USDA to Conduct Referendum for Paper and Paper-based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order

"The Paper Check-off program will allow us to speak with one voice on the benefits of paper and paper-based packaging." – Jim Rubright, chairman and CEO of RockTenn and chairman of the Paper Check-off Panel.

Sept. 16, 2013 (Press Release) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today published in the Federal Register the second proposed rule for the Paper and Paper-based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order, paving the way for the USDA to conduct a referendum on the proposed program. USDA will conduct the referendum from October 28 to November 8, 2013.

“The Paper Check-off program will allow us to speak with one voice on the benefits of paper and paper-based packaging,” said Jim Rubright, chairman and CEO of RockTenn and chairman of the Paper Check-off Panel. “The time is now for the industry to come together and vote ‘yes’ for the Paper Check-off.”

Such promotional, research and information programs, which are initiated and funded by the respective industry, are overseen by USDA for numerous industries. The Paper Check-off would cover four segments of the paper industry: printing and writing; Kraft packaging paper (used for products such as grocery bags); containerboard (used to make shipping containers); and paperboard (used for food and beverage packaging, tubes, etc). Newsprint and carbonless papers will not be included in the program.

The program will be funded by an assessment of 35 cents per short ton on companies producing or importing 100,000 short tons or more annually of the covered grades. Producers and importers under the 100,000 short ton threshold, along with converters, will not be assessed but will benefit from the promotion program.

With a successful referendum vote, the program will be administered by a 12-member board of directors, carrying out activities to showcase the renewable, reusable and recyclable attributes of paper and paper-based packaging.

The Paper-Check off panel appreciates the fine work of the USDA throughout this process.

The Paper Check-off Panel is a group of industry executives representing the various grades of paper and paper-based packaging, formed to shepherd the industry-initiated effort to establish a paper and paper-based packaging promotion, research and information program.

To learn more about the Paper Check-off program, visit the Paper Check-off website: www.papercheckoff.com.

SOURCE: American Forest and Paper Association