Evergreen Packaging to halt production of coated groundwood paper at Pine Bluff mill

The parent company of Evergreen Packaging announced Thursday it will be getting out of the coated groundwood paper business.

As a result, the company will permanently halt the production of coated groundwood paper at its Pine Bluff location.

A news release from the company said the company will continue to invest in the Pine Bluff location “which will remain an essential facility in the Pactiv Evergreen operations network, serving the fiber-based beverage packaging market.

“With the decline in the coated groundwood market, our decision to exit this business enables us to reinvest resources in our strategic core competency of liquid packaging board as well as other more profitable segments across the enterprise,” Mike King, CEO of Pactiv said. He went on to say that the Pine Bluff mill will continue to employ more than 650 people where liquid packaging board and extrusion manufacturing will remain.

“Pactiv Evergreen will work directly with our coated groundwood customers to meet their product needs and support their transition to new suppliers until production ends in Q4. Our company expects to complete the closure by Oct. 31, 2021 with the shipments continuing until inventory is deleted.

The press release said the company will work with impacted employees and union leadership during the transition.

“We are committed to helping support our team members during this difficult time,” the news release said. “This decision is not reflective of the hard work and dedication of our team members nor the performance of the mill but the reality of the coated publications business outlook.”