USDA's Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order to take effect Jan. 23; Paper Check-off program will seek to raise awareness about renewability, recyclability and reusability of paper and paper-based packaging

WASHINGTON , January 21, 2014 (press release) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces that the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order, requested by a majority of industry manufacturers and importers, will take effect on Jan. 23, 2014, one day after it is published in the Federal Register.

In a recent referendum, conducted by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), 85 percent of voters, representing 95 percent of the volume of paper and paper-based packaging, favored the program. Manufacturers and importers producing and/or importing 100,000 short tons (2,000 pounds per ton) or more of paper and paper-based packaging in 2012 were eligible to vote.

The program will cover four industry segments: printing and writing (except for newsprint); kraft packaging paper (used for products such as grocery bags and sacks); containerboard (used to make shipping containers and related products); and paperboard (used for food and beverage packaging, tubes, and other miscellaneous products). Carbonless paper will be excluded.

The Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Board will use the assessments for activities designed to raise awareness about and highlight the renewability, recyclability, and reusability of paper and paper-based packaging. Manufacturers and importers of less than 100,000 short tons (annually) would be exempt from assessments, which begin March 1, 2014.

The new program will be administered under AMS supervision by a 12-member board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. In the coming months, the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Panel, comprised of a group of industry representatives, will submit nominations. USDA will also conduct outreach to solicit a diverse pool of nominees to serve on the board. For information on the Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Board, contact Kimberly C. Spriggs by phone at (202) 720-9915, or toll free at (888) 720-9917, or e-mail

Research and Promotion Programs are industry-funded, were authorized by Congress, and date back to 1966. Since then, Congress has authorized the establishment of 21 research and promotion boards. They empower agricultural industries, including the forest products industry, by establishing a framework for them to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. AMS provides oversight, helping to ensure fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders. Visit to learn more about research and promotion programs.

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