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U.S. Paper Industry and Paper Recycling Remain Resilient During Pandemic

CONTACT: Tim Ebner
(202) 463-2587,

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock released the following statement on the U.S. paper and wood products industry and paper recycling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) members remain resilient in navigating challenges created by the ongoing pandemic. They continue to work safely and diligently in creating sustainable and innovative paper products for the circular economy.

“Like all sectors of the economy, papermakers are dealing with challenges created by the ongoing pandemic. These include global and domestic supply chain issues, such as ocean freight bottlenecks and limited truck availability.

“Nevertheless, notable data points emerge and one of those is in the area of paper recycling, which continues to be an environmental success story. In July, total paper recovery for recycling was up an impressive 8.9 percent year-to-date. In the United States, approximately 80 percent of paper mills use some recycled paper fiber to make renewable products, such as office paper, packaging and bath and tissue products. This is a testament to the consumers who are recycling these products, combined with the impressive infrastructure investments our manufacturers are making.

“Our industry remains committed to serving our customers worldwide, just as it has throughout the pandemic. Rest assured, your favorite paper products continue to be manufactured 365 days a year, by a dedicated and essential workforce.”

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 recyclable 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 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper