Glass manufacturer Vetropack will close its St-Prex, Switzerland, production site by the end of August this year.

The decision was taken by the Board of Directors on Monday following an examination of the alternative proposals for the future development of the site, which were submitted by employee representatives.

Claude Cornaz, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vetropack Group, said: “We did not take this decision lightly and examined all proposals submitted to us regarding the future development of the site very comprehensively and in detail.”

“However, we always come to the same conclusion in all possible scenarios: the future prospects of the St-Prex plant remain negative in terms of profitability and competition – even with an investment worth millions. Profitable operation would not be possible in the long term. The closure of production is therefore unavoidable.”

As a result of the closure, a large proportion of the jobs at the St-Prex site will have to be cut.

The job cuts will take place gradually, and where there is an opportunity to retain employees within Vetropack, corresponding offers will be made.

The St-Prex production site, which is over a hundred years old, has undergone many adjustments and investments over the decades – amounting to over CHF 50 million since 2010 alone.

Despite these efforts, the Vetropack Group's only Swiss production site suffers from its small size and lack of competitiveness.

It is above all the unchanged high operating costs of production that make the glass packaging produced at St-Prex uncompetitive in the European core markets.

Vetropack currently generates around 40% of its sales to Swiss customers with glass packaging from St-Prex.

In the future, these customers will be supplied by other Vetropack plants in neighbouring countries.

Johann Reiter, CEO of the Vetropack Group, said: “Our company headquarters will remain in Bülach. We will continue our commitment to glass recycling in co-operation with our Swiss partners at local level. So, in terms of recycling, everything will remain the same.”