Plastics bags are increasingly attacked by environmental activists and legislators alike; yet at the same time consumption of plastic packaging rises. The market research institute Ceresana analyzed the European market for bags and sacks manufactured from plastics and paper. Analysts expect European demand for these products to increase to approx. 9.12 million tonnes until 2020. Polyethylene is the by far most common material for the production of bags and sacks. But in specific applications, other plastic films, woven plastic bags and paper reach higher market shares. This new study mainly considers carrier bags, garbage bags and sacks, heavy duty and industry sacks as well as food packaging (including beverages).
EU Combating One-Way Carrier Bags
The problem of one-way carrier bags made from plastic is not equally severe in all European countries. Besides per capita consumption and amount of reuse, negative effects also depend on the quality of the national waste management industry and the respective disposal and recycling systems. In part, these vary widely. The EU Commission stipulated the objective to reduce consumption of plastic carrier bags. An amendment of the directive 94/62/EG is designed to allow room for national bans on certain types of carrier bags. In regard to the current situation, however, consistent action against one-way plastic carrier bags across the EU is unlikely to happen during the upcoming years.
Possible Solution Bioplastics?
Independent of EU legislation, individual countries already banned certain carrier bags or are trying to reduce consumption of various products by introducing extraordinary taxes and fees (e.g. Italy or France). Usually, thin one-way carrier bags made from polyethylene are targeted by these initiatives. Carrier bags made from bioplastics are often exempt from the bans and fees. These are plastics that are either made from renewable resources (e.g. corn starch) or are supposed to be at least biodegradable. Their importance rose notably in previous years. But composting of these “eco-bags” in dedicated facilities is not yet without problems. Sometimes the burning of these bags is still advertised as the ecologically most sensible solution. Even though the market has been developing at highly dynamic rates in the past, carrier bags made from bioplastics alone will not provide the ultimate solution to the problem.
Substitution Effects in the Segments Heavy Duty and Industry Sacks
Heavy duty and industry sacks have gained importance during the past years. Some segments, however, have substituted conventional paper sacks for sacks made from plastics. In areas such as animal feed or construction materials, e.g. cement, paper sacks continue to play an important role, but given their good properties sacks made from polyethylene have the potential to gain additional market shares in these segments in the future. Yet, conventional heavy duty sacks made from plastic films are faced with increasing competition from “Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers” (FIBC), bulk goods especially. These FIBC are made from stable woven plastics, often polypropylene, and can reach a capacity of up to 1,500 liters. They are often used as transport packaging for construction materials, fertilizers, grain or other bulk goods.
Stand-Up Pouches Conquer Packaging Market
On the market for foodstuff packaging (includes beverages), an increasing trend towards plastic pouches becomes apparent. They are substituting metal tins and glass jars in particular. One advantage of plastic pouches is that they can adapt to the size of the packaged good, which allows for the optimization of packaging size. Also, the packaging can be manufactured in microwaveable varieties, a property that becomes more and more important in the course of an increased focus on convenience products. In regard to lightweight packaging bags and sacks as well as heavy industry sacks, modern Form-Fill-Seal-Processes are becoming more important: suitable machinery forms the package, and fills and seals it in one continuous process.
The Study in Brief:
Chapter 1 lists production (split by plastics and paper), demand (split by polyethylene, other plastics, woven plastics, and paper) as well as import and export (split by plastics and paper) for Europe and 23 individual countries. Additionally, it contains detailed information on demand for bags and sacks in the applications carrier bags, garbage bags and sacks, heavy duty and industry sacks, food packaging and other applications for the eight most important European countries (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Turkey). All figures are given in tonnes.
Chapter 2 offers an analysis of the applications for bags and sacks. Data on demand development in the segments carrier bags, garbage bags and sacks, heavy duty and industrial sacks, food packaging and other applications, split by the largest European countries, is given.
Chapter 3 analyses demand for bags and sacks in 23 European countries split by the materials polyethylene, other plastics, woven plastics, and paper.
Chapter 4 provides profiles of the largest manufacturers of bags and sacks, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, products, and applications. Extensive profiled of 70 manufacturers are provided, including Amcor Ltd., Bemis Europe, British Polythene Industries Plc, Clondalkin Group, Constantia Flexibles Group, Coveris, DS Smith Plc, Huhtamaki Group, Korozo Ambalaj San. Ve Tic. A.S., Papier-Mettler and Sealed Air Corporation.
Ceresana is a leading international market research and consultancy company for the industrial sector and operates branch offices in Constance, Vienna and Hong Kong. For more than 10 years, it has been supplying several thousand customers from 55 countries with up-to-date market intelligence. Extensive market knowledge creates new prospects for strategic and operational decisions.
Ceresana’s clients profit from practical consulting services, tailor-made single-client studies and more than 60 independent multi-client market studies.The Ceresana business analysts are specialists in markets chemicals, plastics, additives, commodities, industrial components, packaging, and construction materials.
More about Ceresana at www.ceresana.com/en