thermoform plastic packaging

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Facing falling customer demand, an end user of recycled PET will lay off 100 employees at its North Carolina factory.

Absolute Plastics, which makes recycled-content thermoformed packaging, notified state government on Jan. 11 it will let go employees at its Wilson, N.C. plant. Absolute Plastics is owned by rePlanet Holdings, an integrated recycling-packaging company. The company’s collection arm, called rePlanet, runs beverage container redemption centers in California. The processing arm, called ECO2 Plastics, shreds and washes the bottles.

Absolute Plastics, the company’s plastics end user, makes thermoforms with a range of recycled PET and PP content, including product lines with 70 percent RPET. In June, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a letter of no objection to rePlanet Holdings to create 100 percent RPET thermoforms for food and drink.

The Triangle Business Journal reported Absolute Plastics will reduce its manufacturing footprint in Wilson. Company CEO Paul Cobb stated in the disclosure to the state the decision was made because of the loss of significant customer volume and the desire to consolidate operations and eliminate excess manufacturing capacity, the paper reported.

In early 2016, rePlanet made headlines when it closed nearly 200 of its California container redemption locations. The closures were the result of low commodity values and the formula California state government uses to calculate subsidy payments for collection centers.

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