail in the toilet.
Thanks to Graham Curran (2002)

hygia Standaard

Different edition from the bag above.
Thanks to Homer Goetz. (2003) 

Hygiene-Beutel 01

In German, English, French, Italian and Dutch.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Hygiene-Beutel 02

How many ladies' loos have the sort of bin depicted on this bag?
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Hygiene-Beutel 03

Why is it that sanibags are language-rich (this one has German, English, French, Italian, Turkish and what I guess is Croat). But airsickness bags, where the clientele is much more likely to be international, are mostly mono-or bilingual.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Hygiene-Beutel, Bochum, Germany

Another bag from the Ruhr University in Bochum. This one has instructions in German, English, French, Italian, Turkish, and (believe it or not) Esperanto.

The English harks back to a forgotten age: "Please do not throw in WC., but in the pail, will be removed by chamber maid!"

The flip side features a tree with the slogan (in German): "Paper: Eco Logical". Looks like the chamber maids in Bochum have been trained in recycling these bags and their contents. 
Thanks to Regine Mathias. (2002)

Hygiene-Beutel, Café Reinhard, Cologne, Germany

Beats me why these sanitary bags have Red Cross crosses on them. Use them only if you're wounded?
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2002) 

Hygiene-Beutel Cologne station, Germany

Like the Bochum bag above, but the logo on the reverse is placed differently. 
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2002)

Hygiene-Beutel Cropius-Halle, Berlin

I've never worked out why these sanitary bags have a Red Cross symbol on them. Any ideas?
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2003)

Hygiene-Beutel Die Umweltschonende Verpackung

Lebensmittelecht mit Wasserfarben bedruckt: translates as "Printed with water-soluble, food-suitable inks..." I'm still trying to work out why.
From Schloss Gebern, a posh restaurant in Hessen, Germany. (2003)

Hygiene-Beutel, German Ministry of Development Cooperation

Made by Igefa.
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2003)

Hygiene-Beutel für Damenbinden, Cologne Airport, Germany

Seven languages: instructions in German, English, French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Greek. No pictures showing how to place your used tampon in the bag, though. Made by Adolf Rick Nachfolger in Bonn. 
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2002)

Hygiene-Beutel für Damenbinden Max Planck Institut

This is the bag that top German scientists use to dispose of bacteriological waste. Instructions in six languages.
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2003)

Hygiene-Beutel für Damenbinden

"Please do not throw in WC but in the pail". Not that I've ever been in very many women's loos, but I've never seen a pail in one...
Thanks to Christian Annyas. (2003)

Hygiene-Beutel für Damenbinden u. Tampons

Also in six languages -- but with Turkish rather than Greek.
Thanks to Oliver Mundy. (2003)

Hygienic bag

I'm mystified as to what language this bag is in (apart from English, that is). "Hygienic bag" seems to be "Xusueнeн nлuk" in this language, only the "s" is reversed, and the "л" is like a upturned "v". Anyone any ideas?
Thanks to Bruce Kelly. (2003) 

Higienické Sáčky Ceska Sporitelna

From a Czech savings bank. It's for Towels, not for the money you've just withdrawn.
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003)

Hygienische Damesdoeken Enz.

Why do some many sanitary bags have a cross on them? Something to do with healing, or perhaps some religious significance?


Stands for Interessengemeinschaft der Fachgrosshändler für Sauberkeit und Hygiene.
Thanks to Homer Goetz. (2003)

Igefa (large)

In case the long, thin bag above wasn't big enough.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)


Made from 100% recycled paper.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

ISS Esgo

No hint as to whether this is a sanitary bag, a barfbag, a sandwich bag or all three. Call the phone number given to find out?
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003) 

Itapirubá, Laguna, Brazil

Saco para Absorventes Higiênicos all the way from Laguna, Santa Catarina, in Brazil.
Thanks to Fernando Canteras de Assis. (2002)


Sachet, bolsa, Beutel or bag, depending on your native language.
Thanks to Frank Mulliri. (2003)


From a restaurant in Stoke. "Ladycare disposal bags are part of a coordinated range of washroom products", it avers. The same could be said of many barfbags: they are also coordinated with the plane's interior decor, the crew uniforms, the business lounge ambience, and of course the tailfin.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2003)

Le Coco Beach, Mauritius

No, I haven't been there, and I wouldn't have used this sanitary bag if I had.
Thanks to Nicola Ottolini for not using it before she sent it to me. (2001)

Kyoto Grand Hotel

With a hole so you can hang it up after use.
Thanks to Bruce Kelly. (2003)

Lighthouse Hotel

A "Sanitary NapKin Disposal Bag" all the way from Galle, Sri Lanka.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)


Large plastic bag that could well double as a shopping bag.
Thanks to Josef Gebele. (2002)

madame (wave)

Also ideal for use as a shopping bag, except for the small type that says "Protect toilet and drain".

