USA – Québec-based sustainable packaging company Cascades has announced the complete closure of its tissue manufacturing facility in St Helens, Oregon, US.

The latest decision comes in support of the company’s previously announced strategy to reposition its tissue paper manufacturing platform to enhance its overall business performance. The facility will cease operation in October.

The closure of the second paper machine should further simplify the company’s operational platform by allowing Cascades to focus on the majority of its tissue product operating activities at geographically well-positioned sites that can provide better opportunities for future development.

The soon-to-be-closed paper machine has a capacity of producing nearly 50,000 short tonnes of brown 100% recycled tissue paper per year.

Cascades said this production amount is not integrated into its network, which means that the closure of the machine will not have any impact on the company’s other major operations.

Cascades Tissue Group president and COO Jean-David Tardif said: “Over the past few months, market conditions on the West Coast [US] and a significant decline in demand in this region for brown recycled products specifically manufactured at the facility have compromised the long-term financial viability of the plant. Consequently, we decided to end the plant’s operations.”

The move is expected to impact 75 employees working at the plant. Cascades will work closely with the affected employees to reduce the impact of this announcement and will attempt to relocate those who wish to its other business units in the United States.

Those who cannot or do not want to be reassigned to other facilities will be supported in their job search.

In November last year, the company announced the closure of the corrugator at its Belleville facility in Ontario, Canada

Cascades said that the shutdown will make the facility’s business model more sustainable as it will focus on converting activities into a high-volume, efficient, and graphic sheet plant.

The company has pledged to reduce the impact on affected employees by allowing them to transfer to other business units within the company.

Cascades Containerboard Packaging President and COO Charles Malo, at the time, said: “With additional capacity generated by the strategic optimization of our network in Ontario in recent years, we can redeploy this production to other units in the region.

“By doing so, we will significantly reduce costs and refocus Belleville’s priorities on converting. This decision will position our platform for long-term success and further strengthen our service offering for our valued customers.”

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