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Petoskey Plastics adds blown film lines to Indiana recycling plant

By: Catherine Kavanaugh

September 19, 2013

Michigan-based Petoskey Plastics Inc. is showing off a $9.7 million expansion at its recycling and manufacturing plant in Hartford City, Ind.

The company added six blown film towers and four blown film lines to a 4,800-square-foot addition that brings the facility to 300,000 square feet, Petoskey Plastics spokeswoman Tresa Hurst said.

The expansion increases film extrusion capabilities by 21 million pounds annually, she added.

About 30 new positions were created with the increased production capabilities at the facility, which has been recycling polyethylene for the company’s manufacturing operations in Michigan and Tennessee since 2007.

Last year the Hartford City facility reprocessed more than 30 million pounds of post-consumer PE, which most likely would have been headed to a landfill. The material then is manufactured into blown film and bag products that contain up to 70 percent recycled plastic.

The expansion allows Petoskey Plastics to produce recycled-content products, such as plastic sheeting and trash bags, at the Hartford City plant, too.

“We can ship our own green PE to our other two facilities or use it there [in Hartford City], which is a great thing,” Hurst said. “We can take it from one side of the facility and walk it over to production.”

Or, as Petoskey Plastics President Paul Keiswetter has put it: The plant’s bags and film will be made “with the lowest carbon footprint in North America.”

The company turns used plastic into new products for the automotive, retail and construction industries among others. It also has a division that produces a line of bags called Greencore, which will be made in Hartford City.

Tours of the expansion are scheduled for Sept. 20. Instead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, a huge plastic sheet that was made in house will be dropped to unveil the new production area. Guests will follow a rope line of plastic draw tape, also made in house, on self-guided tour stops.

“That’s a new thing. We’re making our own draw tape now that you pull up and tie off bags with,” Hurst said.

The Indiana expansion is part of a $16 million investment the company is making nationwide at its facilities. Petoskey Plastics now has eight production lines in Hartford City, 14 in Morristown, Tenn., and 17 in Petoskey, Mich.

Petoskey Plastics reported 2012 corporate sales of $110 million, of which $105 million was film, according to the recent Plastics News survey of North American film and sheet manufacturers.