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Cascades Sonoco Presents Innovative, Eco-friendly Food Packaging

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Cascades Sonoco, a joint venture of Cascades Inc. (Toronto, Canada) and Sonoco Products Company (Hartsville, S.C., USA), inaugurated the expansion of its facility in Birmingham, Alabama, and its new production line of innovative, eco-friendly packaging. This important investment of US$17 million enables the facility to now produce a water-based functional coating solution to create recyclable, repulpable and compostable containers. Numerous partners, clients, suppliers and employees took part in the event.

This new world-class equipment allows for the production of 50,000 mtpy of coated paper and paperboard using the company’s FlexShield™, FluteSHIELD® and SurfSHIELD™ water-based coating technology. These water-based functional and barrier coatings are designed to replace the non-compostable applications traditionally used in the design of folding carton take-out containers. The coatings can also replace the wax used in the corrugated industry. 

"Located in a strategically important region of the United States with the highest demographic growth and close to boxboard and containerboard manufacturing plants, this Cascades Sonoco investment in water-based coating solutions allows us to offer a greener alternative to our customers so that they, in turn, can meet the needs of the most discerning consumers when it comes to the environment," said Mario Plourde, President and CEO of Cascades. "Because they are recyclable, repulpable and compostable, this packaging can help the food service industry to significantly reduce its ecological footprint." 

"This technology is the result of listening to our customers, listening to consumers, listening to the marketplace, then working to create something that solves a problem and fills a need. It also fits extremely well with our focus on finding sustainable packaging solutions which are in such great demand today, and it perfectly aligns with our purpose as a company—Better Packaging, Better Life," said Rob Tiede, President and CEO of Sonoco.

The new production line adds to the diversity of the products offered by the Cascades Sonoco facility in Birmingham, which has a core business of manufacturing roll headers and roll wraps for the pulp and paper industry. The plant employs approximately 75 workers and the new machine will create 20 long-term jobs. The expansion of the Birmingham facility and the installation of the new production line took place in 2018.

Cascades would like to thank its many customers, partners, suppliers and employees who made this project possible, particularly the State of Alabama, Jefferson County and the municipality of Birmingham, for their support.
 

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