Recognizing the important role paper recycling plays in American manufacturing, U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday toured Pratt Industries’ containerboard mill in Wapakoneta, Ohio. The event was broadcast live on at least one national cable channel. Pratt Industries, is a member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), and the Paper Stock Industries (PSI) Chapter.
Accompanying the President during the tour, and during the press conference was Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and company owner Anthony Pratt. The President explicitly stated that not one tree is used in the manufacture of Pratt's paper at their 100% recycled paper mills.
The Ohio facility, Pratt Industries' fifth 100% recycled paper mill in the U.S., is scheduled to open in October, and will consume 425,000 tons of mixed paper and old corrugated containers as feedstock. It represents the largest factory pledged and built during President Trump’s first term.
In 2017, Anthony Pratt vowed to invest $2 billion in the U.S. over the next decade and create 5,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to the plant in Wapakoneta, Pratt has also built factories in Valparaiso, Indiana; Lewisburg, Ohio; and Beloit, Wisconsin. Combined, these investments have totaled over $1 billion, and are an example of the continued growth of paper recycling in the U.S. Overall, Pratt Industries employs 9,000 Americans.
"Over the past 18 months the paper recycling markets in North America have been quite challenging due to the tumultuous export markets," stated Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. "Due to investments by ISRI members such as Pratt's, in this new paper mill, there will be a new domestic market in the Midwest for nearly 1 billion pounds of recycled paper each year."
The U.S. paper recycling industry as a whole provides a nearly $34 billion economic impact in the U.S. It is directly and indirectly responsible for 154,000 American jobs.