BRAMPTON, ONTARIO (Aug. 24, 2:15 p.m. ET) — Food packaging producer Par-Pak Ltd. is expanding at its three manufacturing sites.
At its headquarters in Brampton, Ontario, the firm has installed a new 40 million-pound PET extrusion line and will add six high-speed thermoforming machines by year's end.
In Houston, the company plans to move soon from its 60,000-square-foot plant to a newly purchased, 95,000-square-foot facility nearby.
In Milton Keynes, England, Par-Pak has purchased a 54,000-square-foot warehouse.
In an Aug. 24 telephone interview, Glen Armstrong, the company's vice president of sales, said the expansion plan will cost the privately owned company about $20 million.
Par-Pak is reacting to marketplace trends that it, in part, helped create, he said.
“There's a real shift from [oriented polystyrene] to PET, especially in Canada,” Armstrong said. “The path forward for a lot of those retailers — with our assistance — is to move toward PET, because it's already the biggest recycled plastic in the form of bottles. It's a natural for PET thermoforms to be recycled, so the large retailers are headed down that path.”
Par-Pak is a member of both the National Association for PET Container Resources and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, which backed the move in June by Canada's top five grocery chains — Wal-Mart Canada Corp., Loblaws, Safeway Canada, Metro and Sobeys — to require their suppliers to shift to PET for clamshell thermoformed packaging.
By Jan. 1, the Retail Council of Canada, which includes the supermarket chains, will require its suppliers to use thermoform packaging that meets Association of Postconsumer Plastics Recyclers guidelines.
Par-Pak's plastic bakery, salad and deli containers, which include clamshells, trays, bowls and tubs, are extruded from OPS and thermoformed from PET.
Globally, Par-Pak has more than 100 thermoforming machines and 2,000 interchangeable thermoforming tools. It sales are about $150 million annually, and the firm employs 650.
The expansion in Brampton will add 40 positions, Armstrong said. The company used to operate a plant in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., but removed machinery several years ago and converted the building into a warehouse, he said.