Blown film extruder GloPak Corp. of South Plainfield, N.J., has gone green with a new solar-powered facility. The plant also will double the firm's capacity.
The 80,000-square-foot facility replaces GloPak's 60,000-square-foot site in Newark, N.J., CEO Harold Martin Sr. said in an Oct. 7 telephone interview. The company specializes in blown film products for several end markets including agriculture, automotive, electronics, and construction.
“We take very seriously global warming and we want to do our part for clean energy,” Martin said. “In December, we asked, ‘What can we do?' I'm putting my money where my mouth is.”
The company's focus has been on green. It even has a “GloPak Green Statement” aimed at educating people on the environmental effects of plastics, especially low density polyethylene. GloPak officials are highly aware of the stigma surrounding plastics in the mainstream media.
“At GloPak, we adamantly disagree with such assertions and emphasize the fact that plastic products, if reused, recycled and properly disposed of, are an environmentally suitable choice for packaging,” the statement says.
The company had taken small steps toward energy efficiency, such as using energy-saving lighting.
“We felt we should do something to give back,” Martin said. “We decided we would try solar paneling. It's been a little slow coming along; we're very cautious because of the extreme cost of getting it done.”
The solar paneling alone came with a price tag of $5 million. Martin said the company received help from government programs at the local, state and federal levels. In addition to the roofing system, GloPak's campus has a three-acre solar energy field.
The company plans to significantly curtail carbon-dioxide emissions. The annual number for savings on those emissions alone is roughly 5 million tons.
Martin also translated the expected energy savings into monetary terms.
“We're going to save about $90,000 a year,” he said. The firm will eventually let those savings translate into more employees. GloPak currently has about 20 workers.