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Local Smurfit-Stone Paper Mill Ranks First In Safety Out of 181 Mills Nationwide

COSHOCTON, OH, March 2, 2000 – Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation (Nasdaq: SSCC) announced today that its Coshocton mill is ranked first in safety out of 181 paper mills nationwide. Safety data for 1999 was recently released by The Pulp & Paper Safety Association (PPSA), a national trade organization.

The PPSA publishes an annual report at the end of each year detailing the safety performance of all the reporting mills that are members of the Association. The Coshocton mill finished 1999 with zero lost time accidents and the lowest recordable incident rate of all mills reporting.

"We have made safety our highest priority," said Roger Hagan, general manager of the Coshocton mill. "Our employees have committed themselves to safety and we will continue to work together to create a work environment in which no one gets hurt."

In addition, Smurfit-Stone's mill in Ontonagon, MI, also was cited in the PPSA's annual report for its safe working environment. The mill finished in the top five percentile with the eighth lowest recordable case rate of all paper mills.

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation was formed on November 18, 1998 as a result of the merger of Jefferson Smurfit Corporation and Stone Container Corporation. The company is the industry's leading manufacturer of paper and paperboard-based packaging, including containerboard, corrugated containers, industrial bags, and claycoated recycled boxboard; and is the world's largest paper recycler. In addition, Smurfit-Stone is a leading producer of folding cartons, solid bleached sulfate, paper tubes and cores, and labels. The company operates about 300 facilities worldwide and employs approximately 35,000 people.