Not the sort of design to use for a seasickness bag.
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003) 

Magic Life

"Thank You For putting your sanitary towels and tampons into this hygienic bag..."

I didn't realize that women used more than one sanitary towel or tampon at a time.
Thanks to Janina Künstler. (2003)

Matahari Island Resort

From the Thousand Islands in the Java Sea, where I learned how to scuba-dive. The bag comes in its own cardboard box.

This is the only bag I've ever come across without a base. Don't use it on the speedboat to the island from Jakarta. (2002)

Monte Hotéis, Salvador, Brazil

From Salvador in Bahia, Brazil. The bag designer failed to consult an English speaker (or a spellchecker) before going to the printer: it says " Disposal bag napkins. Pleasse close ahd dispose in waste container only".
Thanks to Fernando Canteras de Assis. (2002)

Mövenpick Hotels and Resorts, Germany

Funny, I thought Mövenpick made ice-cream... 
Thanks to Graham Curran (2002)

Nappy bag

That's "diaper bag" for our American cousins.

Mark Brace said this was perfumed. Not by the time it reached me, it wasn't. At least it was empty, and appeared to be reasonably clean.

No, I am not going to start collecting these!
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2003)


Cartoon of a boy and a girl clearing up the mess after someone failed to use this bag. Text is in English and Thai.
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003) 


This hotel bag features a frightening-looking triangle with no less than six wiggly arrows coming out of it. All inside a roadsign.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

Oriental Park, Hanoi, Vietnam

A collector's item: this hotel has now changed its name to the Oriental Palace.

Para Vd Señora

Very polite quadrilingual bag: Spanish (Para Vd Señora), French (Pour vous Madame), English (For you Madam) and German (Fuer Sie, Gnaedige Frau). The instruction on the reverse go pentalingual: it adds Dutch.
Thanks to Homer Goetz. (2003)


The arrows show you what to do. Just translate Perassorbentiigienicecc into German, English and French, leave out all the spaces, and you reach the waste bin.
Thanks to Christian Annyas. (2003)

phs, Germany

No, I've no idea where this is from, but the lady pictured certainly looks elegant, and not the sort of person who would stoop to use this flimsy bag.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2001)

phs (DP0301SJ)

The code is cunningly printed in the bag gusset, with the seam glued on top of it.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

phs (DP1101SJ)

The Victorian lady on this bag is two-timing phs: she also adorns Southall's bags.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

Plain white

A plain white paper bag? Yes, but this one is special: Joerg Meyer, author of a diploma thesis on sanitary bag design, sent me a whole bunch of these bags. Want one? Then contact me!


...pour entreposer les serviettes hygienique etc.

On est instamment prié de ne pas la jeter dans les toilettes afin d'éviter l'obstruction.

I make that at least three grammatical errors. Can anyone spot them?

The German has at least two errors, but the English seems to be OK.
Thanks to Frank Mulliri. (2003)

Prince Hotels

With a hole at the top so you can hang it up after use.
Thanks to Bruce Kelly. (2003)

Print SA

At last, a sanitary bag that looks so good you don't have to stuff it into your bra to hide it on your way out of the Ladies.

Print SA? They made this bag.
Thanks to Homer Goetz. (2003)

Pulitalia detergenti industriali

"Bag for sanitary pads, please do not throw in WC", it says in English. In German, it tells you "Bitte nicht ins Klosett, sondern in den Toiletten" (please not in the toilet, but in the toilet). Huh?
Thanks to Christian Annyas. (2003)

Radisson SAS Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark

"Environmentally friendly", says this bag. It features drawings of what at first I thought were steaming cups of coffee, but which turn out to be a wastebin and a toilet. Plus what looks like a mushroom cloud, but which I think is supposed to be a tree. (1999)

Ramada, USA

This American hotel chain offers a smallish bag: big enough for discarded chewing gum, perhaps. If you want to puke, please use the toilet in your room.
Thanks to Bruce Kelly. (2002)

Royal Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

A sanitary bag from a moderately posh hotel in Bangkok. The establishments I normally stay in don't provide such bags: throw your rubbish on the floor. (2001)

Sac pour bandes hygieniques

Goodness knows where this is from: somewhere where people speak French, English, German and Italian. Switzerland, perhaps?
Thanks to Bruce Kelly. (2003)

Sac pour serviettes hygieniques

Small plastic bag with a female sign a on it. No men allowed.
Thanks to Josef Gebele. (2002)

Sac pour serviettes hygieniques

Same design as the bag above, but on much sturdier plastic, and with a ziploc closure. For those heavier days?
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2003)

Sachet pour garnitures periodiques

Uses the same floral theme as several other sanitary bags.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2003)

Sangria Hotel, Lembang, Indonesia

Plain white generic from this luxury resort in the highlands of West Java. (2002)

