Bill Young Joins the Family Business
Bill Young graduated from the University of Detroit in 1967 and immediately joined his family's
water delivery company. Only sixteen years old when his parents bought the company, Bill was
involved in the business from the beginning.
Bill developed a thorough understanding of how the water business worked and quickly understood
the potential of the industry. Many of the innovations and much of the company growth defining
this period originated with Bill.
Having been involved with the family business from a very early age, Bill Young provided significant
corporate leadership to the company.
One of those innovations was Plastipak, founded in 1967 to provide a needed solution to what
had become a serious challenge -- the heavy five-gallon jugs used to deliver water. With a
full load of water in them, these five-gallon jugs weighed 50 pounds and required superior
strength to manage.
Plastic seemed the ideal solution. Bill negotiated a deal to buy plastic bottles for the company,
then later determined that the smart way to guarantee a ready supply of them was to manufacture
them in-house. From that idea, Plastipak was born and proved to be so beneficial that it stimulated
much of the company's subsequent growth.
Beatrice Foods Buys Plastipak
In 1973 Beatrice Foods purchased Plastipak, keeping Bill Young as regional director.
The Young family maintained an interest in the company even under its new ownership.
The family stayed and they worked, not because they were workaholics, but because they
never considered that what they were doing was work.
The Young family worked with Plastipak as though it were still the family business even after they sold it.
Bill ran the business with much freedom, and under his guidance, the business thrived,
introducing several notable products to the market. One such product, Cap 10, became one
of the country's first flavored sparkling mineral waters with natural fruit essence.
During this time Plastipak produced its first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles
for a major client, Pepsi.
Young Family Repurchases Plastipak
When the Beatrice Foods business began to experience problems, the Young family bought the company back.
Within the next few years, business began to grow significantly, and to accommodate the expansion,
the family launched a new company affiliate, Whiteline Express.
The Young family repurchased the company and initiated a series of moves to expand Plastipak’s capabilities.
Plastipak established Whiteline Express, a trucking service, in 1983. It provided the company with
a much needed, cost saving transport service and now serves customers coast-to-coast through facilities
in the southeastern and midwestern United States.
In the early 1980s, heightened interest in bottled water as well as a national fitness craze spurred
much growth in the entire industry and led the company to expand its operations and relocate to a more
centralized location in Plymouth, MI.
Plastipak Expands for Service and Technical Improvements
In 1985 Bill Young purchased Buffalo Don's Artesian Wells to supply the growing Chicago and Wisconsin markets.
In 1989 Clean Tech was created as a plastic recycling center to reclaim and recycle Plastipak bottles.
Clean Tech's two facilities in Michigan now recycle billions of PET and HDPE bottles each year.
In tandem with Whiteline Express, Clean Tech created a self-sufficient system giving Plastipak a
distinct advantage in the industry.
Another packaging achievement for the company this year was manufacturing its first multi-layer
HDPE detergent container incorporating HDPE PCR.
Plastipak added spring water sources and launched award-winning service and technical improvements.
Bill Young's son, William Patrick Young, graduated from college in 1990 and joined the company.
Always interested in supplying expanding markets, the Home and Office division of the company added
coffee service to its beverage delivery, featuring the products of local Detroit roasters.
In 1990 Plastipak received DuPont's environmental award for development of the first PET container
made of 100% PCR PET resin.
Plastipak Initiates Changes and Wins Environmental Award
In 1992 Plastipak received DuPont's environmental award recognizing the company for making the
first food container with 25% PCR content for Kraft salad dressing.
Growth and recognition of technical innovations inspired new development for Plastipak.
During 1995 Plastipak developed and now operates the first blow molding system in the world,
producing containers at the rate of 50,000 bottles per hour.
With the most efficient, high-tech operations that were possible in 1995, Plastipak began
packaging PET single-serve packages, producing approximately 1 million bottles by the end of the year.
Plastipak Develops New Technologies, Adds Service Areas
Plastipak Holdings formed and developed 30 station G.E.M. PAK extrusion wheel systems in 1998.
A huge technical improvement, this system was recognized by the industry for efficiency and high
levels of output control. The remarkable Wheel PAK process provided speed-to-market, as well as
respectable revenue advantages, thanks to its cost-effective technology.
New development in our proprietary technologies improved Plastipak's capabilities.
In the year 2000, Plastipak introduced carbon-coated barrier containers. This valuable process
extends the shelf life of many carbonated beverages and is now a proven cost-saving technology.
During 2002, Plastipak expanded to serve customer growth in the southeastern U.S. with new
facilities in Florida, Alabama, Texas and Louisiana.
Plastipak Expands into Europe, Wins Awards
In 2003 Plastipak Slovakia, Clean Tech Slovakia and Plastipak Czech Republic were formed.
Plastipak Czech Republic began operations in 2004.
Plastipak Italia was formed in 2008 through the purchase of Europa Preforme and Preforme Sud.
Company growth spurred the addition of operations to serve markets across Europe.
Plastipak continues to expand into Europe. Company plans include producing PET containers in
Romania for cosmetic products.
In 2008 Procter & Gamble awarded the company an “Excellence Award” recognizing Plastipak as a
high-performing global supplier and a sustainability partner. Dupont recognized Plastipak in
2008 with an award for a package redesign that reduced a Kraft Foods salad dressing container’s
weight by 19%, an improvement that saves millions of pounds of plastic each year.
Plastipak Growth In Technology, Influence
Following a series of enlightening experiments using new materials for better containers to replace
heavy 5-gallon water jugs, Plastipak Holdings was founded to provide a ready supply of plastic containers
for production lines.
Continual improvements established the company's foundation for success.
Plastipak now brings in 90% of the company’s annual revenue, more than $1.9 billion, and employs 3,800
people around the world. Its invaluable, historic importance to the business community involves innovative
thinking in packaging for technology, appearance and convenience.
Long since Bill Young’s parents ran the business, when their main goal was that the company survive,
Plastipak has expanded and prospered over an area that now spans North America, South America and Europe.