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Vetropack Group closes production site in St-Prex, Switzerland

Vetropack Group announced that it expects to close its St-Prex production site by the end of August 2024. This decision was taken by the Board of Directors following a detailed examination of the alternative proposals for the future development of the site, which were submitted by employee representatives. Vetropack is preparing a social plan for the employees affected by the job cuts.

The St-Prex production site, which is over a hundred years old, has undergone numerous adjustments and major investments over the decades – amounting to more than CHF 50 million since 2010 alone. Despite these efforts, Vetropack Group’s only Swiss production site suffers from its small size and lack of competitiveness. Vetropack therefore launched a consultation process on the future of the site at the beginning of March.

Employee representatives’ proposals thoroughly evaluated
On April 30, the employee representatives presented their alternative proposals to a closure to the Vetropack Group management. Important elements of this concept are the introduction of a different melting technology in glass production (oxyfuel process), a partial reorganization of the production lines, and investments in the conversion and sustainability of the site.

After thorough examination the Board of Directors has come to the conclusion that the proposed measures would not change the situation at the site sufficiently to ensure the long-term profitability of the plant.

High operating costs of production make the glass packaging produced at St-Prex uncompetitive in the European core markets. Any subsidies for the decarbonization of the site that have been brought into play by politicians in the meantime would not change this.

Employees and customers are being informed about the decision to close. Vetropack currently generates around 40 percent of its sales to Swiss customers with glass packaging from St-Prex. In the future, these customers will be supplied by other Vetropack plants in neighbouring countries, particularly Austria and Italy.

No changes to Vetrocycling
The closure of the plant in St-Prex in no way means that Vetropack is withdrawing from its home market of Switzerland, said Johann Reiter, CEO of the Vetropack Group: “Our company headquarters will remain in Bülach. We will continue our commitment to glass recycling in cooperation with our Swiss partners at local level. So, in terms of recycling, everything will remain the same.”

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