Sanitary bag, Bangkok, Thailand

From a hotel in Bangkok -- sorry, I don't know which one.
Thanks to Dewa Sadra. (2001)

Sanitary bag

In Chinese and English. With a series of road signs: Woman, Plus, No Toilets. 
Thanks to Janusz Tichoniuk. (2003)


A "Bag for Sanitary Pads" bag supplied by bagmaker Stenqvist in response to my request for airsickness bag samples. Don't they know the difference between barfing and that mysterious female bodily function that we men know little about and understand less?
Thanks anyway to Stenqvist. (2001)

Sanitetspåse (2)

Hardly inspiring -- but then, who needs inspiration when disposing of sanitary napkins?
Thanks to Josef Gebele. (2002)

Sanitetspåse (3)

Even less inspiring...
Thanks to Josef Gebele. (2002)

Hotel Santana, Malta

Near the bottom of this plastic bag is "supplied by Industry Services Ltd., Mosta", along with a picture of an old-fashioned letterpress printing press. I doubt it was the one used to print the bag.
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003)


This bag came from the posh Anglo-German Club in Hamburg, which does not normally allow women through its doors. The only women normally to be seen inside is Her Majesty The Queen, smiling benignly down from her portrait on the wall.

So why do they provide sanitary bags -- or a women's loo, for that matter?
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2002)

Scandinavian Airlines

At last: a link between airlines and sanitary bags!

This sealed bag comes with a sanitary towel inside it. Remove your soiled towel, balance it on your knee, open this bag, apply the new towel, then remove the soiled towel from your knee and place it in the bag.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Sea View Hotel, Singapore

Actually, it was more like Building Site View when I was there. (2002)

Shangri-La Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal

A posh hotel in Kathmandu provides this massive bag so you don't clog the loo by flushing your litter.
Thanks to Dewa Sadra. (2001)

Sharjah Continental Hotel

"Please do not flush down toilet". You'd be lucky if you succeed: this is a fairly large bag, enough for a whole month's worth of napkins.
Thanks to Alan Howlett. (2003)

Sheraton Hotel Brussels Airport

Instructions in French, Dutch, English and German.
Thanks to Frank Mulliri. (2004)

Sofitel Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam

The black things are stickers that come in the bag: "Please do not disturb" and "Please wake me for meals". Put the meals in the bag?

Southall's (1)

A Victorian woman lifting her skirts...
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2002)

Southall's (2)

Same woman, same skirts, different bag.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2002)

Southall's (3)

At least you can't accuse Southall's of unfaithfulness: they are consistent in their use of the Victorian lady to advertise their sanitary bags.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2003)

Southall's (4)

Doesn't the Southall's lady ever change her dress?
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2004)

Hotel Sourire, Rome, Italy

Features a papal basketball headed for an undersized basket. The instructions say to put this bag in the "external wastebin". I checked, but there was none in the corridor outside my room. (2001)

Stock No. 110

Beside disposal bag. "Bend bag sharply at tape corner, peel backing and adhere firmly to clean surface". That could be a wall, a tabletop, or perhaps the nurse's uniform.
Thanks to Bruce Kelly. (2003) 

Swedish toilet

Why do I collect such things? Actually, I don't, but people keep on sending them to me.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2001)

Thai sanitary bag

I really must learn Thai sometime so I can check the spelling on this bag.
Thanks to Alan Howlett. (2004)

Thanh Lich Hotel

I think this was from Hue, in central Vietnam. Too much rice wine for me to remember it clearly...

Thompson Medd ltd.

Judging by the symbol a, this is to be used by females of the species only.

From the Wood Norton Hotel, England.
Thanks to Mark Brace. (2001)

Die unpaessliche Tuete: Eine visuelle Hommage an den Hygiene-Beutel

(The indisposed bag: A visual appreciation of a disposal bag)

This bag comes already filled with Joerg Meyer's diploma thesis from the Bauhaus University of Weimar in Germany. The diploma is in two volumes: a finely printed and detailed study of bag design, and a volume of designs themselves (plus jokes, photos and more).

I was pleased to lend Joerg my collection for his study, and he made excellent use of it.

Use the bag!

A hint of exasperation from the bag designer? "Sanitary bag", it says in all capitals. "Do not throw sanitary towels in the toilet. Use the bag!" In Danish too, in case you missed it in English.
Thanks to Homer Goetz. (2003)


Produced by "Waldi" W. Diecks GmBH of Pliening, near Munich.
Thanks to Joerg Meyer. (2004)

Whitesands, Mombasa, Kenya

A sanitary bag that doubles as an envelope, so you can mail your personal waste back home.
Thanks to Evelyn Mathias. (2002)

Zdar nad Sazavou business college

Sorry, I don't know the name of this Czech college: it's not on the bag. I probably couldn't spell it even if it were.
Thanks to Petr Manda. (2003)

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