Kingsey Falls, Québec based Cascades inc., a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and hygiene products, announced that it has produced its first roll of 100 percent recycled containerboard at its Bear Island, Virginia, mill.

With annual production capacity of 465,000 short tons of lightweight, high-quality, 100 percent recycled containerboard, the company said that the mill is now equipped to perform within the top quarter of its industry, strengthening its operational flexibility, geographic footprint, and competitiveness of Cascades’ Containerboard platform.

The project created 700 jobs in the region during the construction phase, and 180 permanent jobs with the onset of commercial production.

“After the commissioning of the Greenpac mill nearly 10 years ago, the start-up of Bear Island marks another historic milestone in the strategic modernization of our mill network,” said Mario Plourde, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cascades.

“More than ever, Cascades has modern and competitive assets that will allow us to pursue long term growth in packaging, on a North American scale.”

“Cascades would like to thank all its employees and partners who made this project possible, a feat made even more challenging given the difficult global context of supply chain issues,” said Charles Malo, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Containerboard Packaging.

“This project was the second largest in Cascades’ history, and we are very proud to have successfully converted this plant into a state-of-the-art mill that will allow Cascades to grow our market share and enhance service and our portfolio of sustainable solutions for our customers.”

The Bear Island mill is now entering the ramp-up phase of the machine and will gradually increase its production to reach full capacity. An official inauguration will be held in the coming months.

Shutdown Of Paper Machine At Niagara Falls Mill

Cascades is also announcing the permanent shutdown of paper machine number 2 at its Niagara Falls, New York mill, which had been temporarily shut down since November 2022.

The machine, amongst the oldest in the Containerboard platform, has a production capacity of 90,000 short tons per year, and would require investments for it to remain competitive.

The permanent closure of this machine will impact approximately 40 positions. The majority of these positions are currently vacant or will be subject to attrition in order to minimize the impact on the employees, the company said.

In February 2023, Cascades announced a $9 million investment at its Piscataway, New Jersey corrugated packaging converting facility with the purchase of a new printing press. Cascades said that the EVOL press would allow them to continue growth in the northeast and increase their ability to serve current and future customers.

Founded in 1964, Cascades offers sustainable, innovative and value-added packaging, hygiene and recovery sollutions. The company employs 10,000 people across a network of close to 80 facilities in North America. 

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