Canada-based Evanesce, a manufacturer of compostable, plant-based packaging, has opened its first US production facility in Hampton County, South Carolina. The project represents an investment of $17m and will see the creation of 78 new jobs.

The 1,394m2 factory will help meet global demand for eco-friendly polylactic acid (PLA) products, which are currently in short supply due to overseas shipping delays.

The new facility can produce millions of compostable PLA straws per day. The company also plans to start producing moulded starch products including meal trays, meat trays, containers and cups in 2022.

In a press release, chief executive officer Douglas Horne commented: “The opening of our first US-based manufacturing facility in South Carolina is an exciting milestone in our growth plan. Being adjacent to I-95, our facility allows us to seamlessly service North America. South Carolina is ripe for industrial disruption and our investment in Hampton County could not have been possible without the support of the state and the county.”

In addition to the new South Carolina facility, Evanesce is set to further expand its US footprint. The company has announced plans to open a new 10,591m2 factory in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will feature multiple straw production lines, moulded starch lines, thermoformers and lab space.