Peeling Back Film Plastics

petoskeyplastics Community, Education, Expansion, manufacturing, Plastics, Recycling

The following is a shortened version of the article “Peeling Back Film Plastics” in the June 2018 issue of Plastics Engineering. To read the full article, click here: http://read.nxtbook.com/wiley/plastics_engineering/june_2018/index.html#peeling_back_film_plastics

Making film plastics sustainable means balancing consumer demands with processes that ensure a greener future

By Geoff Giordano

Greencore can liners made with Petoskey Plastics’ three-layer technology. Courtesy of Petoskey Plastics

Discussing the state of sustainable plastics, particularly film, requires the separation of hype and hope from reality.

On the consumer side, brand owners must continually weigh the pressures of customer demand for recyclable packaging and products with the requirements of processing, performance, and aesthetics. Adoption might come easier on the industrial side, where appearance isn’t always as much of a concern but here, too, performance varies based on processing factors.

And inevitably, underlying the quest for “green” plastics is the bottom line, the real green: the potential absence sted lack of cost incentives to use recycled film primarily polyethylene-based (PE) and the opportunities for growth.

A Range of Approaches

Serving high profile brand owners are on the frontline of film and resin makers engaging in varying degrees of recycling and recyclable film products.

Among those taking a 360-degree approach is Petoskey Plastics in Petoskey, Mich., which has been recycling since 1978 and recently invested $8 million in a new washing system at its facility in Hartford City, Ind. Petoskey turns out more than 30 million pounds a year of postconsumer recycled content with its in-house sorting, cleaning, and re-pelletizing operations.

Petoskey converts 90 percent to 95 percent of the postconsumer content it receives into three-layer PE films in which the outer two layers of virgin material surround a center layer of up to 70 percent recycled material. These films produce everything from kitchen trash bags and drum liners to contractor. Bags, construction sheeting, and even medical biohazard bags.

Depending on their needs, customers will request Petoskey films with varying percentages of postconsumer material in the center layer; some might need as little as 10 percent to 15 percent.

“There’s always a degree of variability when using postconsumer content, and you’ll see some of that in the processability,” explains Petoskey Executive Vice President Jason Keiswetter. “If we were just creating products using prime material, it would be much easier to process.”

Customers committing to using Petoskey films featuring 70 percent to 100 percent postconsumer material accept the slight variations in coloration or imperfections like bump or grain but performance does not diminish, Keiswetter asserts.

Petoskey Plastics recently invested $8 million in a new washing system at its facility in Hartford City, Ind. Petoskey turns out more than 30 million pounds a year of post-consumer recycled content with its in-house sorting, cleaning, and re-pelletizing operations. Courtesy of Petoskey Plastics.

Some Petoskey customers collect and return their bags and films for reuse after their initial use has been fulfilled, creating a closed-loop system. For new customers, this approach can be daunting, Keiswetter says, requiring commitment from every facet of a participant’s operation.

“It takes different equipment to recycle hard plastics or heavily contaminated films,” Keiswetter says. “It’s a significant infrastructure investment.”

The cleaner the material customers return, the higher price customers fetch and the better pellet Petoskey can provide.

“We aim to provide a ‘perfect’ pellet, which will be as good as if not better than prime pellet,” Keiswetter says. Petoskey offers several resins, some certified by a third-party auditor to comprise 99 percent postconsumer material; others might be certified as 10 percent postconsumer and 90 percent post-industrial. And, these resins generally don’t cost more than prime materials. “We can probably deliver the same product, apples to apples, but ours would have recycled content for no price increase.”

Petoskey Plastics offers three-layer films featuring a center layer of up to 70 percent postconsumer plastic. Courtesy of Petoskey Plastics.

PETOSKEY PLASTICS, INC. TO EXPAND MORRISTOWN OPERATIONS

petoskeyplastics Community, Expansion, Local Involvement, manufacturing

Manufacturer to invest $29.6 million, create approximately 70 jobs

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Petoskey Plastics, Inc. officials announced today that the company will invest $29.6 million to expand its operations in Hamblen County.

Petoskey Plastics plans to create approximately 70 jobs in Morristown over the next five years.

