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Bags and sacks in Europe

Heavy duty and industry sacks have gained importance during the past years, as a consequence of an increased exchange of goods between countries and individual companies. 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 the good properties of sacks made from polyethylene, they have the potential to gain additional market shares in these segments in the future. Also, development dynamics of individual types of sacks in a country is partly dependent on the amount of packaged goods that is produced (e.g. cement, sand, animal feed, dry fertilizers, seeds). Yet, conventional heavy duty sacks made from plastic films are faced with increasing competition from "Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers" (FIBC), in the segment bulk goods in particular. 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. Ceresana expects the European market for heavy duty and industry sacks made from plastic to grow by 1.8% p.a. during the next eight years.

On the market for foodstuff packaging (includes beverages for the purposes of this study), 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 shape of the packaged good, which allows for the optimization of packaging size. Also, this 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, then fills and seals it in one continuous process.

Read more: Plastics goods 20