Paper or plastic? Well, with Hilex Poly's acquisition of Duro Bag Manufacturing, a provider of paper bags, the company's answer is now both.
Hilex Poly, based in Hartsville, S.C., is a manufacturer of flexible packaging products, ranging from bags for grocery, retail, and foodservice markets, to can liners and specialty films. The company operates 15 manufacturing locations across the U.S. and Canada plus the largest closed-loop recycling facility in the U.S (which PlasticsToday visited in 2012).
Whereas Duro Bag is a provider of point-of-purchase paper bags to markets throughout the U.S. such as foodservice, specialty retail, grocery, and mass merchant. The combined company will have over 3,000 manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and more than 600 in Canada and Mexico.
Hilex Poly said this acquisition will allow it to expand its product portfolio of offering 100% recycled products.
"Hilex Poly is always looking for the best way to serve its customers," Mark Daniels, SVP of sustainability & environmental policy at Hilex Poly, told PlasticsToday. "We see an opportunity in Duro Bag that enables us to offer more diversified products and services across market segments."
Hilex Poly is not only a manufacturer of plastic bag and film, the company serves as a cheerleader of sorts for the plastic bag industry. The company has been quite vocal about its stance against plastic bag bans and even sponsors Bag the Ban, a project developed in response to proposed laws nationwide that would ban or tax plastic grocery bags. On the site, the company details facts about plastic bags, including this bullet point: Plastic bags are the most environmentally friendly option at checkout. In fact, alternatives like reusable and paper bags increase global warming and use more resources.
PlasticsToday asked Daniels if the acquisition of a paper bag company will force the company to reposition some of its messaging and he said, "Hilex Poly is committed to providing sustainable products to its customers across multiple markets. Duro Bag produces paper bags with the highest amount of recyclable content available. Together, we provide the highest quality sustainable product to our customers."
It is true that it's not so much plastic vs. paper these days, as paper bags are starting to also get listed on the ban and tax lists as well.
"Hilex Poly has always opposed bans and taxes of any bag while supporting consumer choice and education about the proper use, recycling and reuse of all bags," Daniels said. "We continue to support consumer choice and fact-based policy."