Petoskey Plastics Celebrates Expansion

petoskeyplastics Community, Expansion, Local Involvement, manufacturing

Petoskey Plastics, located in the Morristown Area Industrial District, celebrated on Thursday Phase I of its plant expansion that, when complete, will encompass a $30-plus million investment and provide more than 70 jobs.

“We are so delighted for you all to be here to celebrate this ribbon cutting and expansion for our friends here at Petoskey Plastics,” Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Chris Horn said. “The Chamber is really proud to serve in a supportive role for Petoskey Plastics and their winning team. We’re really grateful for their service and support of the Chamber and so we’re delighted to help the celebration of this expansion of their Morristown facilities and the creation of good jobs here in our community. On behalf of the Chamber, congratulations and best wishes for success as you continue to bring good service to your customers and fulfill your mission.”

Mayor Gary Chesney focused on the mission of the company in his remarks.

“The words ‘green’ and ‘recycle’ are part of our everyday vernacular, but in 1978 green was a color selection and recycle could have been a suggestion on how to go somewhere twice on a bicycle. In 1978, this company, Petoskey Plastics, began the type of recycling that is widely recognized and repeated today, when you map out industrial strategy.”

“Let’s say that recycling is something that Petoskey did when recycling wasn’t cool, when it wasn’t required, and that’s vision.” Chesney said. “Vision is what allows you to be prepared for challenges. It’s what allows you to handle those challenges. It allows you to grow and to expand and results in events like this one. Think of this company, 30 million pounds each year in post-consumer recycled content. We thank you for that vision and congratulations on your success and we’re glad when we say ‘we are Morristown’ that Petoskey is part of the ‘we.’”

Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain thanked the management team and employees for being great corporate citizens in the community.

“We thank you for your commitment to your operation here, the additional business that you’re developing here and the confidence you have placed in our community and the people of this region. Our commitment to you is that we will continue to make investments in Morristown and Hamblen County to continue to be a great place to do business. Thank you for helping to make us an economic hub for the Lakeway region and also a community that is very proud to make things,” Brittain said.

The continued investment by longtime manufacturers supports the local economy, according to Morristown Industrial Development Board Chairman R. Jack Fishman.

“This is really a great, great occasion,” Fishman said. “They built this facility in the 70s to make packaging, to make bags for businesses across America and they’re still doing that,” Fishman said. “When an industry that has the kind of investment that we already have here makes another commitment that is very important. Because what they are really saying when they do that — in this particular case, over $30 million in equipment and $5 million-plus in building — is that they believe in people that work in this particular plant. They do a job for them; they’re proud of them; and they want to provide them the latest technology they can to do their job. That’s very important in our community when industries continue to expand and say A): we like Morristown and B): we like the workforce; we like being here, and we’re going to do our part.”

Petoskey Plastics President and CEO Paul Keiswetter expressed appreciation to the large number of Chamber ambassadors and community supporters who attended the celebration before introducing Executive Vice President Jason Keiswetter.

“We love this community, we love this town and we’re happy to be here,” Paul said.

Jason told the crowd the company makes trash bags and “everything that feels like trash bags.”

“We service multiple divisions and markets and several retail markets. We get into construction and home improvement; we get into medical, so we are a very diverse company and we will continue to invest in this company. In the open bays behind me, over the next three to five years, we are going to continue to plant equipment, year over year, and continue to bring in more people, year over year. You’ve heard $30 million, that is the plan, in the next three to five years. We will be creating 71 jobs over that time frame. Thank you for the help and the support; and we look forward to the next few years of showing that we can do it.”

In addition to Morristown, Petoskey Plastics has facilities in Petoskey and Birmingham, Michigan and Hartford City, Indiana

Sam Grigsby, a member of Manley Baptist Church, served as Chamber chaplain and provided a prayer of blessing for the company, its employees and leadership team. Participants in the 2018 class of Leadership Morristown, a Chamber-led training program for future community stakeholders, also attended the ribbon cutting.

History Behind our 40th Anniversary of Recycling

petoskeyplastics Expansion, Recycling

Founded in 1969 by father and son team, Duke and Paul Keiswetter, Petoskey Plastics started out as a small operation converting roll stock into plastic bags. In 1978, not long after operations began, Petoskey Plastics started recycling in-house, grinding down industrial scrap from Dow Chemical Company and turning it into trash bags. From there, our passion for recycling grew exponentially.

Petoskey Plastics constantly sought out new material to recycle and equipment that would help them recycle more. Every few years the team would travel to Düsseldorf, Germany to look at the European wash lines and other recycling equipment. However, it wasn’t until 1992, when Petoskey Plastics received a grant from the state of Michigan for $1.2 million, that we were able to match the amount with the company’s own money and buy the recycling equipment we needed in order to expand. Soon after we introduced our first closed loop recycling line, creating Can Sacks® from recycled bottle deposit bags.

Since then, the company continued to grow and thrive, eventually adding a recycling facility in Hartford City, Indiana in 2000. In 2009, Petoskey Plastics’ GreenPE® earned SCS Certification for its recycled content. Many of the products we make contain at least some sort of recycled plastic, with a number of our customers opting to join our closed loop program. This year we are celebrating our 40thyear of recycling and what better way to celebrate than installing a new $8 million wash line that will not only allow the company to recycle more, but also create a higher quality recycled product. With its installation expected to be completed later this year, we are excited to see the results of this investment!

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:

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.


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 Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook:

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

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

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:

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:

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


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.