Cascades Sonoco facility in Birmingham, Alabama, finding success with new products like Surf Shield wax-alternative packaging for agriculture industry and resin-coated to-go boxes that offset decline in orders for paper roll packaging

Sandy Yang

Sandy Yang

Jun 29, 2012 – Industry Intelligence

LOS ANGELES , June 28, 2012 () –

Cascades Sonoco Inc.’s packaging production facility in Birmingham, Alabama, is offsetting the decline in orders for its main product, paper-based packaging for giant paper rolls, with innovative products, reported The Birmingham News on June 28.

It has expanded its range of paperboard-based packaging to include environmentally friendly alternatives to wax-coated boxes used in the agriculture industry and for take-home packaging used at restaurants and other food outlets, including Whole Foods Market Inc. stores across the U.S.

Cascades Sonoco has redefined itself in its new products, said Emmanuel Boullay, the Birmingham’s plant manager, noting that the facility was struggling three years ago and had to lay off workers, but has since been able to maintain its employment levels.

The 20-year old facility presently employs 65 people and has more than US$4 million in monthly sales.

The company’s Surf Shield packaging acts as a recyclable alternative to the wax used to make corrugated boxes water repellent. Unlike the wax-coated boxes, Surf Shield packaging can be reused by paper mills, Boullay said, The Birmingham News reported.

The to-go boxes are coated with a resin that blocks light, odor and moisture depending on customer requirements and is recyclable. These boxes are produced by all four of Cascades Sonoco’s facilities in North America.

Cascades Sonoco is a joint venture between Kinsey Falls, Quebec-based Cascades Inc. and Hartsville, South Carolina-based Sonoco Products Ltd., according to the company’s website.

The market for Surf Shield packaging will be “huge,” said Boullay. Boxes crudely fashioned with the material are left with potential customers for days to show that “the water will evaporate before it bleeds through,” he said, reported The Birmingham News.

The primary source of this article is The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama, on June 28, 2012.


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