AF&PA applauds USDA's release of the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order; Paper Check-off will provide 'opportunity for a sustained effort by our industry to inform consumers,' says Graphic Packaging CEO

WASHINGTON , September 17, 2013 (press release) – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) publication of the second proposed rule and notice of referendum on the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order. The referendum is scheduled to occur October 28 to November 8, 2013.

"The Paper Check-off will provide the opportunity for a sustained effort by our industry to inform consumers," said AF&PA Board Chairman David Scheible, president and CEO of Graphic Packaging. "We have a great story to tell, and supporting the paper check-off will allow us to deliver the message about the great products our industry delivers every day."

The Paper Check-off, which was initiated by a panel of industry leaders, will 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 would not be included in the program.

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. Producers and importers under the 100,000 short ton threshold, along with converters, will not be assessed but will benefit from the promotion program.

"We commend USDA for their efforts in putting the proposal forward, giving our industry leaders the opportunity to vote for the Paper Check-off," said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. "The Paper Check-off will allow the paper and paper-based packaging industry to educate and inform consumers and key stakeholders of the sustainability benefits of our products, which will help secure the future of the jobs in our value chain."

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