The closure leaves 116 people without jobs. | Courtesy of Google Streetview

Packaging and industrial products company Sonoco has shut down a Kansas mill that consumed OCC, according to local news reports. 

Hartsville, S.C.-based Sonoco permanently closed a 114-year-old mill in Hutchinson, Kan., according to The Hutchinson News. The company filed a notice informing the state about the layoffs of 116 employees on March 6. 

Sonoco first acquired the mill in 2001. A company representative told The Hutchinson News a year ago that the plant takes in about 320 tons of paper and OCC each day, recycling roughly 295 tons of that into products. 

The move comes as softer economic conditions have reduced sales for Sonoco and other paper packaging producers, although Sonoco has taken steps to boost profitability. 

The Hutchinson closure comes shortly after the company completed its Project Horizon, a $125 million project to convert its corrugated medium machine in Hartsville to producing up to 180,000 tons of low-cost uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) a year. In a Feb. 28 annual report, the company said it anticipated the newly retooled Hartsville machine to be fully operational in early 2023. 


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