US-based Graphic Packaging International is planning to shut down its paper converting plant in Menasha by the end of this year.

The closing will lay off 228 employees, including hourly, salaried, union and non-union workers.

The company expects to close down the facility in phases, beginning in around two months.

"We made the decision to close the facility based on the capabilities of the plant and its supply chain infrastructure."

Graphic Packaging International Atlanta office corporate communications senior manager Sue Appleyard was quoted by Post-Crescent as saying: "We made the decision to close the facility based on the capabilities of the plant and its supply chain infrastructure.

"It didn’t fit into our portfolio anymore.

"We have acquired other facilities recently that have state-of-the-art capabilities."

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The company has opened new facilities in Minnesota and Iowa, as well as on the East Coast.

Appleyard also stated that existing employees of the Menasha plant could apply for job in any other branch of the company.

However, the employees expressed their disappointed over the company’s decision.

Fox Valley Area Labor Council US president and Graphic Packaging employee Mark Westphal said: "It’s still capable of making money.

"It’s typical corporate greed to cast people aside and not offer them hope or opportunity that the plant could be picked up by a competitor."

Graphic Packaging currently has seven paper mills and around 50 converting plants.

Established in 1946, the Menasha plant produces folding cartons for consumer goods, mainly for the food industry.

Graphic Packaging took over the plant around ten years ago, reports