Ceresana Issues Study on Bags and Sacks

CONSTANCE, GERMANY | Market research institute Ceresana has issued a study on bags and sacks, predicting that worldwide demand for bags and sacks made of polyethylene foil, of other plastic foil, of woven plastic strips, as well as of paper, will grow until 2022 to about 37.9 million tons.

PE, especially LLDPE, is the most commonly used material in this area. However, individual materials may account for highly different market shares in various applications.

The study says many countries try to reduce the consumption of disposable bags. However, disposable carrier bags made of plastic are not equally problematic in every country: Negative impacts upon the environment depend not only on the amount of per-capita consumption and the number of re-uses but also and especially on the quality of the different waste managements and disposal and recycling systems. In Europe, an amendment of the packaging directive (94/62/EG) commits the member states of the EU to precise actions. This will lead to a noticeable reduction, says the report, even if particular countries, e.g., Poland, would rather ignore this norm.

Bioplastics are usually exempt from bans and special taxes that are directed to bags made of PE. Plastics made of renewable raw materials (e.g. cornstarch) and/or are biodegradable have gained importance in recent years and are increasingly considered by legislators. Yet, the composting of these products does not always run smoothly, and carrier bags made from bioplastics alone will not provide the ultimate solution to the problem, says the study.

In the segment heavy-duty and industry sacks, plastic replaces paper more and more. In individual sectors such as animal feed or construction materials, paper bags still play an important role. Though even here PE gains further market shares. Again, there are significant differences among countries.

In food packaging the trend is still toward plastic bags, which for example replace metal cans or glass jars. Flexible plastic bags adapt better to the goods which helps to optimize the packaging size, says the study. They are often microwavable as well. Stand-up pouches have shown strong growth in the past few years. The per capita consumption in different countries still varies strongly, and this type of packaging material still has an enormous potential for growth. For bags and sacks, modern f/f/s processes reportedly are gaining more importance.

The study includes data on markets, end uses, applications, and profiles of important manufacturers of food packaging.

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