GREEN BAY, Wis. (From news reports) -- Green Bay Packaging ceremonially cut the ribbon on its new $500 million mill Thursday, June 17.
The mill is the first new paper mill to be built in the state of Wisconsin in more than 35 years.
The new mill replaces the original mill built in 1947.
Still a family-owned business, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Will Kress touted the new mill's improvements when it comes to the environment.
"To say it's just a paper machine is an oversimplification of what's been built here. We basically built a brand new paper mill from the ground up. So we have a new office. We have new boilers, two new boilers, we switched from coal to natural gas, which is a big environmental improvement," says Kress. "We have a new water effluent treatment plant which allows us not to discharge any water into the Fox River. We clean it here, we send it to NEW Water just down the river, they clean it some more, they send it back, we clean it some more and then we reuse that water along with some other industrial users' water, so we are conserving water, number one, and also zero discharge into the Fox River."
They predict a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per ton of paper produced.
Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary Missy Hughes was among the state and local leaders to appear at the ceremony.
Hughes said the mill supports and drives the forest products industry in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is first in the nation in the number of paper mills. Wisconsin pulp, paper, and converting industries generate $18 billion. And paper plants use what's grown here in Wisconsin.
"It is incredibly important what's happening here today, and the investment Green Bay Packaging has made in the state, and recognizing the enduring part of that investing will help our future, will help our future students and help people thrive here in Wisconsin," Hughes said.
Green Bay Packaging broke ground on the mill in August 2018.
To get a scope of how global this construction project was, it involved material from four continents, nine countries, 48 states and more than 300 Wisconsin municipalities.