US – US-based sustainable packaging provider Sonoco has launched its new high-capacity, uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) #10 machine.

The launch is part of Sonoco’s Project Horizon, a US$125 million initiative to convert the company’s former corrugated medium machine in Hartsville, South Carolina, to advanced URB operations.

The new URB machine represents the company’s transition to fully recycled fibers at the Hartsville Mill Complex.

Sonoco expects the transition to improve its long-term sustainability commitment by reducing its electricity consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and total water usage.

In addition, the company anticipates the new operations to save annual costs by US$30 million by 2024 and will ensure the mill remains globally competitive.

Sonoco Chief Operating Officer Rodger Fuller said: “We are excited to share the successful launch of our updated #10 machine.

“This machine was designed to be one of the largest and lowest-cost producers of URB in the world—paving the way for the future of our Hartsville paper mill complex and our global position as a high-quality URB provider.

“With these state-of-the-art capabilities, Sonoco is able to produce a wider range of high-value paper grades to serve our industrial and consumer converted products businesses and external trade customers.”

Through Project Horizon, Sonoco aims to improve the feasibility and sustainability of its 100-year-old Hartsville Mill Complex. The mill produces nearly one-third of the company’s US and Canadian URB.

As previously announced and planned, with the introduction of the high-capacity #10 URB machine, the less efficient #1 and # 9 cylinder machines will be permanently shut down by the end of October 2022.

Fuller added: “The start-up of the #10 machine is an important milestone for Sonoco to demonstrate our ability to update and improve long-standing machines to meet changing market conditions and better serve our customers.”

The machine will have a range of grade and caliper sizes, two offline slitter/rewinders to offer improved ribbon quality and precise, narrow-width slitting and lower variability across the machine width to create a more consistent product.

In July this year, Sonoco added capabilities for the post-consumer recovery and recycling of paper cups at its paperboard mill in Hartsville.

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