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Interstate Container’s Newest Plant Opens December First in Columbia, South Carolina

Interstate Container is expanding, now opening a plant focused solely on Greencoat®; the companies eco-friendly wax-alternative packaging. The new plant in Columbia, South Carolina is scheduled to begin operations on December first.

Initially the new plant will create 25 jobs, according to Jim Krahn, head of process and product innovation. He also said that they will eventually expand to 100 employees, “within the next year.”

That’s big news for Lexington County and there were a few reasons Interstate Container decided to place their new facility there. “County offered us a great location and has the positive business environment we are looking for. South Carolina also provides our company with exceptional market access as we seek to increase our customer base.”

South Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt said, “The decision by Interstate Container to locate its new facility in Lexington County not only speaks to our state’s business-friendly and talented workforce, but also its exceptional access to markets. South Carolina provides companies with a strategic location to reach markets all along the East Coast as well as throughout the Southeast.”

Interstate Container’s Greencoat® will continue to expand as far as they push it. It’s a great product that’s as strong as traditional boxes, it’s recyclable, and doesn’t cost any more than the competitors non eco-friendly products. Greencoat® is a compostable, repulpable wax-alternative board that can be used to package a number of food products, including:

  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • And Produce

The new plant will produce enough Greencoat® boxes to replace over 700,000 square feet of non-recyclable board per year; making Interstate Container’s $13 million investment, well worth it.

The remarkable performance of Greencoat® boxes in the marketplace have made Interstate the industry leader in Wax Replacement packaging for fresh food.  This fully recyclable product provides amazing results that allow it to replace wax boxes, which cannot be recycled.  The Columbia plant is dedicated to the Greencoat® product line that is the new standard for box performance for Wax Replacement packaging.


Interstate Container Helping United Way Raise Money for Education and Other Local Services

Interstate Container Cambridge has been working with their local United Way over the last four years. The company has donated $107,674 during that span, including 35,000 at the last campaign. General Manager, Pete Bugas enjoys working with the United way, even saying that “The United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore has been a perfect fit for all of us.”

Interstate Container believes in helping their neighbors and the United way helps in many different areas. The programs that will benefit include; “the Dorchester YMCA, Delmarva Community Services, the Salvation Army, American Red Cross and Coastal Hospice.”

The Company is interested in helping the community because they care, not for the glamour, but for the idea of a better tomorrow. A cleaner, healthier, safer tomorrow and that goes beyond providing environmentally friendly boxes. Interstate Container is focused on helping community on every level possible. “We don’t just wear the shirt, we certainly Live United,” Pete stated. He also added a few more words when I spoke with him on the subject:

“We have a company of 100 people who work awfully hard each day, and who care deeply about their community.  Often times they will work 6 days a week, or work a lot of overtime and don’t have much free time to commit to a charitable organization.  By giving and supporting the programs of the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore, it is a fantastic way to give back to so many organizations that impact our 4 surrounding counties.”

The four surrounding counties are; Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester and Somerset . Of the contributors in Dorchester County, Interstate Container is the largest supporter, something which they are extremely proud. Proud enough in fact, that they hired a local artist Michael Rosato to do the mural you see in the background of the picture.

This is what Rosato said to about it:

“It was very important to incorporate certain words, like Live United, and that the mural depict the fact that (Interstate Container) uses green technology. It also was important to show how (Interstate Container) gives back to the community.”

For more information pertaining to the United Way and Interstate Container Cambridge connection; read the article here.

Mountaire and Interstate Container Cambridge

Mountaire and Interstate Container; it’s a simple connection. Mountaire is in the poultry business and Interstate Container has found an innovative way to ship poultry. I got the chance to visit one of Mountaire’s plants in Selbyville, Delaware last week. New to the boxing industry, I was quite surprised at the conditions the Greencoat boxes were able to withstand.

Greencoat is an alternative to wax boxes, traditionally used by poultry companies, as well as seafood and produce companies. Because Greencoat is recyclable, it can actually create new avenues of revenue. Mountaire is also a company that is interested in the “green” approach.

Mountaire says that they are dedicated to, “A strong record of creating environmentally sustainable farming and business practices.” They are living up to this daily in Selbyville; I have seen it.

Now you have too… Theses are just boxes of chicken; chilled and stacked seven high. The boxes have maintained their strength, even in the watery conditions surrounding them. This is a testament to their durability and multitude of uses. Wether the product needs to be chilled, frozen, or just plain packaged, Greencoat boxes perform just as good as wax board.

I saw another highly coveted feature from Interstate Container and Greencoat while I was there as well. Customized boxes, specifically the height of the box. Because everything is stacked for shipping, even a few inches of extra room can cause a box to collapse under those weights. Mountaire was testing their new 6 1/4″ box for 40lb’s of chicken legs while I was there. The box filled just to the top, making sure there was no room for failure.

All together it was a great learning experience. These two companies have a great amount of respect for the environment and have taken strides to become leaders in their communities.

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