Resource Recycling News

Packaging giant acquires recycled paper mills

cardboard bales

Credit: pjhpix/Shutterstock

A recycled paper mill operator and packaging producer will be purchased by WestRock for $3.5 billion.

KapStone Paper and Packaging Corporation, which operates four paper mills including two with recycled paper capabilities, will be acquired by WestRock in the coming months, the parties announced Monday. About 22 percent of KapStone’s 3 million tons per year output is from recycled fiber.

In a release, WestRock CEO Steve Voorhees said KapStone’s “complementary corrugated packaging and distribution operations will enhance WestRock’s ability to serve customers across our system, particularly in the western United States, and the addition of their specialty kraft paper products that we do not make enhances our differentiated portfolio of paper and packaging solutions.”

KapStone operates a 100 percent recycled paper mill with a 250,000-tons-per-year capacity in Cowpens, S.C. The facility takes in OCC and produces recycled linerboard and medium.

The company also operates a massive paper mill in Longview, Wash. with a total capacity of 1.45 million tons per year. The Longview plant contains five paper machines and can produce 100 percent recycled content products. Nearly half its output is in containerboard, and it also produces multiwall, bag and other paper products.

KapStone’s other two paper mills use only virgin fiber.

Besides its mills, KapStone operates roughly two dozen converting plants around the country.

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