Century-old NC paper mill that employs 1,100 to abruptly close, mayor says small town's soul being ripped out

Pactiv Evergreen is closing the factory within the coming months, jeopardizing the livelihoods of its over 1,100 employees

A paper mill is closing in North Carolina, shocking employees and the local community. 

Pactiv Evergreen, a product packaging company, announced Monday that the historic plant is shutting down in the coming months.

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The Canton, North Carolina paper mill is seen in 2014

Evergreen Packaging, or the Canton Paper Mill, in Canton is seen from Park Street on Sept. 21, 2020. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

The Pactiv Evergreen plant has been operating in Canton, North Carolina for more than a century.

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PTVE PACTIV EVERGREEN INC. 14.70 +0.18 +1.24%

Union representatives with Smokey Mountain Local 507 were reportedly called to a meeting with Pactiv Evergreen officials Monday and told about the plans to close the paper mill. 

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The Canton, North Carolina paper mill is seen in 2014

FILE - The Evergreen Packaging mill produces paper carton material at its Canton, North Carolina plant, in 2014. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

It employs 1,100 people and is considered a keystone of the local economy.

The words are simply not enough," Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers said, according to local outlet ABC15. "When I was downtown and I saw grown men with tears in their eyes, there are not words, and no one was prepared on this dark Monday to deal with that."

Smathers added that it was like a piece of the town's soul being ripped out, ABC15 reported.

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The Canton, North Carolina paper mill is seen in 2020

Evergreen Packaging, or the Canton Paper Mill, in Canton is seen from Champion Drive on Sept. 21, 2020. (Asheville Citizen-Times)

FOX Business reached out to both Pactiv Evergreen and Smokey Mountain Local 507 for comment but has not yet received a response.