Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 8

8 * Plastics News, May 20, 2019

Doug Ritchie

Founder and president,
Star Plastics Inc.

A monthly series about executive insights by Brennan Lafferty,
Plastics News vice president/group publisher, and Don Loepp,
Plastics News editor. Invite Brennan and Don to visit you by
emailing them at blafferty@crain.com.

See the video of Plastics
News' interview with
Doug Ritchie online at
PlasticsNews.com/WKYUAN

Ritchie focuses on smart growth
By Brennan Lafferty
Plastics News Publisher
Ravenswood, W.Va. - The
blue lights that project several
feet in front of the moving forklift
are new - part of a capital investment Star Plastics Inc. President
Doug Ritchie made to improve
safety at his Ravenswood compounding facility.
"The Ravenswood site has gone
more than five years without a
lost-time incident. We really pay
attention to safety," said Ritchie,
who wore a high-visibility vest
and eye and ear protection as he
toured a visitor around his plant
that borders the Ohio River in
western West Virginia.
The emphasis on safety is far
from the only thing driving decisions at the thriving business
Ritchie launched more than 30
years ago. In a town with a population less than 4,000 where
Ritchie family roots run deep, a
focus on sustainability, marketing
and his team have propelled Star
Plastics to double its business in
the last four years.
"We plan to double it again in
the next five years," said Ritchie,
who did not disclose annual sales

figures.
Star Plastics has two West Virginia plants eight miles apart that
cover a combined 360,000 square
feet. Gaylord box after Gaylord
box of resin and product line
the Ravenswood facility, which
houses a fully staffed testing lab.
Both Star facilities employ about
70, who keep the plants running
around the clock thanks to two
12-hour shifts.
"Production and laboratory
are always both running," said
Ritchie, who founded the company as SDR when he was 27.
Star Plastics' business is primarily in the U.S., but it has expanded to China. The company
has a nine-year partnership with
a compounding facility that's licensed under the Star Plastics
brand in Shandong province.
While Ritchie has no direct employees in China, an employee
from the Millwood, W.Va., facility
leads that business development
and travels there regularly, as
does Ritchie. His trips last 10-14
days, and he's in China at least
four times per year.
As a younger man, Ritchie knew
he wanted to own his own business.

JUST THE FACTS:
STAR PLASTICS INC.

COMPANY
HEADQUARTERS:
Ravenswood,
W.Va.

Doug Ritchie, president of Star Plastics Inc., inside of one of two
plants in West Virginia. A focus on sustainability, marketing and his
team have propelled Star Plastics to double its business in the last
four years. Plastics News photo by Brennan Lafferty
"I was going to find a business,
a need, then develop the process
and the team to fill it. I didn't start
out in plastics; I'm not an engineer. I learned from doing. Plas-

tics became the vehicle to do it,
and now I love plastics," he said.
Star Plastics started out as a
recycler, and that sustainability
See Ritchie, Page 23

BUSINESS TYPE

Compounder,
recycler

1988
YEAR FOUNDED

EMPLOYMENT

140

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Plastics News - May 20, 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Plastics News - May 20, 2019

Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 1
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 2
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 3
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 4
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 5
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 6
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 7
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 8
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 9
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 10
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 11
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 12
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 13
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 14
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 15
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 16
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 17
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 18
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 19
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 20
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 21
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 22
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 23
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 24
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 25
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 26
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 27
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 28
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 29
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 30
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 31
Plastics News - May 20, 2019 - 32
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