The global disposable tableware market, valued at around $41.66 billion in 2022, is undergoing significant change due to environmental concerns and regulatory developments. Despite its maturity, the market is expected to grow modestly at an average annual rate of 1.46% until 2030. In France, where the market will be worth around 627.854 million euros in 2021, disposable plastic tableware will be banned from 2020, prompting market players to innovate and develop new products. market players to innovate and focus on eco-friendly materials such as wood, bamboo, sugarcane and cardboard.

The French market has seen a shift in consumer habits due to greater ecological awareness, leading to increased demand for sustainable options. Regulations continue to tighten, with new bans on specific plastic items set to come into force in the coming years, requiring adjustments from manufacturers and influencing consumer preferences towards reusable and recyclable alternatives. This regulatory landscape is transforming the market, stimulating competition and encouraging progress in sustainable production and recycling practices.

The French disposable tableware market in transition

The French disposable tableware market, historically rooted in the use of single-use plastic products, is at a turning point due to significant legal changes and evolving consumer attitudes towards sustainable development. The market, which encompasses plastic plates, cups, napkins and cutlery traditionally made from polymers, has begun to embrace more environmentally-friendly alternatives such as wood, cardboard, bamboo and sugarcane.

With the French government imposing a ban on plastic disposable tableware from 2020 as part of the Energy Transition Act, the market is rapidly adapting to meet regulatory mandates and consumer expectations. National production of disposable tableware reached nearly 180 million euros in 2021, testifying to the scale of this market in France. Nevertheless, this sector has seen slight fluctuations in activity over the past decade, with overall stability - except in 2020, reflecting the impact of the pandemic on catering activities.

Sustainable transition has led to higher production costs due to the use of more environmentally-friendly materials, resulting in higher consumer prices. However, these price rises have not mitigated the well-established societal habit of using disposable tableware, which continues to flourish. Market consumption is framed by foreign trade analysis, which shows a strong dominance of imports in the disposable tableware sector, amounting to between 400 and 500 million euros by 2021. If domestic production figures are added, the total size of the French disposable tableware market is between 600 and 650 million euros, although these figures must be regarded as provisional as not all import and export data can be entered under the customs codes identified.

Market demand is concentrated in the catering sector, which has experienced a strong recovery since the pandemic, directly influencing the disposable tableware industry. Dynamic growth in this sector is driving demand for disposable tableware, as it is essential for events such as weddings, birthdays and other collective gatherings. At the same time, consumer demand reflects a growing ecological awareness in France, with over 85% of citizens surveyed expressing concern about the use of disposable plastics and stressing the need for recyclable products. A significant proportion of the population practicing waste sorting reinforces the preference for environmentally-friendly tableware solutions. While discussion of environmental regulations and standards is paramount in this context, it's worth noting that a heightened sense of ecological practice has also led to greater adoption of reusable products, with over half of those surveyed expressing concern about the use of disposable plastics and stressing the need to recycle products.

As France enters an era of environmental awareness, several key players have emerged at the forefront of the disposable tableware market's transition to sustainability. These companies have adapted to new regulations and transformed their operations, marking an era of innovation in the sector.

Below are just a few of the leading companies that have taken the initiative to create a more environmentally-friendly disposable tableware landscape in the country.


  • Balmagne Emballage - With a focus on innovation and ecological responsibility, Balmagne Emballage has invested in creating disposable tableware options that meet demanding new regulations. It has pioneered items that prioritize environmental concerns while offering consumers the convenience they seek in disposable options.
  • Picourt Cabis - A formidable player in the manufacturing field, Picourt Cabis has made considerable progress in replacing traditional plastics with more biodegradable materials, offering sustainable solutions for the disposable tableware market.
  • Fêtez-moi (SPSS) - Fêtez-moi, under the name SPSS, offers a range of disposable tableware that bridges the gap between festivity and ecological awareness. Its products stand out in the market for the balance they maintain between attractive design and environmental sustainability.


  • SML Food Plastic - As a major wholesaler, SML Food Plastic has played a key role in the supply chain, offering a wide selection of disposable tableware from various manufacturers, meeting a wide range of customer needs while adapting to the move towards more sustainable products.
  • Proébo - Proébo's extensive catalog offers a mix of traditional and eco-friendly tableware. Proébo has influenced the market by making sustainable options more accessible to businesses, encouraging environmentally friendly practices on a wider scale.
  • Thouy - A powerful wholesaler, Thouy has a strong market presence. Focusing on environmental stewardship, it educates consumers and promotes greener products to a market increasingly receptive to such changes.


  • Embunic - Although sales figures are not disclosed, Embunic remains an important distributor in the market, ensuring that sustainable disposable tableware finds its way into the hands of the end consumer.
  • Firplast - Firplast has been an essential distributor, playing a key role in the implementation of the EU's sustainable development policy
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  • Number of pages : 30 pages
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  • Last update : 27/09/2023
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Introduction and scope of study

The disposable tableware market encompasses all plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, cutlery, etc., for one-time or ephemeral use. the disposable tableware market includes all plates, cups, napkins, tablecloths, cutlery, etc., for single or ephemeral use, traditionally made from plastic, although this is currently being renewed. These products are made from two types of polymeror, increasingly, from biodegradable materials such as wood or cardboard.

By 2021, national production of disposable tableware had risen to almost 180 million euros.

Historically dominated by private labels and price criteria, the French disposable tableware market is now at a turning point energy transition lawplastic disposable tableware will be banned from 2020.

To comply with this regulatory requirement, while avoiding a damaged brand image, players in the disposable tableware market are now focusing on more environmentally-friendly materials (wood, cardboard, bamboo, sugar cane, etc.).

