Amcor Rigid Plastics expands extrusion blow molded PP bottle capacity

Amcor Rigid Plastics PET stock bottles and preforms for dairy, aseptic, and HPP liquid beverages. Picture: Amcor.

Amcor Rigid Plastics has expanded its extrusion blow molded PP bottle capacity in the Midwest, Southwest, and Canada in response to strong market demand for packaging for food and nutritional supplements.

The multi-million-dollar expansion at production facilities in Batavia, Illinois, Fort Worth, Texas, and Brampton, Ontario, allows Amcor to shift its manufacturing footprint closer to customers with improved logistics and reduced transportation costs.

Ball Plastics Packaging Americas

The expansion is for production of multilayer polypropylene (PP) containers – a product line acquired in August 2010 from Ball Plastics Packaging Americas - along with HDPE containers with PCR content for personal care and household uses, creating 30 jobs.

Amcor’s proprietary Gamma multilayer PP technology fulfils high barrier and high-temperature requirements for applications such as salsa, barbecue sauce, ketchup, syrup, and liquid infant formula.

Multilayer PP barrier packaging

Amcor is seeing strong growth for multilayer PP barrier packaging for food and handleware food packaging for the club store market segment.

As part of its growth strategy in the food segment, Amcor recently added heat-set PET capacity (stretch blow molding) at its Wytheville, Virginia, facility to serve regional food customers.

Batavia closure

Despite the announcement, 110 jobs have been axed as Amcor Rigid Plastics closes a factory in Batavia, Illinois.

Michael Hodges, VP, communications, Amcor, said the closure will see a ‘rolling type of shutdown’ starting in September until March 2018.

In that time it will remove equipment from the plant, which will eventually be sold.

The Batavia plant makes plastic bottles for the food industry, and the reason for the closure is ‘changing business conditions’

"We have over 30 plant sites in North America. If jobs exist and people wanted to move, there would be opportunities for that," he added.

Hodges said Amcor has four other plants near Chicago; south Chicago Pullman District, Addison, Itasca and Mundelein.

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