PET thermoformer MicroGreen plans to expand

Published: January 17, 2013 2:04 pm ET
Updated: January 17, 2013 2:09 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Packaging, Film & Sheet, Thermoforming

ARLINGTON, WASH. -- MicroGreen Polymers Inc. plans to expand its production capacity, a project jump started by a $5 million investment from the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians.

MicroGreen is looking to raise $20 million in this round of funding. The funds will go toward purchasing new equipment and tooling, and will take the company from producing on a small, testing-scale to producing at commercial capacity, said Chris Jacobs, vice president of marketing and product development, in a phone interview.

MicroGreen uses patented technology, named Ad-air, to add microbubbles to solid sheets of recycled PET. According to MicroGreen, the company uses its expanded PET to thermoform cups and trays that are lightweight and require less material to produce, contain up to 50 percent post-consumer content and are insulated and temperature resistant.

MicroGreen plans to add several new production lines and invest in tooling to expand its line of cups and trays.

The company currently operates one thermoforming line – an R&D line – that can produce a few hundred-million pieces a year.

"In the food service world, that's not much," Jacobs said.

"There's so much opportunity out there," he said. "Even if we only aim for the low-hanging fruit, we'll need 20 to 30 production lines."

The company will also purchase an extruder. Right now, MicroGreen buys sheets of PET with up to 50 percent recycled content. Extruding in-house will allow the company to raise the amount of recycled content, Jacobs said.

With the increased production capacity, MicroGreen needs more employees. The company currently employs 45, but plans to employ 200-300 by year end, Jacobs said.

MicroGreen operates one facility in Arlington, Wash. The company has room to expand at its current site, but increasing the size of its current plant or opening a new one will depend on customer's needs and requirements, he added.

The company is still working on meeting its $20 million mark. MicroGreen is in talk with venture capitalist inventors, but the Stillaguamish Tribe also is helping out.

Koran Andrews, the Stillaguamish Tribe's enterprise corporation CEO, and other tribal members toured MicroGreen's facility last year. The Tribe purchased cups for its Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington, and were so impressed with MicroGreen's process and mission that they asked about becoming investors, Jacobs said.

"That's how they got turned on to it, knowing that our focus was about showing people that being successful in business and doing the right thing environmentally, and for the world, is not mutually exclusive," he said.

The Stillaguamish Tribe was also looking to diversify its investment portfolio. The Tribe is now working to put together a consortium with other Native American tribes that have the same goal to invest in MicroGreen.

The Stillaguamish Tribe's initial investment was enough to get MicroGreen started, and the company plans to move forward with just the $5 million secured.

The company plans to close this round of funding by the end of the first quarter, when it closes they'll know "how steep the on-ramp really is," Jacobs said.


Comments

PET thermoformer MicroGreen plans to expand

Published: January 17, 2013 2:04 pm ET
Updated: January 17, 2013 2:09 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Red Wave machine helps sort 4,000 metric tons of mixed plastics recycling

July 30, 2014 11:00 am ET

Redwave, the Austrian manufacturer of optical sorting machines for recycled plastics, supplied a line for the IMOG sorting facility in South West...    More

Herbold system removes foreign materials from recycling machine

July 30, 2014 10:55 am ET

Herbold Meckeshneim GmbH has developed an affordable, simple solution to remove foreign material that enters recycling machine, such as metal parts...    More

Image

New polymer changes color in seconds

July 30, 2014 9:51 am ET

Researchers have created an unusual polymer that can change color and return to its original color in less than a second by changing its temperature.    More

New materials compete with metals

July 30, 2014 9:47 am ET

Piper Plastics Inc. has developed a family of reinforced thermoplastics with exceptional strength.    More

Image

Bankruptcy court confirms GSE reorganization plan

July 29, 2014 4:01 pm ET

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., has confirmed the reorganization plan for geomembranes maker GSE Environmental Inc.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recyclers Data Report & Directory

This exclusive MS Excel database contains all the companies from Plastics News' ranking of top North American Recyclers and Brokers by reprocessed volume and also includes a directory with materials processes, services offered and company contact information. Data is based on primary research by PN editorial staff.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events