AF&PA Supports USDA's Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion Proposal

Dec. 28, 2012 (Press Release) - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for issuing the proposed Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order for public comment. The proposal would establish a program covering the printing and writing, kraft, containerboard, and paperboard segments of the industry.

Carbonless papers and newsprint would not be included in the program.

"We need to present consumers with the facts of the renewable and recyclable nature of our products to allow them to make informed decisions, and today's actions by USDA take us one step closer," said AF&PA Board Chairman Alexander Toeldte, president and CEO of Boise, Inc. "Our industry has come together in support understand the benefits and sustainability of paper products they depend on in their daily lives."

The Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order was initiated by a panel of industry leaders. The program will be funded through an assessment of 35 cents per short ton on companies producing or importing 100,000 tons or more annually. Small producers and importers, along with converters, will not be assessed but will benefit from the promotion program.

The program will be administered by a 12-person board of directors, which will carry out the activities to highlight the renewability, reusability and recyclability of paper and paper-based packaging. A referendum would be held among eligible domestic producers and importers prior to the program going into effect.

"We appreciate the work USDA has put toward today's proposal and look forward to the benefits the industry will receive from promoting the sustainability of paper and paper-based packaging," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "The health and well-being of our industry, our supply chain, and the communities in which we operate will benefit from this program. Consumer education and information will help secure the future of the 1.4 million jobs affected by this proposal."

The American Forest & Paper Association (www.afandpa.org) is the national trade association of the forest products industry, representing pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers, and forest landowners.

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $190 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states.

SOURCE: American Forest & Paper Association