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PWP expands PP and PET capacity; offers compostable trays

PWP Industries added compostable AgroResin trays to its lineup.
Packaging thermoformer PWP Industries (Vernon, CA) this quarter will complete a $15-million expansion to its headquarters, with the funds spent on new corporate offices, a new and expanded R&D center, and additional space for processing.

Also currently under construction is a 125,000-sq-ft expansion to PWP’s facility in Abilene, TX. That $22-million project will provide additional space for both processing and warehousing. In a move that makes good sense to anyone who has spent time in Texas, the expansion takes advantage of the sun for lighting and uses heat generated by processing to warm the building.

In a statement, Ira Maroofian, president and COO, said, “The California expansion project represents our objective to continually focus on creating award-winning innovative packaging. By dedicating more space and personnel to research and development we will be able to stay at the forefront of bringing customers the widest variety of packaging solutions possible.” The processor won two awards in the thin-gauge roll-feed consumer category at last fall’s Society of Plastics Engineers’ (SPE) Thermoforming Conference. A silver award went to PWP for its ''Tamper-Resistant’ packaging, and a bronze award went to its ''Dip-n-Go’ package. The trademarked Tamper-Resistant (TR) package is a one-piece hinged container thermoformed of PET that provides visual evidence of tampering, as it has pull-open tabs that must be separated before the package is opened. Once separated, the TR tabs do not fit back together, although the lid provides adequate resealing when re-closed. As a result of this design, there is no need for shrink bands or extra wraps for product safety.

Maroofian added, “The new Texas addition will significantly increase our production capacity. Our emphasis on the environmental impact of the building is central to our corporate-wide initiative to promote environmental sustainability. Our Texas plant, built in 2006, paved the way for our efforts by reducing shipping distances to our customers. To date, it has saved, on average, 1000 miles per shipment, which reduces green house gases and our carbon footprint.”

That $22-million project will provide additional space for both processing and warehousing. Additional space in Vernon will be for PP expansion and will include equipment. PWP extrudes its own sheet in all its plants. The California and Texas expansions will both allow for additional PET and polypropylene (PP) thermoforming; PWP officials would not reveal how much. These investments follow last year’s expansion of PWP’s processing facility in Mineral Wells, WV, where it thermoforms PP. PWP Industries was founded in 1998 and runs the three facilities mentioned above.

In related news, PWP has added AgroResin sustainable packaging to its offerings, with the new material 100% biodegradable, compostable and made from non-GM agricultural biomass fiber composite. "Today''s consumers want packaging that meets their present needs, but doesn''t compromise the needs of future generations," said Dale Sprosty, executive VP sales & marketing. "Adding packaging made with AgroResin to our line of products is part of our solution to make the best packaging on the market with an unequalled commitment to the environment." The material is FDA approved for direct food contact.

Packaging made with AgroResin is light brown. The packaging is gas permeable but water resistant and can be used in the microwave. It is compatible with flow-wrap and shrink-wrap systems. Lid embossing is available for promotional logo opportunities.
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