The global retail bags market size was valued at USD 15.55 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 23.7 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period (2022–2030). In the retail industry, retail carry bags are used to assist customers. Rapid expansion has occurred in the retail carry bag business since the introduction of reusable shopping bags. Retailers prefer plastic carry bags because of their user-friendliness, cost-effectiveness, and compact storage. On the market for retail carry bags, biodegradable carry bags are the dominant trend. Manufacturers of carrying bags prioritize producing eco-friendly bags with less waste. New shopping bag types have been developed over time for various uses. Printing firms are creating fashionable shopping bags to make shopping more convenient for consumers. The public's perspective on how to use and recycle wholesale shopping bags has shifted. Consumers are currently gravitating toward paper and reusable bags.
Reusable shopping bags are advantageous for both the consumer and the company. They benefit the environment and effectively promote the business's brand. The market for retail bags is anticipated to develop during the forecast period due to the increasing regulation and limitations on using plastic materials in retail bags. The retail bag market's plastic material sector is anticipated to have significant growth, and the use of virgin plastic is projected to be replaced by higher recycling and bio-based plastic consumption. The demand for retail bags has also significantly been fueled by the fast-growing number of supermarkets, shopping malls, and the established retail industry globally.
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Preference for Paper Bags
The demand for sustainable products among customers and brands has led to an increase in the usage of paper bags as packaging. The main factors driving this are the need to lessen humanity's reliance on fossil fuels and the growing knowledge of plastics' adverse environmental effects. In a European Commission poll, 70% of consumers favored outlawing single-use and non-decomposable bags in grocery stores. Paper bags were chosen by nearly 79% of consumers, whereas biodegradable grocery bags were selected by 80%. Plastic shop bags have given way to paper as a more practical substitute. About 150 nations have either imposed tariffs or outright outlawed single-use plastic bags, according to a UN Environment Programme report published in 2020.
Comparing paper bags to alternatives like jute and cotton bags, they are less expensive and offer more printing options, which has helped paper bags significantly. Paper bag use is a way to show support for the environment. Any organization will ultimately benefit from using packaging produced from renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable materials, working effectively to reduce the use of non-biodegradable shopping bags and supporting environmental education. A study on the greenhouse gas emissions brought on by the manufacture of various paper and plastic bags was done by the IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. They discovered that low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bags created from renewable or recycled LDPE had a lesser impact on the GWP (global warming potential) than paper bags made from virgin or recycled fibers. These benefits have caused the market to grow.
Restricted Use of Plastic Bags
Plastic pollution is now a significant issue on a global scale. Numerous studies have shown that plastics have harmful consequences on the environment. As a result, numerous nations have adopted laws to limit the use of plastic shopping bags. The public's understanding of the adverse effects of plastic use has significantly increased during the previous ten years. The public is now more aware due to numerous government campaigns and efforts. As a result, over the past several years, there has been a noticeable increase in the use of plastic retail bags. The formal acceptance of new regulations within the European Union to limit many single-use plastic items and establish recycling goals was announced by the European Council in 2019. The retail bag market is projected to be impacted by such regulations.
Increased Consumption of Personal Care Products and Cosmetics
Retail bag sales are influenced by dynamic forces and are reliant on the global cosmetics industry. Although different materials are anticipated to be employed, it is expected that the demand for cosmetic items will increase packaging demand. The need for beauty goods and an interest in personal grooming encourage investments from businesses that provide packaging for the cosmetic industry. Most cosmetic product users are women since they are more likely to purchase cosmetics than men. Globally, the number of women increased from 3.63 billion in 2015 to about 3.76 billion in 2018, according to data from the World Bank.
The need for men's grooming supplies has increased significantly recently. Due to factors including rising disposable income and a more lenient beauty standard, men have been spending more money on personal care. Throughout the forecast period, the retail bag market's growth is anticipated to be further fueled by rising global consumption. The increasing demand for cosmetics is strongly related to the requirement for appropriate packaging for the entire customer experience, including delivery. Consumer awareness of plastics, particularly packaging and single-use plastics, is rising.
