- Pratt Industries recently opened a $60 million corrugated box plant in Beloit, WI, as reported by Recycling Today.
- The 350,000-square-foot facility will employ 140 people to produce 600 tons of recycled boxes per day. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has granted Pratt up to $2.4 million in tax credits based on the number of jobs created and the state also provided a $1.75 million low-interest equipment loan.
- This will be Pratt's 13th corrugated plant in the U.S. and 68th worldwide. The location's access to markets in Chicago and Milwaukee was seen as a key factor.
This latest project is part of an ongoing push into the Midwest by the Georgia-based company, which has led to $500 million of investment in the region since 2015. Sustainability is a main selling point for Pratt, which says it is the world's largest privately held recycled paper and packaging company. Pratt reportedly diverts an estimated 13,200 cubic yards of waste from landfills every day and its executive chairman, Anthony Pratt, recently launched a campaign against food waste in his native Australia.
Unlike the market for other types of recycled paper, which has faced challenges and led to the recent closure of multiple mills, the corrugated market remains strong. Recovery rates for old corrugated cardboard reached a record high of 92.9% in 2015, with growing demand for the material due to online shopping and other shipping needs.
The plant's opening could also be beneficial for recyclers in Wisconsin by providing a new local buyer. Like many states, Wisconsin has been looking for new ways to adapt to less stable markets for recycled electronics and glass. While the state is also working to raise awareness among residents about recycling that matters less than having good markets for the material that does get collected.