SOURCE: Hilex Poly Co. LLC

September 11, 2008 10:00 ET

Hilex Announces Plant Closure

HARTSVILLE, SC--(Marketwire - September 11, 2008) - Hilex Poly Co. LLC ("Hilex" or "the Company"), the world's largest plastic bag company, today announced the closure of its Mt Olive, North Carolina plant. The plant closure is part of an ongoing asset optimization plan that the Company has been implementing since its acquisition of Vanguard Plastics in October of 2005.

According to Ben Mascarello, Vice President of Operations for Hilex, "While this is an extremely difficult decision, this action supports our overall strategic plan to remain competitive and adjust our capabilities to meet the evolving needs of our customers. Our continued productivity improvements across our manufacturing network will allow for some of the capacity of our North Carolina facility to be absorbed elsewhere, but this is also a deliberate action to reduce market capacity for the production of plastic t-shirt bags. We have seen a significant shift in demand toward our reusable bag products and we expect that product line to maintain a meaningful share of the grocery and retail markets."

Mark Daniels, Vice President of Marketing and Environmental Affairs, said, "In fact, we are dedicating substantial company resources to our reusable bag line of products in support of our customers' efforts to embrace environmentally friendly packaging solutions. In addition to our current line of reusable bagging products, we have recently launched the E3 Reusable Bag™ and the Safeguard Liner™. The E3 Bag™ (Environmental, Efficient, Evolutionary) carries patented features that will help reduce the bagging time associated with reusable products, saving up to 20 seconds per transaction in store front-end operations. The Safeguard Liner™ addresses another key concern about reusable bags -- the separation of meats, chemicals and produce within the bag and the prevention of cross-contamination from these items. Our liner will significantly reduce the risk of contamination during subsequent use and extends the life of the reusable bag product."

Hilex continues to lead the charge in providing environmentally responsible packaging options. Our developments in the reusable bag product line complement the company's existing environmentally friendly efforts which include our Bag2Bag™ end-user recycling program, usage of high levels of recycled content in standard poly bag manufacturing process, and litter elimination initiatives in the form of our HED (Hilex Environmentally Degradable) line of products.

Hilex is continuing its focus to meet customer needs while managing market capacity and continuing to aggressively control costs in a highly competitive market. The company has also gone to great lengths to manage its manufacturing consolidation in a respectful manner. Mascarello added, "At Hilex, our employees are our most important asset. As such, we are making every effort to provide employment opportunities within other Hilex locations for a substantial number of our Mount Olive employees. We are also working with other local manufacturers and the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina in order to assist our employees in finding new employment locally. We have a large number of operations in the United States and we are dedicated to preserving American manufacturing jobs. Our efforts to strengthen our Company will allow us to continue to do that."

About Hilex Poly Co. LLC (www.hilexpoly.com)

Hilex Poly Co. LLC is an industry leading manufacturer of plastic bag and film products. Focusing primarily on high density polyethylene (HDPE) film products and related services, our products range from bagging systems to packaging and agricultural films.

The company also has developed a number of innovative solutions to increase the efficiency of front-end store operations for grocers and retail businesses. As the industry leader, we have introduced and patented many new products and features into the marketplace. Our patented QuikMate EZ® open feature continues to be the standard for self-opening plastic bags. Other key innovations and patents include specialized bag features and dispensing hardware. All of our products and services are focused on practical solutions in our target markets.

Hilex is a US-based company with headquarters in Hartsville, SC, and 10 strategically located manufacturing facilities across the United States, which includes one of the world's largest plastic bag recycling plants.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Joyce A. Foster
    Vice President Human Resources
    843-857-4930