“I’d like to thank Petoskey Plastics for making such a significant investment in Morristown,” Rolfe said. “When an existing business invests $29.6 million and commits to create 70 jobs, it sends a strong signal to the quality of the community’s workforce and overall business climate. Petoskey Plastics is a vital part of Hamblen County’s economy and I look forward to the impact these additional jobs will have for the residents of this community.”

Petoskey Plastics is an environmentally-focused film, bag and resin manufacturer. The company supplies the automotive, medical, grocery, retail, packaging and construction industries.

Headquartered in Petoskey, Mich., Petoskey Plastics operates three manufacturing plants across the U.S. and employs more than 400 associates. The company’s customer base includes 30 Fortune 500 companies and businesses in more than 47 countries.

“Our growth has required us to invest in more capital,” Jason Keiswetter, executive vice president of Petoskey Plastics, said. “We needed to add additional capacity. The local Morristown government and State of Tennessee have been very easy to work with and helped make our decision to proceed with the expansion in Tennessee. We are thrilled with the availability of technical associates. We look forward to completing the building addition in 2018 and continue to add capacity and jobs within the structure for several years to come.”

Petoskey Plastics will add 30,000 square feet to its existing Morristown manufacturing facility, which specializes in polyethylene film. The investment will increase capacity at the facility, which has multiple extrusion lines utilizing recycled materials, converting lines and a four color offset paper printing press.

Work on the expansion is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2018. Petoskey Plastics anticipates the first phase of the new expansion will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2018.

“I would like to express my congratulations on behalf of the City of Morristown to Petoskey Plastics for its past successes which have resulted in this plan for further growth of its company, products and services,” Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney said. “This decision to expand here is also a statement of confidence in Petoskey’s mission, its employees and Morristown’s direction as a quality place to work.”

“TVA and Morristown Utilities Commission congratulate Petoskey Plastics on its decision to expand operations in Morristown,” TVA Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley said. “Helping to attract and retain job opportunities is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service and we are proud to partner with Morristown Chamber of Commerce and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to help further that mission.”

The Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce, Hamblen County and the Morristown Industrial Development Board also supported Petoskey Plastics’ expansion.

Morristown and Hamblen County are represented by Sen. Steve Southerland (R – Morristown) and Rep. Tilman Goins (R – Morristown) in the Tennessee General Assembly.

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web:tnecd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/tnecd.

Re|focus at NPE 2018

petoskeyplastics Education, manufacturing, Plastics

With so much recent emphasis being put on plastic pollution in our environment, NPE 2018’s Re|focus Zone and Sustainability and Recycling Summit at this year’s event could not have come at a better time. Since the last NPE show three years ago, so many exciting improvements and innovations in recycling and sustainable plastics technology have been made. This an opportunity for plastics manufacturers to alter their perspective on plastics in addition to discovering and taking advantage of new technology and innovations that make recycling and sustainability easier. Innovation is what we as an industry need to keep striving for in order to reduce our manufacturing impact on the environment.

Those of us who are already in the recycling plastics business look forward to expanding our knowledge and horizons at the Re|focus Zone and Summit. Any chance to learn from our colleagues and improve our own processes is greatly appreciated. We’re also excited about the focus on recycling and sustainability at this year’s show because it perfectly reflects our company values and commitment to sustainability and continuous improvement. Petoskey Plastics is always looking for ways to increase recycling capacity and use more recycled content in our products. In fact, later this year we are investing $8 million in a new wash line installation at our Hartford City, Indiana plant. We already recycle over 30 million pounds of plastic film every year, but we want to aim higher. This new wash line will allow us to create a higher quality recycled resin product and recycle larger volumes of post-consumer plastic film.

We hope, like us, you’ll take advantage of the opportunities to learn more about recycling and sustainability at NPE 2018. See you in Orlando!

Petoskey Plastics is an environmentally focused recycler and plastic film, bag and resin manufacturer providing superior products and solutions. Headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, the company provides products and engineered solutions for a variety of industries including automotive, industrial, institutional, retail, construction and home improvement. Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee. Learn more at petoskeyplastics.com.

Recycling Bags Should be Everyone’s Goal

petoskeyplastics Education, Plastics, Plastics News®, Recycling

One of the largest garbage and recycling collectors in the country had a curious message just ahead of Earth Day.

