Updated as of March 19, 2020
Dear Valued Employees, Customers, Partners
As we all continue to navigate the uncertainty of COVID-19, our employees, customers, and partners remain our priority. The Atlantic Packaging leadership team is meeting continuously to assess and appropriately respond to the crisis as it evolves, to adjust our operations to mitigate supply chain risk, and to support the health and safety of everyone involved.
What are we doing to limit the potential of the virus affecting our facilities?
As part of the risk and contingency review, key operations and roles within our facilities are set up for the ability to operate from alternate sites and/or remotely from home. We have restricted travel and in-person meetings between our plants to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading between our facilities. Our employees are being asked to utilize digital tools for meetings, rather than in person meetings wherever practical.
Within the production facilities, we have taken every precaution possible to reduce the chances of having an affected employee entering the facility and to ensure that if an undiagnosed employee enters the facility, the risk of the virus spreading is limited. In order to limit the chance of an affected employee entering the site, we have undertaken education programs with all employees on importance of personal hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus and the need to avoid the workplace if not feeling well.
To avoid the potential spread of the virus within the facility, there has been increased availability to hand sanitizers within the workplace and our cleaners have increased use of disinfectants. Atlantic has also increased the frequency of the cleaning cycles of all common areas and working surfaces on production equipment.
Atlantic has also taken steps to minimize the interaction of employees in the production environment (EI: employees are operating on staggered breaks/lunches and implementing safe distance working practices). This ensures that if an employee is ultimately diagnosed with the virus, the number of potentially affected employees will be limited.
Lastly, Atlantic is currently working on implementing an employee screening protocol to insure that employees with symptoms are not permitted access to the buildings. This will also include sanitization stations directly inside the facility, where employees will be asked to disinfect upon passing the screening process.
What are we doing to prepare for potential situations within the plants?
Atlantic Packaging is a multi-plant organization with redundancy in both the paper and box manufacturing plants. Our business is vertically integrated and as such is not reliant on outside raw materials including paper supply. We have the ability to produce our products in more than one plant, and we have box plants in different geographical regions capable of serving our customers on a contingency basis. Here are a few of the measures we’re taking.
- Reviewing safety stocks and inventories for key items and increasing where necessary
- Build our inventory of finished goods, where possible, to try to minimize the impact on customers in the event one of our facilities is affected
- Increasing our production capacities at all of our box facilities to more easily shift work between facilities if necessary, ensuring minimal impact on our customers
- Implemented clear protocols in the event an employee at one of our facilities is diagnosed with COVID-19
Is there a risk that product Atlantic is shipping is unsafe?
We do believe that the product we produce is safe and in fact much safer than other packaging containers. The production of paper and corrugated sheets is done at a very high temperature and will kill most pathogens. Once the sheet is being converted into finished goods, our production facilities are outfitted with highly automated equipment that ensure the employees have no reason to touch the product.
According to the CDC, there is no evidence COVID-19 is spread by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces, but researchers have tested common home and hospital materials. Compared to other surfaces like plastic and stainless steel, COVID-19 had a much lower survival rate (24 hours or less) on corrugated packaging.
Although the risk that our product would come into contact with the virus is low, the potential for the virus to survive on these surfaces is extremely unlikely. The typical inventory cycle for our products from production to use in our customers facilities is several days, which is much longer than current estimates of the virus’s lifespan on corrugated packaging surfaces.
Although there is no way to eliminate corona virus risk or make absolute guarantees on supply chains not being affected, we wish to assure our customers we have taken steps to mitigate risks to our supply chain from COVID-19 and maintain our ability to satisfy our customer’s needs given this global event.
We will continue to communicate any changes and updates as this situation evolves.
Atlantic Packaging Products Ltd.
About Atlantic Packaging Products, Ltd.
Established in 1945, Atlantic Packaging Products, Ltd., is the largest privately-owned integrated corrugated packaging company in Canada. Atlantic provides customers with a total packaging solution through its key business divisions, which include: Corrugated and Color Packaging, Recycled Paper Mills, Retail Packaging & Displays, Paper Bag Products, Supply &Inventory Management, and Recycling. Other Atlantic strategic partners include Mitchel-Lincoln based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada; York Container based in York, Pennsylvania; The Standfast Group based in Carol Stream, Illinois; Blackhawk Corrugated, based in Carol Stream, Illinois; SkyBox Packaging, based in Mansfield, Ohio; and Champion Container Corporation, based in Wood Dale, Illinois. For more information on Atlantic Packaging, please visit www.atlantic.ca.