PET thermoformer MicroGreen plans to expand

By Jessica Holbrook

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
Companies & Associations

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

By Jessica Holbrook

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

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Colormasters' film investments add capacity and capability

April 17, 2015 11:35 am ET

Colormasters LLC continues to invest in new film and converting capacity to keep up with demand for its flexible packaging products.    More

Image

Thailand's Royal Group adding thermoforming plant in Indiana

April 17, 2015 11:17 am ET

Royal Interpack North America Inc. is spending $12 million to make recycle-content PET clamshell containers in Anderson, Ind.    More

Image

Inteplast buys Canadian film maker Haremar, bag maker El-En

April 13, 2015 4:29 pm ET

Inteplast Group has increased its business in Canada with the acquisition of a specialty polyethylene blown film coextruder.    More

Image

Reliance finds room to grow in North Carolina

April 9, 2015 3:04 pm ET

Reliance Packaging LLC expects to grow significantly during the next three years, both in production of heavy-duty plastic bags for the lawn and...    More

Image

Silgan to hire 120 for new plant

April 9, 2015 2:57 pm ET

New details are emerging about Silgan Plastics' plans for a new production facility in Hazelwood, Mo., near St. Louis.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Injection Molding Market Analysis & Processor Rankings

Plastics News BUNDLED package contains our in-depth Market Analysis of the Injection Molding segment. You will gain keen insight on current trends and our economic outlook.

As a BONUS this includes PN's updated 2014 database of North American Injection Molders RANKED by sales volume. Sort, merge, mail & prospect by end market, materials processed, region, # of plants and more.

Learn more

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 15, 2015 - September 17, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

More Events