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Italian corrugated cardboard industry posts 3.62% growth in 2018

Driven by demand from the food and e-commerce sectors, the Italian corrugated cardboard packaging industry grew by 3.62% in 2018 to reach a total sales volume of more than 7 billion m2 (6.75 billion m2 in 2017). This figure, along with other industry data, was announced by the Italian Corrugated Cardboard Manufacturers’ Group GIFCO, which noted that the sector has been seeing steady growth for the last 6 years. The sector generates revenues in Italy of around €4 billion and last year reached a production of 3.9 million tons, 2.5% up on 2017.

Italy remains one of Europe’s largest producers of corrugated cardboard, second only to Germany which in 2018 produced 7.9 billion m2 (+0.6%).

France and the UK are respectively the third and fourth largest European producers in terms of volumes. Food remained the highest-performing product segment with almost double-digit growth with respect to 2017 to reach a market share of 62.1%.

The non-food segment (household appliances, construction, metalworking, pharmaceuticals, furniture, hygiene, cosmetics, household cleaning products, etc.) consequently lost market share and fell to 37.9%.

The product sector analysis now includes the new e-commerce category, a growing sector with a market share of 2.2% in 2018. By its nature, corrugated cardboard is one of the most sustainable packaging materials and is a good example of the circular economy. In Italy, waste paper reintroduced into the production cycle accounts for 80% of all raw material used. The remaining 20% consists of virgin fibres originating from sustainably managed forests with lower cutting than reforestation rates (on average three trees are planted for every tree cut down to produce cellulose). This is confirmed by the international PEFC and FSC certifications obtained by the entire Italian corrugated cardboard industry.