Demand for Bags and Sacks still Growing
Ultrathin-walled plastic bags, carrier bags with enhanced carrying handle, valve bags, FIBC, stand-up pouches, disposable sachets: The list of different types of bags grows bigger and bigger. The new study of the market research institute Ceresana expects that the worldwide demand for bags and sacks made of polyethylene foil, of other plastic foil, of woven plastic strips, as well as of paper, altogether will grow until 2022 to about 37.9 million tons. Polyethylene, especially LLDPE, is the most-commonly used material here.
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, even if particular countries, like for example Poland, would rather ignore this norm.
Bioplastics are usually exempt from bans and special taxes which are directed to bags made of polyethylene. Plastics which are 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. Carrier bags made from bioplastics alone will not provide the ultimate solution to the problem.
Stand-Up Pouches on a Roll
In the segment heavy duty and industry sacks plastic replaces paper more and more. In individual sectors like animal feed or construction materials paper bags still play an important role, though; yet, even here polyethylene gains further market shares. In food packaging the trend is still towards 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. Oftentimes, they are microwavable as well. Stand-up pouches have shown a downright triumphal march in the past few years. The per capita consumption in the different countries still varies strongly – accordingly, this type of packaging material still has an enormous potential for growth. For bags and sacks modern form-fill-seal processes gain more and more importance: With the aid of suitable machines the forming of the packaging, their filling, as well as the sealing take place in one single continuous process.
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