The other challenge facing the French disposable tableware market remains recycling, in a context of waste recovery and reduced environmental impact. This is particularly true of plastic cups. According to the Association santé environnement France (Asef), only 1% of the 4.73 billion plastic cups thrown away each year in France are recycled.

To meet these new challenges, players in the disposable tableware market in France are engaged in a race for industrial and commercial innovation, as well as in a rethinking of their value chain, with a greater share of cost being borne by their suppliers.greater associated with packaging in the years to come.

1.2 A globally mature market

The global disposable tableware market is alreadyalready highly developedas the graph above shows. In fact, itits size is estimated at ***** million dollars in ****. Itsgrowth prospects are actually quite modestas forecasts predict an averageaverage annual growth rate of *.**% until ****.

Disposable tableware market trends World, **** - ****, in millions Source: ****

Among the various components ...

1.3 The French market

Production figures

The tableware sector (***), including disposable tableware, is shown below:

Tableware production trends Source: ****

Although production sales tend to fluctuate downwards, these movements in activity are very slight (***). Indeed, production in the tableware sector has remained generally constant over the past ten years. In ****, production sales amounted to around *.* billion ...

1.4 Summary of market drivers

The table below summarizes the main business drivers in the disposable tableware market.for each factor is an assessment of the impact (***) in the coming years on the market in question.

1.5 Foreign trade

In this section we will look at ******** - Tableware and other kitchenware, of plastics; ******** - Trays, dishes, plates, cups and the like, of bamboo paper or bamboo paperboard; ******** - Trays, dishes and plates, of paper or paperboard (***).

Foreign trade in disposable tableware, ******** France, **** - ****, in millions of euros Source: ****

France's main ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 French eco-citizen attitudes

The ban on disposable tableware in the catering sector is partly a direct consequence of the ecological concerns of the French. Indeed, the vast majority of French people found the use of this type of crockery problematic:

"Among the following practices, to what extent do they seem problematic to you ...

2.2 A brake on demand for disposable tableware: reusability

The ecological concerns of the French are significant, and many of them are opting for reusable crockery outside the home, rather than disposable crockery:

"In your daily life, what reusable equipment do you use to eat or drink outside your home? France, ****, in Source: ****

In fact, more than half of ...

2.3 Demand drivers: delivery and takeaway

Meal delivery

Largely driven by the pandemic and multiple confinements, the home delivery market is a key determinant of demand for disposable tableware. In this context, disposable tableware is indispensable (***).

Evolution of home delivery sales France, **** - ****, in billions of euros Source: ****

With sales of seven billion euros in ****, the home ...

2.4 Demand drivers: a dynamic catering market

After enjoying growth rates consistently in excess of *% between **** and ****, the catering sector logically collapsed during the pandemic, with sales in the sector declining by more than ** points in ****.

Sales trends in the catering sector France, **** - ****, % Source: ****

The long-term viability of this sector was hampered by the pandemic and successive ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Disposable tableware market value chain

The following diagram describes the relationships between the various players in the disposable tableware market:

Confédération des Arts de la Table and Businesscoot

3.2 B2B production and distribution channels

In the context of Business to Business (***) relationships, customer companies generally use wholesalers who sell their products on various platforms, or directly to distributors. The following table lists the main manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors in this sector in France:

Source: ****

3.3 B2C distribution channels

As far as B*C distribution is concerned, three main channels can be distinguished:

supermarkets specialized stores (***) online sales

Below is a table listing some of the players in these three B*C distribution channels:

Source: ****

3.4 Profound changes favoring the rise of pure players and shaking up the market

With plastic disposable tableware having been completely banned for over two years now (***), players have had to reinvent themselves, and others have been able to grab new market share.

Thouy, for example, was able to take advantage of this far-reaching reform of the disposable tableware market. The company manufactures a range ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Product typology

Disposable tableware encompasses a large number of different products, both in terms of use and composition. Generally speaking, they include the following products:

plates knives forks spoons cups packaging (***)

But these different utensils also vary in their composition. Thouy has drawn up the following list of the different materials used for ...

4.2 Prices vary by distributor

The following table lists the prices of a variety of disposable tableware products:

Source: ****

These are prices for items found on the Boutique du jetable website, not an average based on a study of a wide range of products.

5 Regulations

5.1 Current regulations

Ban on single-use plastic

" Decree no. ****-*** of June **** lists the ** products excluded from the ban on selling fruit and vegetables packaged in plastic. This decree replaces decree no. ****-**** of October *, ****, which was annulled by Conseil d'Etat decision no. ****** of December *, ****. See also: Plastic packaging for fruit and vegetables: ...

5.2 Future regulations

Changes in French regulations are aimed at reducing waste and encouraging the reuse of packaging, including the introduction of deposits. The latter, which had almost disappeared with the introduction of disposable packaging, is experiencing renewed growth. As a result, not only on-site catering, but also food delivery and take-away are affected ...

5.3 Points to explain EN 13432

European standard EN ***** defines the "characteristics of packaging recoverable by composting and biodegradation". It lays the foundations for the "test scheme and evaluation criteria for final acceptance of packaging". It was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (***). [***]

Packaging complying with this standard can therefore be recovered by composting ...

6 Positioning the players

6.1 Player segmentation

List of charts

  • Trends in the disposable tableware market
  • Production trends in the tableware sector
  • Breakdown of tableware production by material
  • "How often do you sort your recyclable waste?"
  • "Of the following practices, to what extent do they seem problematic to you in relation to the environment?"
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SML Food Plastic
Thouy -

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