Economic Impact

Helping to Build a Better Kalamazoo

Graphic Packaging has long been a strong partner with the Kalamazoo community. Our Pitcher Street plant has been in operation for more than 100 years, employing generations of residents. As the city has grown, so has the mill.

Today, the plant:

  • Provides $2 billion in economic benefit to Kalamazoo each year
  • Supports 750 jobs
  • Has helped make Kalamazoo a cutting-edge manufacturing hub
  • Has made Kalamazoo the largest supplier of recycled paperboard in North America

We also contribute substantial tax revenue for Kalamazoo and the State of Michigan, supporting education, investment in infrastructure, and improved government services. 

We care deeply about the community where we live and work.

We take pride in providing well-paying jobs with good benefits. 

  • On average, our employees earn more than $60,000 annually

    This is well above Kalamazoo’s median household income according to U.S. Government census data, and we also offer generous benefits.

  • About 20% of our mill workers are Black, reflecting Kalamazoo’s demographics

We also, however, recognize our plant is near a residential community and that part of being a good neighbor is to minimize our impact on the area and the environment. That is why we have been an active part of the community’s Odor Task Force since 2019 and committed to providing the City of Kalamazoo with regular updates related to our odor mitigation efforts. It’s also why, among other actions, we invested $4 million in new water processing technology to help minimize odors from our mill.

Our investments in Kalamazoo create a leader in recycling and exemplify community partnership.

We recently constructed a new $600 million paper machine, which we refer to as K2, that expands our processing capacity and ensures job security for our local employees for years to come. This new, world-class coated recycled paperboard (CRB) machine reduces greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 20%, reduces water usage by 300 million gallons annually and reduces purchased energy by 18% across our CRB manufacturing platform in North America. The new four-story machine will produce more than 1,400 tons per day of the highest-quality recycled paperboard in the industry.

Here is what it looks like inside:

The new, four-story, coated recycled paperboard machine, or K2, in Kalamazoo

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