It is said, that China and the iPad were the demise of the paper industry. We can’t control the iPad. However, we can control and determine the future of the paper industry in Wisconsin and the USA. China has a lot of issues in their paper and pulp industries (See Below). China closing and shutting down the older paper mills and putting in new state of the art tissue, fine paper and corrugated paper machines. China has major issues with power, fires, water, labor and pulp resources. Wisconsin has the resources to support the paper industry and we ALL have to move forward to re-build Wisconsin’s paper and pulp industries. Paper built Wisconsin and the geopolitical, logistics, supply chain issues and resources will put Wisconsin in a very favorable position to support our printing, packaging, labeling, corrugated and packaging industries with suppliers. Otherwise, these industries will be in serious trouble impacting the State of Wisconsin!
- Wisconsin needs more local ownership and control of the Paper and Pulp industries supporting our local communities with a bigger tax base and employment opportunities. We have seen over the past year a number of Private Equity companies purchasing paper and pulp mills in Wisconsin. In addition, we have seen two Asia companies purchase Paper and Pulp mills and a Mexico Based Company purchase of Midwest Paper Group in Wisconsin.
- Wisconsin has a very large base of customers in the Great Lakes Region within a 5 hour radius. Northeastern Wisconsin has become the HUB of the Paper, Pulp, Printing, Packaging, Converting and Manufacturing Industries.
- Logistics: Short shipping distances to the customers reducing freight costs!
- Experienced and Educated Manufacturing Base of Vendors supplying services to the paper and pulp industries to shorten the supply lines to keep paper machines running!
- Wisconsin has Great supporting Universities and Technical Colleges supporting the 5P and Converting Industries and providing high skilled jobs to them building new paper machines, etc.
- Wisconsin has an experienced workforce familiar with the paper and pulp industry with exceptional pay and benefits to retain their talent! A new machine would ADD highly skilled jobs in areas that need it.
- Wisconsin has access to our tremendous Northern Forests, Minnesota, Michigan and Canada for supplying pulp and raw material! A new paper machine would add more jobs in our remote forest areas.
- Wisconsin has a large number of companies building machinery for export to Asia and other areas around the world focusing on automation. A paper machine in Wisconsin would be a great benefit to Wisconsin to support our local economy with jobs, etc.
- Wisconsin has fresh water that is needed to support the paper manufacturing industries with new technologies in water preservation being developed in Wisconsin. China and Asia have used up or polluted their water supply with dwindling fresh water resources. Wisconsin has a number of organizations and Universities supporting and educating us on the importance of water providing a lot of data and research to protect our fresh water resources supporting the Paper and Pulp industries.
- Wisconsin has tremendous Manufacturing capabilities to shorten the supply chain supporting the Paper and Pulp Industries and we would create a lot of new job and new businesses for local companies.
- The Green Bay Chamber and the New North have made very good inroads to Italy, etc. to bring in European equipment companies to set up US companies in NE Wisconsin.
- We have seen states like Mississippi, etc. create very attractive deals for the paper and converting industries. However, they do not have the support services like Wisconsin can offer these companies.
- Wisconsin has become a major transportation hub supporting the 5P, Converting and Manufacturing Industries.
- UW Wisconsin Madison has a number of patents and support services for the bio-fuel industries. With the increase of fuel costs and the movement to environmental friendly fuels, this would be a great opportunity to support a number of Wisconsin Industries. With the shutdown of some of our pulp mills, we could set up a bio-mass facility on sight.
- The State of Wisconsin has a large cash surplus supporting our citizens, industries, universities, and our infrastructure. The State of Wisconsin would support the Paper and Pub industries.
- A healthy pulp and paper industry contribute to healthy forestry practices and sustainability of Wisconsin forests. This will reduce the risk of damaging forest fires, improve wildlife habitat, reduce carbon in the atmosphere, support our fresh water programs reduce carbon in the atmosphere, and support our recreation and tourism.
- A healthy lumber industry supports Northern Wisconsin and our Wisconsin Tribal Nations.
- The Paper Industry is tied to renewable energy production to be used to support the needs of the state?
- UW Madison Wisconsin Energy Institute has tremendous resources in the Bio-Fuel Research Technologies to combat rising energy prices and reduce our carbon emission and create hundreds of jobs as energy prices rises. The Paper Industry uses their waste pulp products as an energy source! The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is focused on advancing a competitive and environmentally sustainable biofuel economy.
- The Paper Industry can be tied to the states agriculture industry through the use of alternative pulp sources for new product innovations. For example, Paper and Forestry products are and can be used by the dairy or pet industry for animal for bedding.
- A BIG ISSUE is getting the environment permits to upgrade current paper machines or add new paper machines. Wisconsin has some options with current facilities: The GP Day Street Mill, Wisconsin Rapids, Park Falls, Clearwater, ST. Paper LLC., Midwest Paper, Neenah and others etc. I expect Cities like Peshtigo, Marinette, Niagara, Port Edwards, Nekoosa, Rhinelander, Wausau and others would support a new paper and pulp mill.
Company Executives are working to de-globalize their production due to the lack of parts, improve lead times, shortages of material, bottle necks and sky rocketing shipping costs! Simply, the buzzwords on-shoring, re-shoring or near shoring are appearing in trade journals and articles at a much greater clip especially in the first 6 months of 2022 and the trend will continue! We can no longer trust or depend on China for paper supply and other goods.
Green Bay Packaging is the first company to build a paper mill in Wisconsin for the past 40 years building a state of the art facility…made in Wisconsin! We have seen construction of manufacturing in the USA soar 116% over the past year. If you just take a tour of De Pere, the impact of the 5P, Converting and supporting Manufacturing Industries is very apparent with tremendous growth and expansions!