Republic Services Inc.’s official Twitter account posted a photo of plastic bags in the shape of the word “No,” with a tweet saying: “Did you know? Those grocery bags cannot be recycled. Keep them — or just trash them.”

I did a double take. I must have missed something here. Did I read that incorrectly? It took me several times reading it to be sure: they are definitely saying you should just put polyethylene film bags in the trash to be carried to the landfill. Happy Earth Day! (Or, apparently, you can just keep an endless stockpile of bags in your home. Hey, who doesn’t like doing a little light hoarding?)

 

I don’t feel like this audience needs this fact check, but I want to be absolutely clear — bags given to you at the grocery store can absolutely be recycled. Here’s a list of just stores that take bags back (thanks to Kendra Martin for the link). In fact, the company that won the most recent Plastics News Processor of the Year award recycles bags. We have video of Petoskey Plastics sorting bags and everything.

There were a chorus of people pointing out Republic Services’ error (including myself). Perhaps the company’s curbside collection doesn’t take plastic bags, but there are takeback locations throughout the country. In Michigan where I live, grocery chain Meijer has a bin right when you walk in to drop off clean, used bags. I take back our bags every month or so.

The company responded several hours later agreeing with the masses — yes, bags can be recycled but not through its curbside collection. But the original message that wasn’t true is still posted on its verified account.

And not everyone pointed out Republic Services’ error. There were several people who liked the tweet, including a sitting assembly member from California and an anti-litter group from Arizona. Both of whom should know the truth.

Plastic bags have been much maligned, and those that live near waterways have fought pretty successfully to ban them. Regardless if you think they should be banned, everyone should be encouraging those who use bags to recycle them, not just throw them in the trash. That’s the message we should all carry into Earth Day.

Article by:

Jeremy Carroll – Carroll was named assistant managing editor and video editor in 2014. Prior to joining Plastics News, he was managing editor of Waste & Recycling News and was a staff writer at C&G Newspapers and the Huron Daily Tribune. He is a 2003 graduate of Adrian College.

Original Article

The Positives of Plastic

petoskeyplastics Education, manufacturing, Plastics, Recycling

In recent years, the plastic industry has gotten a bad reputation, particularly because of the amount of plastic waste being sent to landfills every year. A great quote from the American Chemistry Council says, “Just like you, plastics makers want to protect the environment for future generations. We’re working to ensure that plastics materials are responsibly used and then recycled-or if they can’t be recycled economically-recovered for their energy value.”

While those of us in the industry are working to reduce the amount of single use plastics and increase the amount of recycled plastic used in our products, there are so many positives of plastic that get overlooked. The use of plastics allows us to live better lives while also contributing to sustainability. Plastics actually help protect the environment by reducing waste, saving energy in our homes, reducing vehicle weight and thus less greenhouse gas emissions from using fuel, and so much more.

Plastics are everywhere and are in everything because of the many benefits they provide. Plastic is cheaper, lighter, and more versatile than most other materials. It has thermal and insulating properties, which make it ideal for house wiring and electronics. Using plastics in housing insulation makes our homes significantly more energy efficient and reduces the costs of heating and cooling. Plus, plastic valves and pipes hold up against corrosion and are cheaper and easier to install than pipes made from other materials. Plastic components in cars dramatically reduce vehicle weight and increase miles per gallon, saving the owner fuel costs and the environment from gas emissions. In addition, plastics are essential in the medical field and have cut down costs while simultaneously enhancing quality in medical components. Plastic use in medical devices have led to fewer infections, increased comfort, increased safety, and it is cheaper for the patient.

These are just a few examples of the positive impact of plastic. While plastic makers and consumers have to work together to reduce excess waste, don’t forget all of the benefits using plastics over other materials has. If you want to learn more about the benefits of plastic and educate yourself on the industry, check out these links:

Petoskey Plastics is an environmentally focused recycler and plastic film, bag and resin manufacturer providing superior products and solutions. Headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, the company provides products and engineered solutions for a variety of industries including automotive, industrial, institutional, retail, construction and home improvement. Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee. Learn more at petoskeyplastics.com.

Petoskey Plastics to invest $20 million in expansion

petoskeyplastics Community, Expansion, Local Involvement, manufacturing

The Morristown City Council cleared one of the final hurdles in a $20 million expansion for Petoskey Plastics that will provide 50 new jobs and result in an additional 32,000 square feet for their facility in the Morristown Airport Industrial District.

