Cascades Tissue's Eau Claire, Wisconsin, mill still viable after 129 years due to ongoing improvements, continued strong demand in private-label tissue, toweling and napkin markets it serves, says company official

LOS ANGELES , December 9, 2011 () – After 129 years in production, Cascades Tissue Group’s mill in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, remains viable because of ongoing upgrades and continued strong demand in the sectors it serves, said a company official, reported the Leader-Telegram on Dec. 9.

The mill, which makes 150 tons per day of private-label toilet tissue, toweling and napkins, has not been affected by the digital revolution’s tendency to lower consumption of various grades of paper.

“You can’t get an email equivalent for toilet paper,” said Rick Parr, manager of the Cascades Tissue Group, the Leader-Telegram reported.

The tissue sector of the paper industry tends to be a lot more stable and demand increases with the population, he said, adding that tissue producers are continually pushing for higher production to offset low profit margins.

Parr was in meetings on Thursday with other Eau Claire mill employees discussing a continuous improvement plan to keep the mill’s equipment in optimal condition.

Regular investment in new equipment has kept the mill viable despite its age, said Bob Decker, general manager of Cascades’ Eau Claire-based U.S. Retail Tissue Group, at an open house in August.

The company expects the Eau Claire mill to remain profitable into “the foreseeable future,” Decker said at the time.

Wisconsin’s paper industry has lost 15,000 jobs in the past decade, but the Eau Claire mill has continued to employ about 250 people for the past 15 years, said Parr.

The most recent paper mill closure in Wisconsin was announced on Wednesday by Wausau Paper Corp., and involves its Brokaw mill. That mill makes premium, specialty and colored paper, which are under pressure due to digital growth, Parr said.

The primary source of this article is the Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on Dec. 9, 2011.

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