May 22, 2024

Tissue and Hygiene Paper Industry in Europe: An Overview

The tissue and hygiene paper industry is a major sector of the European paper industry. These types of paper are used in a variety of ways for household and personal hygiene purposes. Let us take a comprehensive look at the tissue and hygiene paper industry in Europe through various aspects.

Market Size and Growth

The European Tissue  currently stands at around 12 million tonnes annually. Countries like Germany, Italy, France and the UK are the major consumers of tissue paper products in Europe. According to industry experts, the European tissue market is estimated to grow at a rate of 2-3% annually till 2025. Improving living standards and disposable incomes are driving the increased usage of tissue and hygiene paper products across households and businesses in Europe.

Major Product Categories

There are different types of tissue and hygiene papers used in Europe. Some of the major product categories include:

Toilet Papers: These are used for personal cleansing and available in different types like one-ply, two-ply, quilted toilet papers etc. The average toilet paper consumption per capita in Europe is around 24 kg annually.

Facial Tissues: As the name suggests, these soft papers are used to blow or wipe nose. They are designed for single-use convenience.

Paper Hand Towels: Often called paper towels in common language, these thick absorptive sheets are used for drying hands, cleaning up spills and other household tasks.

Paper Napkins: These flat papers often imprinted with designs are used during meals to wipe the mouth and hands. They are commonly found at restaurants, cafes and homes.

Kitchen Rolls: Also known as kitchen towels or paper towels, these absorbent tissues are used for various kitchen tasks like cleaning vegetables, wiping counters and hands.

Wet Wipes: Used for personal hygiene, baby care and surface disinfection, these pre-moistened tissues have anti-bacterial properties for thorough cleaning.

Key Markets by Country

Let us examine the size and growth trends of the tissue market in some major European countries:

Germany: Being the largest economy of Europe, Germany accounts for around 20% share of the total European tissue market. The size of the German tissue market is estimated at 2.4 million tonnes annually.

United Kingdom: The UK tissue industry produces over 800,000 tonnes of tissue paper annually. Major categories include toilet rolls, facial tissues and paper towels. The average consumption is around 12 kg per capita.

Italy: Italy has the second largest market in Europe with an annual production of over 1.3 million tonnes of tissue paper. Major segments are paper towels, napkins and toilet rolls.

France: The French tissue industry produces around 800,000 tonnes per year. Facial tissues, toilet papers and paper towels have high demand among French households.

Spain: Spain offers strong growth opportunities with its tissue consumption rising at over 3% annually. Major tissue categories include toilet papers, paper towels and napkins.

These top five European markets collectively account for almost 70% of the continental tissue industry. Their sustained growth is driving significant investments in tissue manufacturing capacities across the region.

Raw Material Sourcing

Wood pulp and recycled paper fibers are the key raw materials used in tissue manufacturing. Here is a look at their sourcing in Europe:

Wood Pulp: Over 60% of the wood pulp used in the European tissue sector is sourced locally within the continent, mainly from Scandinavian countries. Sweden and Finland are the largest pulp producers and exporters to European tissue makers.

Recycled Fibers: Around 40-50% of fibers used in European tissue production are from post-consumer recycling sources within the countries. Domestic recycling programs facilitate waste paper recovery.

Some tissue producers also import pulp from South America and Africa. However, local sourcing remains the priority considering logistics costs and sustainability benefits. Efforts are ongoing to increase the use of recycled fibers in tissue manufacturing.

Production Capacities

Major European tissue producers have invested billions of dollars over the past decade to enhance production capacities across the region. Here are some key facts:

– Total tissue production capacity in Europe exceeds 18 million tonnes annually across over 300 tissue machines.

– Germany, Italy and the UK have the highest installed tissue making capacities utilizing the latest technologies.

– Leading global tissue players like Essity, Sofidel and Kimberly-Clark operate multiple high-speed tissue plants in prime European markets.

– New capacities are being added through expansion of existing mills as well as greenfield projects, especially in high-growth Central/Eastern European markets.

– State-of-the-art tissue plants with capacities over 100,000 tonnes per annum are increasingly common in major Western European countries.

– Automation, Industry 4.0 solutions and sustainability upgrades are priorities for European tissue producers to enhance output, quality and efficiency.

Sustainability Focus

Environmental sustainability has become an important agenda for the European tissue industry in recent times. Major companies are taking initiatives across their value chains:

– Forest certification programs ensure responsibly sourced wood pulp for tissue manufacturing.

– Innovations to reduce energy/water usage, emissions and waste in tissue production processes.

– Investments in renewable energy systems at mill locations.

– Diverting wet wipes from clogging sewage infrastructure through innovative pre-consumer recycling schemes.

– Adoption of circular economy models to recover tissue paper fibers for new production cycles.

– Increased usage of recycled pulp and post-industrial waste for raw material sourcing.

– Carbon footprint reduction initiatives across the supply chain.

– Sustainable packaging designs optimized for logistics and end-of-life scenarios.

The focus on sustainability efforts is expected to further strengthen in coming years considering stringent European environmental regulations and growing ESG priorities of consumers.

To summarize, the tissue paper industry forms a key pillar of the European paper sector with increasing per capita tissue consumption across households and businesses. Major markets like Germany, Italy, UK, France and Spain will continue driving overall continental demand supported by economic growth and changing consumer lifestyles. Sustained capacity expansions along with focus on sustainability leadership indicate promising outlook for the tissue industry in Europe over the long term. With the implementation of innovative technologies and circular business models at each link of the value chain, the European tissue sector is all set for robust development on the course to net-zero carbon footprint operations and balanced

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it