February 4, 2023
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The ultimate transformer – Oxnard firm produces recycled plastic containers


On March 19, a 12-foot-tall machine rumbled to life on the floor of Leading Industry’s Oxnard plant, stamping out thousands of clear plastic containers.

The machine – called a thermoformer — is the first fruit from a $2.2 million grant the company received from the California Department of Conservation to bolster the firm’s use of recycled plastic. Leading Industry has ramped up production of clear plastic clamshells for fruits such as strawberries, and its customers are asking for more and more recycled plastic.

“Our biggest issue here is not having enough machines,” said Steve Bartoulcci, the plant manager for Leading Industry, which has more than 200,000 square feet in its two Oxnard buildings. The thermoformer heats wide sheets of thin, clear plastic and then pulls it into a chamber where a vacuum forms the plastic to a mold.

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