Paper mills look for new markets to survive

Portland Press Herald: “A global decline in demand for the kind of paper that has been the mainstay of the industry in Maine has prompted several mills to reposition themselves for new product lines – and, hopefully, a brighter future.

Three Maine mills have recently announced that they are converting machinery that once produced reams of glossy, coated paper used primarily in magazines and catalogs, to start making specialty papers, such as labels, filters and packaging. The shift is part of a scramble to diversify product lines – publishing papers represent 65 percent of the output of Maine mills – and to capture a greater share of new markets. At stake are 3,300 jobs in the state’s remaining six mills, survivors in a contracting industry that has shorn 2,300 jobs in the past five years as five mills closed.”