Finnish sustainable packaging provider Huhtamaki has announced plans to expand its moulded fibre manufacturing unit in Hammond, Indiana, as part of its investment in fibre solutions.

The company will invest nearly $100m to develop a manufacturing unit with around 23,000m² of floor space next to its existing facility.

The investment is expected to start increasing by the end of next year and will allow Huhtamaki to supply a broad range of sustainable, fully recyclable and compostable, fibre-based packaging solutions to existing and new customers in North America.

These solutions are manufactured from fully recycled North American raw material.

Huhtamaki president and CEO Charles Héaulmé said: “The investment in this new manufacturing capacity, adjacent to our existing site in Hammond represents our strong belief in the future development of the region and in the continued success of our customers – both current and new.

“The expansion will introduce new sustainable fibre-based products such as egg cartons and cup carriers – manufactured on state-of-the-art machinery developed by Huhtamaki – to our portfolio in the region and drive production efficiency.

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“Our know-how in key packaging technologies and our strong track record in sustainability make us extremely well positioned to support our customers and deliver on their sustainability agendas and goals with innovative solutions.”

Once fully operational, the manufacturing site is expected to create 100 jobs.

Huhtamaki currently operates a network of 18 manufacturing units in North America, employing around 4,400 people.

The company supplies packaging for consumer-packaged goods, tableware, cups, folding cartons, containers, carriers, trays and service ware for the retail and foodservice markets.

Earlier this year, Huhtamaki increased its production of smooth-moulded fibre (SMF) packaging in Europe to meet increasing demand for plastic-free food packaging.

The company will start manufacturing SMF instead of plastics at its site in Alf, Germany, as part of this.