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Biomass, Recycling, Regulatory Reform, Transportation Infrastructure Top AF&PA 2020 Advocacy Priorities

Feb 14, 2020

CONTACT: Lindsay Murphy
(202) 463-2436, comm@afandpa.org

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) Board of Directors today announced advocacy priorities the association will pursue to ensure the pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products industry’s continued growth and ability to create American manufacturing jobs. 

“President Trump and the U.S. Congress recently made great strides in finalizing the U.S. – Mexico – Canada (USMCA) trade agreement, and we are grateful for this commitment to ensuring free and fair cross-border trade,” said AF&PA President and CEO Heidi Brock. “Paper and paper-based packaging are the most-recycled materials by weight from municipal waste streams in the United States, and AF&PA will support policies that allow this environmental success story to continue. Policy conversations related to biomass, paper recycling, regulatory reform and transportation infrastructure should strengthen our industry’s ability to provide consumers with recyclable, renewable and sustainable paper products.” 

Mark Sutton, International Paper CEO and AF&PA Board Chair, continued, “The paper industry has some of the most comprehensive set of quantifiable sustainability goals of any U.S. manufacturing industry in Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. It is imperative the U.S. Congress, state legislatures and other stakeholders recognize the industry as a top 10 manufacturing employer in 45 states across the country, with an impressive track record of leadership in environmental and forest stewardship. As challenges related to waste continue to be discussed nationwide, we ask that elected officials recognize paper is part of the circular solution.” 

AF&PA’s 2020 advocacy priorities are: 

Carbon Neutrality of Biomass: Paper and wood products manufacturers use as much of the tree as possible to make paper, packaging and wood products, while remaining residuals are used as a renewable energy source (biomass) to power mills. The carbon neutrality of biomass harvested from sustainably-managed forests has been repeatedly recognized by studies, agencies, institutions, legislation and rules around the world. AF&PA has for many years advocated for science-based policies that acknowledge the carbon neutrality of biomass and provide regulatory certainty to level the playing field for global competition and the protection of rural American jobs. 

Continued Success for Paper Recycling at the State and Federal Level: Efforts to ban, tax or restrict access to paper products discourages the use of products that are recyclable, compostable, reusable and made from renewable and recycled material. AF&PA supports Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) RECYCLE Act, which recognizes that educating consumers on the right ways to recycle is one of the best ways we can increase the quantity and quality of paper in the recycling stream.

Regulatory Reform: U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers have spent billions of dollars on regulatory compliance and are estimated to spend billions in new capital expenditures over the next decade. Measures that streamline the permit process and reduce cost and uncertainty of regulations remain a top priority. 

Transportation Infrastructure: Paper and wood products manufacturers face a nationwide shortage of transportation capacity, an aging infrastructure, and inefficient surface transportation policies. As a result, connecting our products, raw materials and consumers is difficult and costly. Specifically, AF&PA encourages necessary infrastructure enhancements, increasing truck weight limits on federal interstate highways and freight rail system reforms that prioritize shippers’ concerns. 

In addition to these priorities, AF&PA remains engaged in important advocacy discussions related to international trade and climate policy. 

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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 four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.