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It’s important for people to have unrestricted access to these essential products. For example, it is important for us all to be able to choose how we receive information from the government, whether in paper format or digital. Or for us to have the choice of paper bags at the grocery line check-out.

Recycling and Product Stewardship

For over a decade, the paper industry has achieved a consistently high recycling rate, meeting or exceeding 63% each year since 2009.

Our industry’s success in paper recycling is because our systems are voluntary and market-driven. And because of the industry’s investments and the support of the millions who recycle every day.

Our industry is contributing to a more circular and sustainable future. Approximately $5 billion in manufacturing infrastructure investments have been planned or announced from 2019-2023 to continue the best use of recycled fiber in manufacturing or products. That is nearly $2.5 million per day in investments.

Extended producer responsibility (EPR) programs that shift the burden of recycling paper products to manufacturers are unnecessary.

The success of our industry-led paper recycling initiative, consistently high recycling rates and the industry’s ongoing efforts to promote voluntary recycling show EPR is not the right approach for paper.

What We’re Doing

AF&PA works to promote and ensure people have access to essential paper and wood products that meet their everyday needs.

We support education on recycling best practices as one of the best ways to increase the quantity and improve the quality of paper in the recycling stream.

We’re working with policymakers to set standards for success and focus on problem-solving. And we support policies that consider market-driven, industry-led recycling solutions.

Sustainable Forestry

Today, U.S. forests are strong. More than 1 billion trees are planted each year in the U.S. One-third of the U.S. is forested, totaling nearly 766 million acres.

Trees are one of our most abundant renewable resources. And, a healthy forest products industry goes hand-in-hand with healthy forests. 

Forests are rich ecosystems that provide numerous benefits to the environment and the community. Forests and the products made from them offset approximately 14% of all annual U.S. carbon dioxide emissions each year. Forests also help clean the air we breathe and water we drink.

Sustainable forest management on forest land is critical for the future of our nation’s forests. Healthy, managed forests support biodiversity while protecting forestland from disease, insect infestations, invasive species, and wildfires.

What We’re Doing

Our industry is a leader in promoting sustainable forest management. Our Better Practices, