One of the country’s largest corrugated packaging companies announced plans to open a recycled paperboard mill next to its existing box manufacturing operation in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Georgia-based Pratt Industries will lay out $260 million on the new mill and claims the operation will bring nearly 140 jobs to northwest Indiana. Construction is expected to be completed by July 2015, and the facility will be able to produce 360,000 tons of recycled paper annually.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered the company up to $1.2 million in conditional tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants based on the company’s job creation plans. A number of other energy and infrastructure incentives were also offered to the company. “With the pro-growth business environment we’ve worked hard to create, companies can expand here with confidence,” said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
The paper mill is Pratt’s fourth, joining others in Georgia, Louisiana and New York. Pratt produces all of its paper and packaging from 100 percent recycled products, and its New York mill, located on Staten Island, recently announced it had recycled 5 million tons of paper since opening in 1997. The company says it currently processes roughly 3,000 tons of recovered paper across all its sites each day.
Pratt executives said they considered 100 locations for their latest mill before narrowing the search down to a pair of locations in Indiana and one in Ohio.
The opening of a large-scale recycled paper mill is an encouraging development for the recycled fiber industry, which has faced demand struggles in recent years as consumers have continued to shift toward electronic media.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this week announced a plan to bring food composting to a bigger swath of city residents, a push that is the latest in a cluster of recycling initiatives put forth by Bloomberg during his final year in office. It also places America’s most populous city in the middle of the nation’s ongoing expansion of composting.