Novolex is spending millions to expand its plastic bag manufacturing facility in Jacksonville, Fla.
The project, announced by Florida Gov. Rick Scott April 13, will bring at least 25 new jobs to the company's Hilex Poly brand production site.
Novolex has 43 manufacturing sites in North America and considered other locations for the expansion before deciding on Jacksonville.
“The equipment has been shipped own there. We will have everything installed probably in the beginning or middle of August,” said Mark Daniels, senior vice president of sustainability for Novolex. “It's about a $6 million investment to increase capacity at that facility by about 35 percent. More importantly, we're going to be adding between 25 and 30 new manufacturing jobs.”
The jobs will come over time during the next four months as new pieces of equipment are installed. That machinery includes six extrusion lines, four converting lines and four printing presses to make retail T-shirt bags, Daniels said.
Scott traveled to the Novolex site to unveil the project and job growth and used the appearance to “ceremonially” sign into law a new measure to eliminate sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment in the state.
State Sen. Dorothy Hukill said in a statement the tax cut “will have an incredible effect on the businesses growing jobs in our state.”
The new measure also provides consumers with a sales tax break for school shopping.
“This bill will not only give Florida families an important back-to-school sales tax holiday, but it also will permanently eliminate the sales tax on manufacturing machinery and equipment so companies like Novolex can invest more money in growing their business and creating new jobs,” the governor said in a statement.
Word of the Novolex expansion in Jacksonville follows a recent deal by the company to purchase Heritage Bag Co. in a move that adds six manufacturing facilities.
Heritage makes plastic trash bags, can liners and food bags for institutional and commercial customers. The company's product portfolio also includes items such as medical waste bags and ice bucket liners.
The governor was able to see Novolex plastic bags made from brown and gray film. Those colors include higher recycled content from used retail, newspaper, dry cleaning, bread and cereal bags, the company said.
”What's really neat about Jacksonville is in our manufacturing, we are now averaging over 35 percent recycled content into the bags. So we're very proud of that in our Jacksonville facility as well. We're averaging that now and that's going to continue, if not increase,” Daniels said.