Proudly Made In Wisconsin

For over 50 years, Wisconsin has led the nation in papermaking production. Our industry has a proud history of providing family supporting jobs, enhancing our communities and contributing to our state’s economy.


Wisconsin's paper industry has seen many changes over the past 170 years and continues to be a cornerstone of Wisconsin's economy.  Papermaking in Wisconsin began in Milwaukee on March 7, 1848. The paper was made of rags and used to publish the Milwaukee Sentinel & Gazette. Three months after the first papermaking began in Wisconsin, President Polk signed legislation to make Wisconsin a state.

A Changing Industry

Wisconsin’s paper industry has come a long way since that day in March of 1848. With the introduction of the Keller groundwood process, in 1872, the focus of papermaking shifted to the state’s forests; paper could now be made of wood pulp.  There was natural migration of the industry to northern and central Wisconsin to take advantage of the abundant wood forests and the Wisconsin and Fox River.  For decades the highest concentration of paper mills in the world stretched from Neenah to Green Bay.

New technologies and industry advancements have allowed Wisconsin’s papermaking to more than double in the past thirty years, nearly quadrupling paper and paperboard production in that time.  Even though we have less paper mills and manufacturing locations new technology has allowed us to produce paper products more efficiently.  This efficiency is a big reason Wisconsin has been America's number one papermaker for over 50 years.

A Wide Diversity of Paper Products

Paper products play a key role in our modern daily lives.  They are renewable, recyclable and sustainable. Paper products are also incredibly versatile. 

Paper products include much more than the paper in your copy machines and printers. The wide variety of products made in Wisconsin set us apart from competitors in other states and allow us to compete in the global marketplace.  Today, Wisconsin manufactures hundreds of specialty paper products that are used for food packaging and processing, hygiene, medical and personal information, pressure sensitive liners, industrial and technical papers, high-tech manufacturing, clothing and communications.  

Specialty paper products manufactured right here in Wisconsin include microwave popcorn bags, receipts, lottery tickets, beer and wine labels, adult diapers, liners for advanced composites used in aviation and much more.