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Jefferson County’s Evergreen Packaging, Paper Tigers Work to Give Waste Paper New Life

Evergreen Packaging helped lure The Paper Tigers, a paper recycler, from Camden, Arkansas, to Pine Bluff to bring a leading material supplier closer to its mill.

By Pamela Coyle on July 22, 2014

Local sourcing makes manufacturing more sustainable, and in this, Evergreen Packaging doesn’t mess around. It helped lure The Paper Tigers, a paper recycler, from Camden to Pine Bluff to bring this leading material supplier closer to its mill. And half the energy Evergreen uses to manufacture liquid packaging board for juice and milk cartons and other food products, comes from biomass energy produced on site.

The biomass boiler uses material from Evergreen’s own processes, including bark, sawdust and the natural glue, or “black liquor,” in a tree that holds together cellulose fibers, says Craig Lichty, manager of Arkansas Operations for Evergreen Packaging. “We recover that and use it as fuel as well,” he says.

The market for carton containers is bolstered by consumer demand for sustainable packaging and expansion of store brand items such as higher-end dairy, dairy alternatives and juices, Lichty says. Using cartons rather than plastic extends product shelf life because no sunlight gets through – and retention of nutrients such as Vitamin C in orange juice is higher, he adds.

The Paper Tigers relocated its Arkansas facility to Pine Bluff in 2010, operating as a large-scale processor with three bailing lines and three large guillotines. The company specializes in buying and selling grades of paperboard in multiple formats for repulping, converting and printing, both domestically and overseas. The move made sense – and not just because of Evergreen, says Mark Stolki, plant manager for The Paper Tigers/Pine Bluff plant.

“Because of the paper mills, there are a lot of contractors available for everybody, and a lot of suppliers for different parts and pieces we need,” Stolki says. “What they don’t have in Pine Bluff, they have in Little Rock.”

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