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Ohio


Ohio EPA speeds up pollution permits for cosmetics maker
Metal sells beauty products
Story by TOM BORGERDING


 
Metal sells cosmetics
Courtesy of TOM BORGERDING
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An Ohio manufacturer of beauty industry products says it will add to its payroll. The Newark-based company received quick approval of pollution permits from the state Environmental Protection Agency. From Ohio Public Radio member station WOSU in Columbus, Tom Borgerding reports.

LISTEN: Booming cosmetics business

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With speedy approval by Ohio environmental regulators, an Ohio manufacturer for beauty products says it will add to its payroll to meet higher customer demand.

The Ohio EPA fast-tracked pollution permits to allow expansion of Anomatic in New Albany. The 50-year old company produces aluminum products, shiny caps and lids for cosmetics, body lotions and shower gels. They’re mostly for L Brands, but also for Avon, L’Oreal, and Estee Lauder.

During a tour of the plant, senior adviser Bill Rusch explained the chemical process for making the multi-colored cosmetic tops.

“We have raw aluminum and we’re polishing it, chemical polishing with several acids, different types of acid. Now that makes the part bright and smooth and shiny,” says Rusch.

He adds the lightweight metal part is also more durable after being soaked in acids. It won’t chip, flake or discolor.

Anomatic expanded in New Albany in part to speed delivery of its product to corporate customers. With the help of robots, an order can now be designed, filled, and shipped within a week.

But, Rusch says the company can’t automate everything, so it will add about 50 new workers to its current workforce of 97. Entry level workers make about $12 per hour. Toolmakers are paid as much as $30 to $35 per hour.

Anomatic is headquartered in Newark, where it has an additional 680 workers. It’s a privately held company that started in 1965. Rusch declined to give numbers for annual sales or operating profit.

Plant Gets Ohio EPA Approval

The New Albany plant is in a light industrial park a little northeast of New Albany in what’s known as a green-field development. The chemical anodyzing process produces both air pollution, including nitrogen and sulfur dioxides, and particulate pollution.

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director, Craig Butler, told company officials during the tour: “We don’t want to get in your way.”

“From an EPA perspective,” says Butler, “we need to be talking with the business community about what our state and federal requirements are to make sure that we’re protective of human health and the environment. We do that mostly through permitting and inspections,” says Butler.

Water monitoring

The permit issued for Anomatic expansion requires nitrogen oxide and sulfuric acid to be “scrubbed” from the plant’s emissions. Environmental scientist, Stephanie Booher, says wastewater from the plant goes to a Columbus treatment plant. Water discharges are monitored by both the company and Columbus city inspectors.

“They actually sample with us twice a year and they do that four times. They do that four days in a row, twice a year. And then we split those samples with them,” says Booher.

Back on the assembly floor, Rusch says the company is positioned to grow more. He contends cosmetic customers perceive higher value when a product is capped with metal.

“It’s an upgrade. …(Consumers) like the touch, the tactile response, the look, the high gloss. So the marketers, their theory is they’ll pay a little bit more to put a piece of metal on their packaging than make it out of plastics. So you’d have to ask the Estee Lauders and Avons and Limited Brands of the world if it’s working. We think it’s working,” says Rusch.

 

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