The global retail bag market is segregated into material type, end-user, and region.
Material type-wise, the global retail bag market includes Plastic, Paper, and Others.
The Plastic section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 4.5% and hold the largest market share over the forecast period. Plastic material is further sub-segmented into Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), and Others (PET, Polyester, rPET). Polyethylene will majorly contribute to the segment’s growth. Polyethylene is one of the most extensively made polymers in the world. It is a thermoplastic with a changeable crystalline structure that is both lightweight and durable. For packaging applications, polyethylene is used to manufacture plastic bags, sheet wraps, medical gadgets, and household goods. Polyethylene bags are composed of ethylene, a by-product of natural gas or petroleum. These plastic resins undergo polymerization, which combines a series of monomers into a polymer or plastic.
The Paper section will hold the second-largest market share. As customers perceive paper as the most environmentally friendly alternative to plastic, retailers have shifted their focus to paper-based bag packaging for the general public of today and tomorrow. In addition, six distinct types of paper are utilized to manufacture retail paper bags, including kraft paper, white cardboard, offset paper, recycled or environmentally friendly paper, and newspaper paper. Globally, retailers are emphasizing recycled paper bags to reduce deforestation associated with conventional paper production for retail bags.
End-user-wise, the global retail bag market includes Grocery Stores, Food Services, and Others.
The Grocery Store section will hold the largest market share, growing at a CAGR of 4.8% over the forecast period. For many years, high-density polyethylene has been the predominant material used to manufacture thin plastic shopping bags (HDPE). Although the creation of these bags requires resources such as petroleum, it produces fewer carbon emissions, trash, and toxic consequences than the production of cotton or paper bags. Additionally, plastic bags are durable and reusable. Restrictions are tightening on single-use bags for grocery and other purchases to safeguard sea animals, wildlife, and humans. Eight states have outlawed single-use plastic bags: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont.
The Food Service section will hold the second-largest market share. Several nations have imposed a ban on plastic materials over the past few years due to rising concerns regarding the high levels of pollution caused by plastic. This encourages food service providers to use sustainable packaging options, increasing the demand for paper bags. In addition, the growth of online food delivery and the rising popularity of on-the-go meals positively influence the adoption of paper bags in food service applications. As end-users want durable and leak-proof packaging solutions, manufacturers prioritize innovation in product design. For example, Alte-Rego Corporation produces plant-based, tamper-evident food delivery bags that may be customized to meet brand-specific requirements.
Asia-Pacific Surpasses the Rest of the World
Region-wise, the global retail bags market includes North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
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Asia-Pacific will command the market, expanding at a CAGR of 5.9% over the forecast period. Due to rising consumption and a customer base proliferating throughout the region, which is leading to a rise in the use of retail bags, the Asia-Pacific region is predicted to experience significant growth. The demand for retail bags has also been stimulated by the expansion of the local retail market. In nations like China, for instance, the National Bureau of Statistics of China estimates that in May 2020, the country's retail sales of consumer goods totaled about CNY 3.2 trillion. The region is also anticipated to develop at the fastest rate due to the rising demand for paper pulp in nations like China and India. The need for retail paper bags is rapidly increasing due to the expansion of the transit packaging market in China and the country's growing consumerism.
Europe will hold a share of USD 6 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.6%. There may be more opportunities for paper bags due to the growing awareness of waste generation, environmental damage, and adverse consequences caused by plastic items and packaging in developing nations. A decision was made following years of deliberation. By 2021, the entire European Union outlawed products made of single-use plastics as per a multi-stage scheme. However, these new laws did not apply to plastic bags at supermarkets. For instance, single-use plastic bags were outlawed in France in 2017, and alternatives to plastic bags and other single-use packaging became more popular in Britain. Following the passage of a law by the German Bundesrat and parliament, the German Federal Government sought to outlaw plastic bags from supermarkets. The country planned a six-month transitional period during which supermarkets were permitted to sell their remaining inventory to customers. A few retailers have already made the first moves and begun to provide packaging options equally as valuable as plastic bags.
List of key retail bags market suppliers profiled