Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Mike Standel, managing director of Sappi's Westbrook mill, holds a Nike soccer shoe using a pattern designed by Sappi. Those designs can find other uses, as with the shoe pattern. It's become popular as gym flooring in China, Standel said
WESTBROOK, Maine — Sappi Paper’s mill in Westbrook has remained standing in the 21st century by learning to let go.
The mill staked its future on paper with the key of not sticking to things, allowing paper-backed patterns to be pressed into synthetic materials, laminate flooring, leather and other products.
Donna Cassese, chairwoman of the Maine Pulp and Paper Association and managing director of wood resource strategy for Sappi, said the mill is one example of how not all of the state’s paper industry is dead or dying, but it is “changing and evolving.”