I was shipped a USB dongle in a small pink baggie. If it's an anti-static bag I would love to re-use it. How sure can I be that it is, and is there a way to test it?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Usually the pink ones are only dissipative \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Feb 19, 2016 at 14:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ See EEVblog #247 - Anti Static Bag Myth Revisted for a full discussion about about how bags work. In a nutshell, a pink bag won't generate static charges, but it will NOT protect against external charges. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dave Tweed
    Feb 19, 2016 at 15:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Pink is dissipative & VERY quickly loses its ability to protect static-sentitive devices. DO NOT USE PINK BAGS \$\endgroup\$
    – user16222
    Feb 19, 2016 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was under the impression that the pink bags are "anti-static" in the sense that they don't generate static electricity. If you want real anti-static (static-shielding) bags you really need the good silver-colored ones. EDIT: I just noticed that Dave Tweed already said this.... \$\endgroup\$
    – DerStrom8
    Feb 19, 2016 at 18:13

2 Answers 2


If you ask the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) then 'No'. Pink PP bags have a very thin layer of "ESD" coating that is easy to rub off, and then your left with plastic which isn't good. At a place I worked we could only use them for shipping and then never again.

I'll quote the document (if that link goes down you could probably find it here):

From Standard: Electrostatic Discharge Control (JPL-D1348_Rev_F)

If you try and test it with a multimeter you may be rubbing the layer off.

2.3.30 Pink-Polyethylene (pink-poly)

The use of pink-poly bags, film, bubble-wrap or foam near any ESDS item or within an ESD protected area is prohibited. Pink-poly provides little protection against ESD events and voltage fields and is a contamination source. The preferred alternative is the metalized static-shielding bag.


Try hooking alligator clips & multimeter leads to the bag.

Good anti-static bags should have some measurable conductivity (i.e. resistance less than infinity/err on your meter).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you actually tried this? What kind of values did you get? I'm not getting anything even on the 20 Mohm settings on my meters, while testing a range of anti-static bags from different suppliers. \$\endgroup\$
    – pipe
    Feb 19, 2016 at 15:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't have any handy right now, but have gotten reading of several Kohm in the past, from closely spaced leads/clips. Also, @DaveTweed posted a youTub vid where the (annoying) narrator demonstrates exactly this with a 'mylar' metallized esd bag. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2016 at 15:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ The mylar bags and the black conductive ESD foam will read some resistance on a multimeter. The pink bags have a static dissipative coating, but in my experience it's not conductive to the point where you could measure a resistance on an ohmmeter. \$\endgroup\$
    – John D
    Feb 19, 2016 at 15:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth, I checked some pink foam and the conductivity was less than 0.1nS, so more than 10G\$\Omega\$ \$\endgroup\$ Feb 19, 2016 at 16:12

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