Ceresana, a Germany-based research company, has released a report forecasting that by 2020 the sales volume of bags and sacks in Europe will reach 9.12 million metric tons.
The report covers bags made from plastic and paper, but the company states that shopping bags made from polyethylene film are by far the most popular.
Ceresana points out that the European Union Commission has given the objective to reduce consumption of plastic bags in Europe with national bans being allowed on certain types of plastic bags.
Independent from EU legislation, some countries have already banned plastic bags, although plastic bags made from bioplastics are often exempt. Bioplastic bags are usually either made from renewable materials or are biodegradable.
Ceresana says that despite this, bioplastics alone will not provide the ultimate solution to the carrier bag problem.
The research company also expects the market for heavy duty and industrial sacks made from plastics to grow by 1.8 percent per annum during the next eight years.
The study also predicts that food packaging will increasingly turn toward plastic pouches rather than metal or glass jars.
Pouches have the advantage of being able to adapt to the shape of the packaged food, which allows a company to optimize packaging size, the study says, while consumers like being able to pop the pouch into the microwave for convenience.