Over the past ten years, Abilene's economy has become quite diverse in nature. While Dyess Air Force base and oil/gas are still the main contributors for the city, there have been some other very interesting developments in the past ten years that might surprise you. One of these is Pactiv.
If you've ever been to Subway and ordered a salad or picked up a rotisserie chicken at Walmart, you've noticed that both are sold in a plastic "clamshell" style container. These seemingly simple and handy little contraptions keep food fresh and are made right here in Abilene, Texas.
Pactiv's story begins in late 2000 when the Development Corporation of Abilene sought to pursue the construction of a second speculative building since the first was pivotal in recruiting the carbon fiber manufacturer, Zoltek. Shortly after the completion of this second 100,000 square foot structure, the building would become the home of the next major manufacturer in the city. In 2002 a fast growing company called Orange Plastics pursued the building for its next site.
During the process of moving into the building, the company ran into financial barriers that prevented them from moving forward with the project. What initially seemed like the end of the story actually turned into an incredible turn of events when the company was then purchased by PWP (Packaging with Perfection).
PWP’s financial strength and existing presence in the plastics industry allowed the company to advantageously save the project and catapult it into one of the most successfully projects in Abilene’s history. The company performed incredibly, landing contracts with major retailers across the U.S. With the likes of Walmart, McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway, PWP earned a solid reputation for manufacturing high quality plastic food containers at a competitive price.
In 2007, the 100,000 square foot building was no longer enough to accommodate the company's growth and PWP approached the Development Corporation of Abilene with a request to expand the building by another 124,000 square foot. The expansion was used to warehouse their product and free the original space for additional production lines. In 2010, Pactiv was acquired by Rank Group Limited which made it part of the Reynolds Group Holdings Limited (RGHL). The company is a global manufacturer and supplier of consumer food and beverage packaging and storage products, but is best known for their household products under the Reynolds Consumer Products such as Reynolds Wrap and Hefty trash bags.
Making some of the best plastic consumer products isn't the only thing the company is known for either. Many associate plastics as not being environmentally friendly, but this company turns that notion on its head. The company was the recipient of the 2014 Environmental Impact Award through its pursuit of sustainable solutions with Pratt Industries.
As a result of their business practices using recycled packaging material, the company has saved 12,530,000 gallons of water, 30,430 trees, 1,790 tons of CO2 from being produced, 7,160,000 kilowatt hours of power and diverted 5,907 cubic yards of waste from the landfill.
The company is a significant contributor to the local economy, employing over 100 people at their Abilene plant. It is estimated that the firm generates $25.5 million in direct economic output each year to the local economy. Spin-off businesses in the community will produce an additional $12.7 million in economic output per year as a result of the company's operations. In total, Pactiv will support $37.9 million on total economic output in an average year. In a sense, economic output is the value of goods and services produced in the economy and can be thought of as revenues for businesses.
Its businesses like Pactiv that help tell the Abilene story. With more than 50 manufacturing plants in 7 countries, Pactiv facilities are positioned to deliver value and convenience for their customers. The Abilene plant helps the company accomplish that very thing with our first class work force and central location. As a result, we're proud to say their products are "made in Abilene."