Illinois Tool Works Inc. closed the St. Jude Polymer Corp. recycling plant in Frackville, Pa., on Jan. 14. ITW said it is consolidating its recycling operations into a similar plant in Florence, Ky.
ITW bought the plant in 2005 to supply its Signode division, which makes polyester strapping.
Alison Donnelly, a spokeswoman for Glenview-based ITW, told The Standard Speaker in Hazleton, Pa., that the plant is closing because of weak demand.
We had to move production to another plant that had similar capabilities, she said. If we don't have as much demand to have two facilities doing the same thing, it made sense to consolidate it into one.
St. Jude recycled PET and high density polyethylene. The plant employed 41.
The firm, which started in 1977, was one of the first companies to recycle PET bottles, when the material was being introduced to the soft drink market. Steve Babinchak and Frank Petrachonis, who started the company, had backgrounds in recycling vinyl.
Babinchak told Plastics News in 2005 that the firm built a lot of its own equipment, and adopted its name after the patron saint of hopeless causes, because it was hard to convince bankers that recycling plastic bottles had a future.
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