The total turnover of carton sales in Europe is about 10 billion Euros. Cartons are manufactured across Europe by over 1000 manufacturers and are made for a huge variety of uses such as dry food, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, cosmetics, tissues, chilled and frozen food, confectionery, soft and alcoholic drinks and many, many more. The carton making industry is very fragmented. Whilst the top 10 European folding carton groups own a market share of 40%, each having a converting capacity well in excess of 50,000 tonnes, the average output per carton plant overall is only just over 3,500 tonnes per annum.
Improvements in cartonboard technology, have led to significant reductions in the weight of board needed to produce a cartons. Over the last 20 years, the weight of cartons for the same products has come down by approximately 40%. Raw materials are readily and consistently available – and totally sustainable. Additionally, the inherent strength and rigidity of cartons means that there is lower wastage in transport from producer to consumer.