NORTH AMERICA – Huhtamaki North America has announced plans to expand its molded fiber product manufacturing unit in the city of Hammond, Indiana, as part of its investment in Fiber Solutions.
The investment, which is expected to start ramping up toward the end of 2023, will enable Huhtamaki to better serve existing and new customers in North America.
The company will provide a broad range of environmentally sustainable, fully recyclable, and compostable, fiber-based packaging solutions manufactured from 100% recycled North American raw material.
“With the high-precision manufacturing technology we have developed at Huhtamaki we are able to produce [environmentally] sustainable fiber-based products with superior performance,” said Ann O’Hara, president of Huhtamaki North America.
“Fiber-based products dramatically reduce the consumption of less sustainable packaging while continuing to provide the same functionality.”
According to Charles Héaulmé, President and CEO of Huhtamaki, the investment represents the company’s belief in the region’s future development and in the continued success of Huhtamaki’s customers, both current and new.
In addition, the expansion will introduce new products such as egg cartons and cup carriers – manufactured on state-of-the-art machinery developed by Huhtamaki.
“Our expertise in material and manufacturing innovation enables us to help our customers deliver on their sustainability agenda and goals,” says O’Hara.
The expanded facility covers circa 23,000 square meters and will be built adjacent to Huhtamaki’s existing Hammond manufacturing unit.
The company has operated in Hammond, Indiana since 1948 and currently has approximately 140 employees. It expects to employ a further 100 new employees when fully operational.
“We have a 75-year history in the community of Hammond. Our new investment builds on our existing technological expertise and will expand our manufacturing capacity, further leveraging the success of earlier expansions of other Huhtamaki units across North America and harnessing our global expertise in molded fiber technology,” added O’Hara.
The fiber-based packaging solutions are manufactured from 100% recycled North American raw material.
Earlier this year, Huhtamaki announced that its manufacturing site in Alf, Germany, is switching its focus from plastics to smooth molded fiber products to meet the growing demand for plastic-free alternatives for food packaging.
The Alf unit plans to replace more than 2,000 metric tons of plastic with fiber in 2022 and when fully operational, the state-of-the-art automated manufacturing site will have the capacity to manufacture up to 3.5 billion fiber products annually.
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