Bags, Sacks, and Pouches Market Report - Europe



The circular economy and bio-economy are reaching everyday life: European Union regulations determine how heads of lettuce are wrapped and what packaging ends up in household garbage cans. Laws initiated by the EU's "Green Deal" are starting to take effect: Ceresana's latest market study shows that plastic carrier bags are increasingly being replaced by paper bags. At the same time, demand for garbage bags is rising because fewer and fewer carrier bags are finding a secondary use as garbage bags. For the fourth time, Ceresana has analyzed the entire European market for bags and sacks made of polyethylene film, films made from other plastics, woven plastic strips (woven bags) and paper. However, packaging made of cotton, jute or other materials is not covered in this study.


 Demand for bags, sacks and pouches in Europe in 2021


Wanted: Environmentally friendly bags

One of the European Union's declared goals is to promote bioplastics to help reduce the demand for fossil raw materials and greenhouse gas emissions. The EU has announced new regulations on bio-based, biodegradable and compostable plastics, such as mandatory labeling, before the end of 2022. This should put an end to the "widespread confusion among consumers" and ensure that bioplastics lead to "genuine environmental benefits". So far, plastic packaging made from renewable raw materials, such as corn starch or whey, is not necessarily compostable - whereas there are fossil-based plastic products that are biodegradable. Most European countries agree that single-use bags, which are mainly made of polyethylene, should disappear: Plastic carrier bags, such as the thin plastic shirt bags for fresh fruit and vegetables, are increasingly being subject to mandatory fees or banned altogether.

Winners and Losers Amid the Crisis

First the Corona pandemic, then political conflicts: the upswing in heavy-duty and industrial bags that has been observed for several years has come to a halt for the time being. The crises also hit their competition: the "Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers" (FIBC), i.e., the flexible bulk containers made of stable plastic fabric, mostly polypropylene. The heavy-duty market is particularly dependent on the construction industry and demand for building materials. In this regard, Ceresana analysts expect that the 2019 level will not be reached again until 2025. The pouch packaging segment for food is expected to recover somewhat earlier. During the pandemic years 2020 and 2021, their demand had even increased, especially due to closed catering. However, this effect is now fading again: rapidly rising energy prices and inflation are now pressing issues - and many households have to save money.


The Study in Brief:

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the European market for bags, sacks and pouches, including forecasts up to 2031. Data regarding production and demand volumes as well as on the individual material types and application areas are presented in tables and figures.

Chapter 2 analyzes production (divided into plastics and paper), demand (broken down into polyethylene, other plastics, woven plastics and paper) as well as import and export (split into plastics and paper) for 23 individual countries. In addition, detailed information on the demand for bags, sacks and pouches is given for the eight most important markets in Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, and Turkey), split by individual areas of application.

For these countries, the production of bags is further broken down by material:

  • polyethylene (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE)
  • other plastics
  • woven plastics
  • paper

The following applications are examined in detail:


  • 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


  • 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 company profiles of the most important producers of bags, sacks and pouches in Europe, clearly arranged according to contact details, revenues, profits, product range, production sites, brief profile as well as product types and application areas. Detailed profiles are provided by 82 manufacturers, such as Constantia Flexibles Group GmbH, Essentra Plc, Gascogne SA, Huhtamäki Oyi, Melitta Unternehmensgruppe Bentz KG, Mondi Group, Polifilm GmbH, RKW SE, Smurfit Kappa Group Plc, Stora Enso Oyj, Trioplast Industrier AB, VICAT SA, and Wihuri Group.


Scope of the Report:



Base Year


Trend Period

20122 - 2031

Forecast Period

2022 - 2031




Polyethylene (LDPE, LLDPE, HDPE), Other Plastics, Woven Plastics, Paper

Applications - Plastic

Carrier Bags, Garbage Bags and Sacks, Heavy Duty and Industry Sacks, Food Packaging, Other Applications

Applications - Paper

Carrier Bags, Heavy Duty and Industry Sacks, Food Packaging, Other Applications (incl. Garbage Bags)

Company Profiles

Constantia, Essentra, Gascogne SA, Huhtamäki, Melitta, Mondi, Polifilm, RKW, Smurfit, Stora Enso, Trioplast, VICAT, and Wihuri (Selection)


4th edition


September 2022



From which material are bags and sacks mainly made?

Polyethylene is by far the most widely used material in the production of bags, sacks and pouches, accounting for 48%.


Which factors affect the dynamics of the market for heavy duty bags?

Both the Corona pandemic and political conflicts have interrupted the upswing in heavy-duty and industrial bags that has been observed for several years. Ceresana analysts expect that the 2019 level will not be reached again until 2025.

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: demand per materials, production per plastics and paper as well as export & import per plastics and paper)

2.1 Europe
2.1.1 Austria
2.1.2 Belgium
2.1.3 Czechia
2.1.4 Denmark
2.1.5 Finland
2.1.6 France
2.1.7 Germany
2.1.8 Greece
2.1.9 Hungary
2.1.10 Italy
2.1.11 Norway
2.1.12 Poland
2.1.13 Portugal
2.1.14 Romania
2.1.15 Russia
2.1.16 Slovakia
2.1.17 Slovenia
2.1.18 Spain
2.1.19 Sweden
2.1.20 The Netherlands
2.1.21 Turkey
2.1.22 United Kingdom
2.1.23 Other Europe

3 Company Profiles*

Austria (2 Producers)
Belarus (1)
Belgium (2)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (1)
Bulgaria (1)
Croatia (2)
Czechia (2)
Finland (5)
France (8)
Germany (11)
Ireland (1)
Italy (7)
Lithuania (1)
Luxembourg (1)
Norway (1)
Poland (2)
Portugal (3)
Spain (5)
Sweden (2)
Switzerland (2)
The Netherlands (7)
Turkey (4)
United Kingdom (10)
Ukraine (1)

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

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