The council on Tuesday unanimously approved an agreement with Petoskey to access a Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development FastTrack infrastructure grant.

TDECD can’t award grants directly to private companies. Morristown will apply for the grant. Petoskey will reimburse city government at a later date.

Petoskey Plastics has operated in the facility since 1999, which originally opened in 1984 as Lin Pac and then changed hands to Newcastle Packaging from 1997 to 1999.

The company, which is headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, produces products that include retail plastic bags and converter film.

The current facility is approximately 87,000 sq. ft. and is home to just under 100 employees.

R. Jack Fishman, chair of the Morristown Industrial Board, said the announcement was exciting, not just because of the impressive investment and job creation, but also because it further strengthens Morristown’s industrial diversity.

“This a great day for Morristown, Hamblen County and the Lakeway Area,” Fishman said. “We are very pleased to see one of our local industries thriving.”

Morristown Mayor Gary Chesney offered his congratulations.

“I’d like to express my congratulations on behalf of the city of Morristown to Petoskey Plastics for its past successes, which have resulted in this plan to further its growth and its company products and services,” said Chesney. “This decision to expand is also a statement of confidence in Petoskey’s mission, its employees and Morristown’s direction as a quality place to work.”

Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain agreed.

“Congratulations to Petoskey on their success in our community,” he said. “This is a testament to managment and employees and another indicator of how Morristown is a great place to do business.”

Original article by Citizen Tribune: http://www.citizentribune.com/news/local/petoskey-plastics-to-invest-million-in-expansion/article_4723c0d4-2226-11e8-8397-6bc1f74ce328.html

Petoskey Plastics named Plastics News® 2017 Processor of the Year

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– Bill Bregar, Plastics News

Naples, FL:  Petoskey Plastics was named the 2017 Processor of the Year by Plastics News at the newspaper’s Executive Forum conference held in Naples, FL on March 7, 2018.  “We are thrilled to invite them to join the pantheon of outstanding companies that have won our Processor of the Year,” remarked Brennan Lafferty, Vice President & Group Publisher of Plastics News.

A processor is defined as a manufacturer that forms finished plastics parts.  For a private or public company or corporate operating division to qualify for the award, they must be engaged in North American plastics processing for at least the past five years.

Plastics News editorial staff then evaluated candidates in the following categories:  financial performance, customer relations, quality, technology, employee relations, environmental performance and industry/public service.  Petoskey Plastics scored well in all seven categories and was the only finalist to score well in environmental performance.  “This is a group award as the evaluation categories touches all aspects of our company.  Truly, we are a team!” said Paul Keiswetter, President & CEO.  Jason Keiswetter, Executive Vice President, said, “Being named Processor of the Year is a win and great validation that Petoskey Plastics is doing a fabulous job in so many areas.”

An in-touch customer focus helped Petoskey Plastics score well in the customer relations category.  “Direct communication is the best way to keep in touch,” explained Jason Keiswetter.  Automotive Sales Director Mike Barto stated, “We try to be as accessible as possible, and that goes all the way up to Paul.”  One customer reference described Petoskey Plastics as “very, very easy to work with.  They will be very forthcoming and resolve the issue 99 percent of the time before you are even aware anything is going on.”

After being named a finalist, Petoskey Plastics hosted Plastics News editor Donald Loepp and senior reporter Bill Bregar at their Hartford City, Indiana plant on January 11th for the final round of the Processor of the Year selection process to show the recycling lines and newest technology.  “The giant new wash line… is Petoskey’s single-biggest investment ever and proof that company management and employees want to keep moving forward,” said Bregar.

“Our Processor of the Year believes in people,” said Lafferty.  Bregar stated, “Our editorial team believes their Hello & Welcome Book is the best recruiting aid in the plastics industry as well as a useful guide for existing employees and community officials.”

“Our associates put forth so much hard work.  They are dedicated to our philosophy of continuous improvement and we are very excited for the opportunity to show them how others in the industry view their efforts.  It’s fantastic that we can have such a significant recognition coming home to our business communities of Petoskey and Birmingham, MI, Hartford City, IN and Morristown, TN,” said Jason Keiswetter.

