Sonoco Products Co. is spending millions on “increased production capacity and environmental efficiency” at a plastic consumer packaging plant near Leipzig, Germany, the company said.
Sonoco Consumer Products Europe will make the $7.1 million investment during the next year at its plant in Zwenkau, Sonoco said.
News of the investment comes as the company also said it will close rigid paper container manufacturing sites in Bunde in Northwest Germany and Hockenheim in Southwest Germany.
“While the planned closure of Bunde and Hockenheim 3 is a difficult decision, the capital to be spent in Zwenkau will turn our production site into one of the most efficient German plants in the industry,” said Séan Cairns, general manager of Sonoco Consumer Products Europe, in a statement.
Sonoco said its European consumer packaging business is growing, but has experienced a recent significant decline in tobacco packaging due to changes in the European Tobacco Product Directive. That directive is aimed at limiting the appeal of tobacco.
Sonoco expects to begin investing in the plastic consumer packaging plant early next year and be completed with the improvements by the end of the year. Zwenkau has both injection molding and extrusion, according to Sonoco's website.
Sonoco, based in Hartsville, S.C., has more than 70 sites in Europe and more than 330 locations around the world.
The two plant closures “could affect 100 employees in total,” the company said.