PaperAge Magazine

Massachusetts' Paper Bag Provision is Short Sighted

Paper bags are recyclable, compostable, and made from a renewable resource Massachusetts Senate Bill 424, intended to reduce plastic pollution, wrongfully penalizes paper bags — a commodity that is highly recycled, recyclable, compostable and made from a renewable resource.

Oct. 25, 2017 - American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement regarding the Massachusetts Senate Bill 424, “Act Reducing Plastic Bag Pollution.” The bill seeks to place a 10-cent tax on recycled paper bags beginning on August 1, 2018.

“This bill, intended to reduce plastic pollution, wrongfully penalizes paper bags — a commodity that is highly recycled, recyclable, compostable and made from a renewable resource. Unfortunately, this is a missed opportunity to differentiate paper bags as an environmentally responsible option. Paper bags are a sustainable packaging option for consumers who need carryout bags.

“This policy takes Massachusetts in the wrong direction and sets a poor example for the region. AF&PA looks forward to continuing to work with the state of Massachusetts on this provision.”

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020.

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at: www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

SOURCE: AF&PA