Food Packaging Company opening in Rockingham providing 100 jobs

Direct Pack, Inc., a California-based maker of packaging for food products, will establish a manufacturing site in Rockingham that will serve its growing East Coast market. The company plans to invest over $20 million in the new facility, which will employ nearly 100 workers.

“We’re having a phenomenal year,” said Richmond County Commissioner Justin Dawkins. “The success we’re seeing with job and investment growth in Richmond County is reflective of hard work, strong leadership, and steadfast commitment of our team. Special thanks to Rep. Ben Moss & our economic development leaders Bryan Land & Martie Butler for their vision and leadership by establishing a thriving business corridor along Airport Road.

“We recognize the daily work of our team: growing & maintaining strong relationships with companies, partnering with North Carolina agencies and relationships with our legislators — all result in the string of success that we are seeing today.”

“Direct Pack, Inc. (DPI) is excited to expand our partnership with Richmond County to include our circular model of making PET food packaging from local recycled PET,” said Craig Snedden, DPI’s president. “The state-of-the-art wash line we will build adjacent to our food packaging extrusion and thermoform plant and will allow us to make our own clean wash flake from local recycled PET bottles and clamshells, instead of having it trucked in from outside the area.  This full circle is complete when we sell new food packaging to recognized national brand customers.  

“Additionally, this wash line provides environmental benefits like no emissions and instead reduces greenhouse gas and conserving the forest on the property will further reduce greenhouse gas.  We will be a good neighbor not only in appearance but in substance by creating almost 100 jobs with custom training at Richmond Community College.  We would like to thank Richmond County Board of Commissioners and their team, Bryan Land & Martie Butler for helping us create this circular economy.”

“I’m ecstatic to see continuous growth here in Richmond County” said county manager Bryan Land. “By adding a new 200,000 sq ft facility, Direct Pack will have nearly 500,000 of square ft of manufacturing space under roof. The growth we have experienced this year, firmly secures Richmond County as a leading community in business and manufacturing.”   

Direct Pack, Inc. (DPI), a food packaging extruder and thermoformer based in Azusa, California already operating two PET wash lines in Guadalajara and Mexicali. DPI proposes to invest around $20M in building a third PET wash line in Rockingham. 

A 200,000 sq. ft. building will house this PET wash line will process recycled PET bottles and thermoforms bought from Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) that now service Richmond County like the two MRFs in Greensboro and Montgomery, in addition to other regional MRFs in the Carolinas and Georgia.

By operating both a PET wash line and thermoform plant in Rockingham, DPI will create a circular economy for PET.  DPI will put clean washed flake back into food packaging, receiving about 75 truckloads/month of baled post-consumer recycled PET bottles and thermoforms from local MRFs. The economic merit of this project is unique in that our existing extrusion and thermoform plant across the street will use the clean washed flake that we produce from this wash line.  

In addition, DPI’s recognized brand customers like Driscolls, NatureSweet and others demand the use of clean washed flake in their new food packaging which has resulted in 25% growth each year for DPI in the use of clean washed flake.

Direct Pack’s choice of Richmond County announced earlier today is the county’s fifth major job-creation win in 2022. When combined with earlier business expansion and relocation projects, the county has announced the creation of 250 new jobs and over $81 million in capital investment thus far this year. Since January, Mount Vernon Mills, Impact Plastics, Cavco Industries and American Woodmark have also launched major business plans here.

“I would like to thank the team at Direct Pack for continuing to invest in Richmond County” said Jeff Smart, Chairman of the Richmond County Board of Commissioners. “Our board and economic development team work tirelessly to create a business-friendly environment. We’ve had five economic development announcements in recent months and its apparent we have been overwhelmingly successful. Richmond County has a bright future, and I am looking forward to our continued growth.”

Courtesy photo/Contributed. 

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