Ireland-based corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa has announced an investment of €40m ($47.8m) into its facility in Mold, UK.

The investment is part of the company’s plans to expand capacity at the North Wales facility and make it the largest box factory in the country, helping it meet the growing demand for sustainable packaging.

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Smurfit Kappa will install advanced equipment to reduce CO₂/t emissions by 15% at the plant. It will also build a three-acre nature trail, which will integrate a local stream, and a new footpath to be used by both site staff and the local community.

The company is partnering with Park in the Past, a local heritage and conservation project, to plant 10,000 trees, shrubs and bushes. Excess soil from the factory extension will be contributed to a nearby heritage project.

Customers can visit the on-site Experience Centre to understand the science, creativity and data used to innovate, customise and implement sustainable packaging solutions at the facility.

Smurfit Kappa UK and Ireland CEO Eddie Fellows said: “This investment in North Wales will increase our capability, flexibility and speed of response to deliver unrivalled, innovative packaging solutions to customers across the UK and Ireland. We are determined to meet the future needs of our customers in a sustainable way. It is vital that our investment has benefits for the local community and the environment.”

The Smurfit Kappa plant in Mold has been in operation since 1994 and currently employs 194 people.

Last month, the company strengthened its paper sacks business in Latin America with a $40m investment to help address the demand for sustainable paper sacks. In 2018, it invested $10m in its paper sacks plant in the Dominican Republic.