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Salem's revitalization effort will continue to march forward even as we deal with this potential loss." The closure would be a severe blow to the economy of both the city and Salem County.

Generations of area residents have worked at the plant known for its distinctive blue-painted buildings and huge stacks which tower over the western end of the city.

That production rate in a year amounted to an amazing 720,000 million bottles — 500 tons of glass products each day.

The statement from corporate offices Wednesday night did not specify what bottle-making work had been lost that would lead to the plant's closure.

The closure will mean the loss of 290 jobs and the end of glassmaking in Salem City. 15, the company said in statement from Ardagh's corporate offices.South Jersey had long been a major glass manufacturing region, thanks in part to the rich supply of sand best suited for glass making and, in the early years, large supplies of wood for furnaces.The first successful glass works in the colonies, the Wistarburg Glass Works, was established in Alloway Township in the 1700s.Officials blamed "the loss of significant business at the facility" for the decision to close, but they declined to say what business had been lost."While this is certainly a difficult day for the Salem facility and its employees, the company remains firmly committed to ensuring the long-term competitiveness of its glass container business," said John Riordan, president and CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass - North America in a statement released Wednesday night.

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