Paper bags market to grow by 4%

According to a new research study by Future Market Insights (FMI), the worldwide sales of paper bags reached three million tonnes in 2018.

30 Sep 2019 | By Aultrin Vijay

The report has found the paper bags market to grow by ~4% year-on-year in 2019, primarily influenced by the recent reforms in the global paper packaging landscape.

According to the report, increasing focus on environment-friendly and cost-effective packaging formats are contributing to the build-up of paper bags market through 2029. Consumer preference for sustainable packaging, which is easy to handle and has good strength, will also continue to provide a fillip to the sales of paper bags in 2019 and beyond.

The study has found that bags manufactured from kraft papers are playing a vital role in modern lifestyle, whereas consumer preference for paper bags is increasing, owing to its benefits such as cost efficiency, easy usage, and eco-friendly packaging.

The report states that increasing number of supermarkets and retail shops would bolster the sales of paper bags across the world. In 2018, the pinched-bottom open-mouth paper bag witnessed maximum sales of 900 thousand tonnes.

"The demand for these paper bags is estimated to shoot up by the end of 2029, as they are great for reducing infestation and act as good moisture barriers. The user friendly formats, and sizes are propelling exponential demand for paper bags among end users," the report stated. The paper bags have further garnered traction as sustainable packaging solution that ensure biodegradability and ease of disposal.

Consumer preference for biodegradable packaging

With increasing awareness, end users are having more demand for paper bags. As per the survey done by European Commission in 2017-18, 70% of consumers voted in favour of banning single-use and non-decomposable bags in the supermarket. Almost 79% consumers are opting for paper bags. Up to 80% consumers prefer grocery bags that are biodegradable in nature. Hence, the key players are adopting recent technologies, which helps to boost quality and strength of the paper bags as per the requirement of consumers.

The study has come to the conclusion that the brown kraft paper bags are dominating the other paper bags, owing to less bleached content. The brown kraft paper bags are manufactured from natural paper and hence it helps avoid contamination due to bleaching chemicals.

According to the study, growth opportunities for the paper bags market players are picking pace in Asia Pacific, owing to growth of the industrial ecosystems in region such as food and beverages, pharmaceutical, and others.

The paper bags are considered as good food contact material. Since paper bags are made up of natural material, no toxics are released when food articles are packed. The APEJ paper bags market offer lucrative opportunities for manufacturers, as it is home to some of the world’s fastest growing industries, the study states.

Deforestation could stunt paper bags market growth

Although paper bags are more environment-friendly than plastic, many questions have been raised regarding the justification of using disposable paper bags. Many people use paper bags at least twice before throwing them away. According to experts, cutting down of millions of trees in exchange for a few minutes of paper bags usage amounts to reckless use of available resources. As per estimates, nearly 14 million trees are cut down in the US to cater to the demand for nearly 10 billion paper bags. Slogans such as – “Trees have more important purposes than being used as paper bags” have been raised. Also, in the US, nearly 80% of the paper bags end up in landfills, where they do not degrade for decades. In addition, the recycling process of paper bags is not a cakewalk. These factors, to some extent, could deter the growth of the market, the study states.

The retail sector in India has been driven by the size of the population base, an affluent and growing middle class, rapid urbanisation, and growing penetration of the Internet and online retail services. The region has witnessed increasing penetration of modern retail format, which is expected to play a significant role in boosting the APEJ paper bags market.

The study also found that due to increasing consumption of paper bags in Asia Pacific region, key players from other region started investing in this market.

In 2018, a Canada-based paper manufacturer Catalyst Paper invested in Indian paper bags and the kraft market with the partnership of OTCL Delhi.

The report’s business intelligence also underlines groundbreaking insights into the competitive scenario of paper bags market along with highlights of the manufacturers’ differential strategies. Key players in the paper bags market will continue to draw upon the global sustainability drive by including ‘green’ offerings in their existing portfolios, which is likely to help them enhance customer confidence.

With increasing awareness among people and proposed ban on single-use plastic by the Government of India, several manufacturing companies have started using paper packaging, replacing plastic and other similar materials. Here, Ismail Sutaria, senior market research consultant at FMI for packaging and materials domain, lists out the top 10 brands that have adopted paper bags in India, and 10 top manufacturers of paper bags in the country.


Top ten brands adopting paper bags in India

Sr No

Brand Name




Fastrack Ltd




Bata India






Central Mall


Westside Store


Grofers India Pvt. Ltd.


Titan Ltd.


Key players of paper bags market in India

Sr No

Company Name


Elson Packaging Industries Pvt Ltd


Eco Bags India


Hannu Sacks Pvt Ltd


Stanpacks (India) Ltd


Caravan Paper Products


Paper Bag Mfg Co


Energyspin Private Limited


VY Global Paper Bags Pvt Ltd.


Mallinath Industries


Shivalik Paper and Packaging


Devam Laminate Industries


Polywrap India


Polyspin Private Limited


Avantha Group Company


Vraj Packaging Private Limited


Karur KCP Packkagings Limited


Hannu Sacks Pvt Ltd


Century Paper Sacks Private Limited


Venkatesh Udyog


Fmcg International



Note: The above list of key players include retail paper bag manufacturers as well as industrial bag manufacturers