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Edgerton woman’s company one of fastest-growing in nation

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Stacy Vogel
October 22, 2007
— Spend a few minutes with Linda Bracha, and you’ll quickly see she runs a “hot” company.

The owner, founder and president of Coextruded Plastic Technologies wears jeans and tennis shoes to work so she can move quickly around the Edgerton company, darting between the factory floor and offices.


Thursday, she had just flown in from a trade show in Houston and a business meeting in Los Angeles. She quickly littered the table in a conference room with food packaging and cheerfully shouted instructions to her vice president and general manager, Alan Jordan, as she explained her company’s revolutionary, environmentally friendly product.


“It really is the cat’s meow,” she said.


Apparently, the editors at “Entrepreneur” magazine think so, too. The magazine named Coextruded Plastic Technologies to this year’s “Hot 500” list of the fastest-growing small businesses in the nation.


The company ranked 289 on the list. According to the “Entrepreneur” Web site, the company has grown from five employees in 2000 to 27 in 2006. Its sales rose from $1.3 million in 2002 to $8 million in 2006.


Bracha is excited about the company’s growth, but she’s even more excited about its product.


The traditional method of creating plastic food trays wastes about 40 percent of the plastic, Bracha said. Influenced by new environmental practices in Europe, she and her husband, co-founder Eli Bracha, wanted to find a way to reduce that waste, she said.


“I’m personally a very big believer that the United States is about five to ten years behind the rest of the world in environmental packaging,” she said.


She hired Jordan, a mechanical engineer, to find the way. The method he created—“Go-Green” packaging—eliminates plastic waste to about 10 percent and uses 30 percent less energy, she said.


The method also reduces packaging needs. Many food products, such as TV dinners, are wrapped in cardboard sleeves showing brand graphics, barcodes and nutritional information. With the Go-Green technology, the company can print those things directly onto the trays, eliminating the need for sleeves.


The company couldn’t have picked a better time to launch its product. The green movement picked up steam across the country soon after it began sales in 2002.


“We have become known in the industry as the green packaging specialist,” Bracha said.


Bracha has even picked up a nickname: Go-Green Packaging Queen.


Bracha and Jordan hope the company continues its rapid ascent. Last year, it launched packaging for fresh produce made from sugar cane that can decompose in eight weeks.


They hope to double their workforce and sales in the next few years, Bracha said.


“It’s our goal to revolutionize the industry,” she said.


TO LEARN MORE

For more information about “Entrepreneur” magazine’s Hot 500 list and Coextruded Plastic Technologies, visit www.entrepreneur.com/hot500.


For more information about the company’s “Go-Green” technology, visit www.gogreenpackaging.com.


The company also has created a Web site to teach children about environmentally friendly packaging. That site is www.gogreenpkg.com.



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