Additional information on the award announcement and Petoskey Plastics can be found in this Plastics News’ article in the March 12, 2018 edition:

http://www.plasticsnews.com/article/20180313/NEWS/180319979/in-touch-focus-helps-petoskey-plastics-win-processor-of-the-year

Plastics News is a weekly, 46,000-circulation trade newspaper delivering global news to a primarily North American market. Founded by Crain Communications Inc. in Akron, Ohio, in 1989, it covers the business of the global plastics industry.

Petoskey Plastics is an environmentally focused recycler and plastic film, bag and resin manufacturer providing superior products and solutions. Headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, the company provides products and engineered solutions for a variety of industries including automotive, industrial, institutional, retail, construction and home improvement.  Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee.  Learn more at www.petoskeyplastics.com.

 

Petoskey Plastics STRIVEs to Educate Students

petoskeyplastics Community, Education, Local Involvement, manufacturing

Educating and encouraging the success of local youth is a cause close to the hearts of many Petoskey Plastics associates. Last Tuesday, January 9th, Petoskey Plastics played host to students and mentors from the STRIVE program. After enjoying some pizza and listening to a short educational presentation, plant associates led the guests on an insightful plant tour. Students were most interested in the variety of manufacturing jobs involved in the company’s process, like finished product packers, line operators, maintenance technicians, quality technicians, and shipping coordinators just to name a few.

STRIVE is a scholarship and jobs mentorship program for area high school students who want to improve their present educational status and their life prospects. It is a partnership between the Rotary Club of Petoskey, Petoskey High School, and North Central Michigan College. The Rotary Club of Petoskey is a group of passionate and diverse individuals dedicated to making positive changes in their community and around the world.

 

Leaving the Station

petoskeyplastics Community, manufacturing

A Great Lakes Central freight train heads south out of Petoskey near Quick Road, Tuesday afternoon. The train periodically stops at the rail yard on the south side of Petoskey near Curtis Field, delivering railroad cars of raw material for Petoskey Plastics and other area businesses.

G. Randall Goss/News-Review

 

Petoskey Plastics named finalist for Plastics News® Processor of the Year 2017

petoskeyplastics Award, Community, manufacturing, Plastics News®, Recycling

This award honors companies with superior achievement among plastics processors.

Petoskey, MI:  Petoskey Plastics was named one of four finalists for the Plastics News Processor of the Year Award for 2017, which is sponsored by the Plastics Industry Association.  Plastics News announced the finalists in their January 8th edition.  Petoskey Plastics was named a finalist in 2016 as well and is once again the only blown film company among the finalists.

A processor is defined as a manufacturer that forms finished plastics parts.  For a private or  public company or corporate operating division to qualify for the award, they must be engaged in North American plastics processing for at least the past five years.  Candidates were then evaluated on the following criteria by members of the Plastics News’ editorial staff:

  • Financial Performance
  • Quality
  • Customer Relations
  • Employee Relations
  • Environmental Performance
  • Industry/Public Service
  • Technological
  • Innovation

The Plastics News article announcing the finalists’ states, “Environmental performance is Petoskey’s strongest category in the Processor of the Year hunt.  But judges also have high marks for financial performance and the other five categories.”

One customer reference remarked about Petoskey Plastics, “Everyone is very accessible, all the way to top management.”

Petoskey Plastics hosted Plastics News editor Donald Loepp and senior reporter Bill Bregar at their Hartford City, Indiana plant on January 11th for the final round of the Processor of the Year selection process to show the recycling lines and newest technology.  The winner will be announced on March 7th at the Plastics News Executive Forum in Naples, FL.

Plastics News is a weekly, 46,000-circulation trade newspaper delivering global news to a primarily North American market. Founded by Crain Communications Inc. in Akron, Ohio, in 1989, it covers the business of the global plastics industry.

Petoskey Plastics is an environmentally focused recycler and plastic film, bag and resin manufacturer providing superior products and solutions. Headquartered in Petoskey, Michigan, the company provides products and engineered solutions for a variety of industries including automotive, industrial, institutional, retail, construction and home improvement.

Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Michigan, Indiana and Tennessee.  Learn more at www.petoskeyplastics.com.

Broadcasted on 9&10 News: http://www.9and10news.com/2018/01/16/petoskey-plastics-nominated-2017-top-plastic-processor/