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Anchor Packaging closing Kentucky thermoforming plant

By: Michael Lauzon

June 12, 2014

Anchor Packaging Inc. will close its Mount Vernon, Ky., thermoforming plant and move production of its Microlite deli containers from there to Jonesboro, Ark., by mid-August.

The firm said June 11 it is consolidating Microlite production in Jonesboro to simplify delivery logistics.

“Customers have told us they prefer to receive deli containers, film and rigid plastics products in one order, in one truck with a single invoice,” explained Anchor President Jeffrey Wolff in a news release. Anchor makes a range of packaging in its Arkansas operations.

Anchor acquired the Mount Vernon plant in 2012. The thermoforming facility had been owned by Alcoa Inc., then Plasticware LLC, but was shuttered when Anchor bought it. Anchor has been calling the Mount Vernon plant its Rock Castle operation to avoid confusion with previous ownership. Rock Castle is the name of the county in which the operation is located.

Anchor bought the Jonesboro facility in early 2013 and has been converting it to a manufacturing plant. It already thermoforms Microlite containers there and says that head start should assure a smooth transition through the consolidation.

Anchor says demand is growing rapidly for its Microlite thin-walled polypropylene containers. Spokeswoman Marilyn Stapleton said in a phone interview that the market for such containers is strong as a broader range of retail outlets adopt them for convenient packaging of prepared foods.

Anchor also makes a range of upscale takeout packaging for ready-to-heat meals in supermarkets and takeout meals in restaurants and other foodservice outlets.