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New York’s Extended Producer Responsibility Bill Needs a Redo, Leaving Paper Out

The New York Daily News recently ran an editorial on Albany’s proposed extended producer responsibility (EPR) bill. We agree with the editorial, and its headline statement to New York lawmakers: “Recycle This Legislative Language."

Albany must revise a proposed bill on EPR, keeping paper out of it. This proposed bill would be a devastating blow to the paper and paper-based packaging industry in New York, which employs approximately 28,000 people with family-sustaining jobs.

EPR is a solution for harder to recycle products and hazardous materials, not paper.  

Paper has a consistently high recycling rate, meeting or exceeding 63 percent for over a decade.  

U.S. packaging and pulp producers are also committed to investing more than $4.1 billion in manufacturing infrastructure, from 2019-2023, to continue the best use of recovered fiber in our products. 

Albany’s EPR scheme is a regressive solution in search of a problem. EPR fees paid by producers would reduce capital available to support further investments in paper recycling.  

So please, toss this bill into the recycle bin. It needs a redo.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recycle resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative—Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. 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 people. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $60 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.