Bags and Sacks Market Report - Europe


Products made from plastic are currently in the spotlight of the public’s attention in Europe. Especially the thoughtless and excessive use of single-use bags has received a lot of criticism. The European Union stipulates to further restrict the use of plastic carrier bags until 2025. In the public debate, however, products, numbers, and facts are often confused and important contributing factors are sometimes ignored entirely. The latest, third study on this subject by Ceresana therefore aims to make a contribution towards the objectification of this discussion. The report analyzes the entire European market for bags and sacks made from polyethylene film, films made from other plastics, woven plastic bags, and paper bags. Polyethylene is by far the most widely used material. However, the various base materials can be used with very different market shares in individual application areas. The study splits the market into the following segments: carrier bags, garbage bags and sacks, heavy duty and industry sacks, food packaging, as well as other applications. Packaging made of cotton, jute, or other materials are not taken into consideration. As a whole, this analysis constitutes an overview study that aims to incorporate a multitude of individual products.

Bags optimize food packaging

Bag packaging is increasingly popular in retail trade. It replaces, for example, metal cans, glass containers, or rigid plastic packaging. One of the advantages of flexible plastic bags is their superior capability to adjust to the packaged good, thereby optimizing the size of the packaging. Additionally, this form of packaging can also be produced in a microwave-compatible form and is increasingly easy to print on. Compared to the previous study, this current, more detailed analysis by Ceresana also splits the application area of food packaging into individual sub-segments.

Heavy duty sacks compete with containers

Heavy duty and industry sacks have gained importance in recent decades. In some segments, sacks made of plastic have replaced paper sacks entirely. Paper sacks continue to play an important role in the segment of animal feed or building materials like cement; however, polyethylene sacks have the potential to gain further market shares in the future due to their positive properties. Traditional heavy duty sacks made of plastic film are competing more and more with so called “flexible intermediate bulk containers” (FIBC), especially in the bulk goods segment. These FIBC consist of a sturdy plastic weave – most often made of polypropylene – and can achieve a capacity of up to 1500 liters. They are often used as transport packaging for construction materials, fertilizers, grains, or other bulk materials. The market dynamics for heavy duty sacks is highly dependent on the economic development of a country, particularly the construction industry and the demand for construction materials.

Bioplastics as an ambivalent alternative

Plastic products, especially thin single-use bags made of polyethylene, are subject to special taxes, fees or restrictions in more and more countries. Bioplastics that are either made from renewable materials (e.g. corn starch) or are at least biodegradable are often an exception to these regulations. The significance and public image of these bioplastics has considerably improved over the course of recent years. This is also evident from the fact that these products are now taken into consideration by legislators. The EU Commission most recently commented positively on the potential of bioplastics in the field of packaging and carrier bags in the spring of 2019. Even if this market is developing very dynamically, bioplastics alone are not the ultimate and ecologically sound solution that has long been propagated.
There are, for example, still issues with the composting of some types of bioplastic in standard facilities. If biodegradable plastic disintegrates in open nature, the dispersion of micro particles could even increase. [→ Ceresana offers a separate comprehensive market study on bioplastics]

The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the European Market for bags and sacks, including forecasts until 2026. Data on production and demand volumes as well as on the individual material types and application areas are listed in tables and figures.

Chapter 2 analyzes 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 28 individual countries. Additionally, detailed information is given on the consumption of bags and sacks split by application areas for the eight most important European countries (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Turkey). The production of bags for these countries is furthermore split by materials (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE, other plastics, woven plastics, and paper).

Applications - Plastic:

  • Carrier Bags
  • Garbage Bags and Sacks
  • Heavy Duty and Industry Sacks
  • Food Packaging
  • Frozen Food
  • Ready Meals and Soups
  • Confectionary
  • Savory Snacks
  • Baked Goods
  • Fresh produce
  • Pasta, Rice and other Food
  • Other Applications

Applications - Paper:

  • Carrier Bags
  • Heavy Duty and Industry Sacks
  • Food Packaging
  • Baked Goods
  • Fresh Produce
  • Flour, Refined Sugar and other Food
  • Other Applications (incl. Garbage Bags)

Chapter 3 provides useful profiles of the largest bags and sacks manufacturers, clearly arranged according to contact details, turnover, profit, product range, production sites, profile summary, product types, and application areas. Extensive profiles of 93 manufacturers are provided, including BillerudKorsnäs AB, Constantia Flexibles Group GmbH, DS SMITH plc, Huhtamäki Oyi, Melitta Unternehmensgruppe Bentz KG, Mondi Group, Smurfit Kappa Group Plc, Stora Enso Oyj, VICAT SA, and Wihuri Group.

1  Market Data

1.1  Europe
1.1.1  Demand
1.1.2  Revenues
1.1.3  Applications  Carrier Bags  Garbage Bags and Sacks  Heavy Duty and Industry Sacks  Food Packaging  Other Applications
1.1.4  Materials  Polyethylene  Other Plastics (Films)  Woven Plastics  Paper

2  Market Data: Country Profiles

(For each country: revenues, trade, and production)
2.1  Europe
2.1.1  Austria
2.1.2  Belgium
2.1.3  Bulgaria
2.1.4  Croatia
2.1.5  Czechia
2.1.6  Denmark
2.1.7  Estonia
2.1.8  Finland
2.1.9  France
2.1.10  Germany
2.1.11  Greece
2.1.12  Hungary
2.1.13  Italy
2.1.14  Latvia
2.1.15  Lithuania
2.1.16  Norway
2.1.17  Poland
2.1.18  Portugal
2.1.19  Romania
2.1.20  Russia
2.1.21  Serbia
2.1.22  Slovakia
2.1.23  Slovenia
2.1.24  Spain
2.1.25  Sweden
2.1.26  The Netherlands
2.1.27  Turkey
2.1.28  United Kingdom
2.1.29  Other Europe

3 Company Profiles*

Austria (2 Producers)
Belarus (1)
Belgium (2)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (1)
Bulgaria (1)
Croatia (2)
Czechia (2)
Estonia (1)
Finland (6)
France (8)
Germany (15)
Greece (1)
Ireland (2)
Italy (12)
Lithuania (1)
Luxembourg (1)
Norway (1)
Poland (2)
Portugal (2)
Russia (1)
San Marino  (1)
Spain (4)
Sweden (3)
Switzerland (2)
The Netherlands (5)
Turkey (4)
United Kingdom (9)
Ukraine (1)

*Note: The profiles are assigned to the country in which the company or holding is headquartered. Profiles also include JVs and subsidiaries.

soon to come

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