Our experience is grounded in steady growth and meeting the market's needs.
Caraustar was founded in 1938 as Carolina Paper Board Corporation. Our name has its origin in our history: it’s a combination of Carolina Paper Board (our first facility), Austell Paper Board (our second mill) and Star Paper Tube (our first tube facility) … Car + Au + Star.
Here are the decade by decade highlights of our history -- a story that makes us strong, proud and who we are today.1930s and 1940s
1938 Caraustar’s first manufacturing facility, Carolina Paper Board Corporation, was established in Charlotte, NC, with 45 employees. This was North Carolina’s first recycled paperboard machine and was capable of producing 25 tons per day of boxboard for the folding carton market.
1940 Production of recycled paperboard reached 8,000 tons.
1941 Caraustar’s first recycled paper processing plant began operations in Charlotte.
1946 A second recycled paper processing plant opened in Greenville, SC, which, combined with the Charlotte plant, provided a secure source of low-cost, recycled fiber to the Charlotte paperboard mill.
1947 Caraustar built its second recycled paperboard mill in Austell, GA, complete with a converting department and onsite recycled fiber processing plant. The Austell location offered close access to customers and a low-cost supply of recycled fiber in the Atlanta market.
1949 The Austell mill began production at a rate of 45 tons per day, serving the folding carton and other specialty markets.
1950 Net sales for the combined Caraustar operations rose to $2.3 million on volume of 30,000 tons. Employees totaled 140.
1958 Caraustar took a controlling interest in Star Paper Tube, a single tube and core converting plant in Rock Hill, SC. The company opened two new tube and core converting plans in Danville, VA, and Austell, GA, to serve the growing textile market in those regions.
1960 Caraustar had become a diversified recycled paperboard manufacturer for the folding carton, tube and core, and other specialty markets with two paper machines, three converting plants, and three recycled processing plants. Combined company sales were $6.4 million on volume of 50,000 tons, and employment rose to 285.
1964 The company began production at a third paper mill location in Greenville, SC, designed to serve three primary recycled paperboard markets.
1966 Caraustar acquired its first folding carton plant, Atlanta Coast Carton Company, located in Charlotte, NC, signaling the company’s participation and strategic direction in folding carton marketing.
1969 Caraustar’s fourth paper machine, located at the Austell, GA, mill site, began production.
1970 Combined sales reached 24.5 million and employment stood at 870.
1970s The company continued to grow by acquiring eight and building five tube and core converting plants, acquiring an additional folding carton plant, and building its fifth paperboard mill. The fifth mill, located at the existing Austell, GA, site, launched the company into its fourth major market for recycled paperboard, the gypsum facing paper market. The company further secured its supply of low-cost recycled fiber for the three Austell mills through the acquisition of two recycled fiber processing plants and the construction of a third.
1980 The company consolidated operations under the newly incorporated holding company Caraustar Industries and relocated its headquarters to its 150-acre Austell site.
1986 By this year, the company had built three additional tube and core converting plants and acquired two folding carton plants, a plastic extrusion and injection molding plant, three tube and core converting plants, and four recycled paperboard mills.
1990 Caraustar’s holdings had swelled to 44 facilities and the company had grown to become one of the top ten recycling companies in the United States. Its Star Paper Tube subsidiary had become the second largest tube and core producer in the country.
1992 Caraustar went public, making an initial public offering of 11.1 million common shares and raising approximately $90 million in capital. The capital infusion enabled the company to step up its acquisition program through the remainder of the 1990s.
1996 The company’s revenue had almost doubled since 1992. Its flexibility, vertical integration, and diversity had enabled Caraustar to outpace its competitors. By that year, the company was operating 14 paperboard mills in 11 states. Approximately 33 percent of the mill output was used internally by Caraustar, with the remaining 67 percent sold to other manufacturers of paperboard and related products. The company also operated some 40 converting facilities serving Caraustar’s primary markets for tube and core products and gypsum facing paper, and an additional five specialty converting plants.
2000 Caraustar decided to build its brand identity by dissolving all of its subsidiaries and renaming the Caraustar groups. The company organized itself into four groups: (1) the Mill Group, concerned with the manufacturing of recycled paperboard, gypsum facing paper, and laminated paperboard products; (2) the Industrial and Consumer Products Group, concerned with tubing, core, composite containers, plastics and adhesives; (3) the Custom Packaging Group, concerned with carton and custom packaging; and (4) the Recovered Fiber Group, handling recovered paper recycling centers.
2000s – The company went through a period of consolidation and retrenchment, closing or selling some facilities to eliminate duplication and match supply with demand.
2006 Caraustar introduced new products, including SafeFace MR®, a revolutionary mold, mildew and moisture resistant gypsum facing paper, and Column Form™, a superior state-of-the-art weather resistant column form developed specifically to meet construction industry demand. Caraustar’s specialty business continued to lead the industry with the introduction of Binder Tex 45™, a recycled paperboard grade used in the manufacture of hardbound textbooks, law books and library binding books.
2007 Caraustar celebrated its 70th year in business and now operated a combined total of 71 mills and converting facilities (69 in the United States and two in Canada).
2008 The industry faced challenges, primarily overcapacity due to offshore competition and compounded by the rapid decline in the new housing market and the subsequent onset of global recession.
2009 Caraustar negotiated industry challenges successfully through a plan of reorganization that strengthened its financial posture for future growth as a leaner, privately held company. It re-launched its brand capabilities as one of North America’s largest integrated manufacturers of 100% recycled paperboard and converted paperboard products.
2009 Even during the reorganization process, Caraustar continued to show its industry leadership by introducing important new products, including Snap-Right™, a unique perforated edge protector for use with point-of-purchase and display-ready packaging, and launching a new branding campaign for ClimatePRO/easy-Pour™ construction tubes.
2013 Caraustar was acquired as a portfolio company of H.I.G. Middle Market, which gave the company stability to re-focus on a growth strategy. The company had approximately 2,400 employees at 50 manufacturing facilities.
2015 Caraustar acquired The Newark Group, Inc., manufacturer of recycled paperboard, linerboard, industrial tubes, cores and other converted products. Caraustar has more than 3,500 employees and operates 15 recycled paperboard mills, 8 consumer packaging facilities and 36 industrial product manufacturing facilities in the US and Canada.