Hartsfield, South Carolina based Sonoco has announced plans to upgrade its corrugated medium machine in Hartsville, South Carolina, with an investment of $83 million. The move to transform the machine into a new recycled paperboard machine with a production capacity of 180,000 tons per year is aimed at further bolstering the company’s recycled paperboard mill system.

With this investment, Sonoco is expected to become one of the largest, lowest-cost producers of recycled paperboard in the world. The transformation will be carried out as part of Project Horizon and will reduce electricity consumption in the Sonoco’s U.S. and Canada paper mill system by 16 percent. The company will also be able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent while its total water usage by mills will decrease by 25 percent.

“We are calling this investment Project Horizon because it ensures the long-term viability of our Hartsville paper mill complex and places our U.S. and Canada recycled paperboard mill system into the top quartile of performance from a cost perspective,” said Sonoco President and CEO Howard Coker said. “More than 80 percent of our consumer packaging sales are linked to food products, and we are being called on to meet an increased demand for consumers who are staying close to home. I’m extremely proud of how our associates have rallied to our customers’ calls for help during this crisis.”

Sonoco has also released its 2019-20 corporate responsibility report, which highlights environmental milestones Sonoco achieved in the past year, including reducing normalized greenhouse gas emissions by one percent and water usage by two percent. Since 2009, the company has reduced normalized greenhouse gas emissions by 24.6 percent, including a 33.6 percent reduction in direct emissions from operations, and water use by 42.4 percent.

The report also looks ahead at some of the company’s commitments for sustainable use and increased recyclability of packaging by 2025. Those commitments include:

Increasing the amount it recycles or causes to be recycled from 65 percent to 85 percent, relative to the volume of packaging it places into the global marketplace;

Increasing the use of postconsumer recycled resins in its plastic packaging from 18 percent to 25 percent; and

Ensuring that about 75 percent of its rigid plastic packaging can carry the relevant on-package recyclable claim.

Visit www.sonoco.com for more information.

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