NEW YORK - Quietly, but consistently, Rock-Tenn Corp. of Atlanta is building on its already firm footing in the plastic container industry. The company is a major player in the paperboard and paper packaging markets, said Jay Shuster, executive vice president and chief operating officer. He said plastic will not replace paper as the company's main focus, but noted it is a tidy portion of the firm's business, with about $50 million annually in sales.
``Primarily, we got into the plastic material business as a service to some of our customers on the paper side,'' Shuster said at the Packaging Industry Outlook in New York.
He said the firm is installing the first of two coextrusion lines for three-layer films at its Conyers, Ga., plant.
One of the largest makers and converters of 100 percent recycled paperboard, a staple in the paper flexible packaging industry, Rock-Tenn had about $750 million in annual sales last year, the majority of which came from paper products for the food, shipping and other industries. It has deep-draw thermoforming and film coextrusion plants in Conyers and Los Angeles.
The film the firm converts is coextruded, three-layer construction, featuring a central layer of post-consumer recycled plastic. To bolster the supply of post-consumer material for its plastics operations, Rock-Tenn recently bought a material recovery facility in Indianapolis.
Schuster said the company has added an automatic material sorter at that MRF, and a state-of-the-art Magnetic Separation Systems Inc. bottle sorter.
Shuster suggested that Rock-Tenn could expand its plastics segment.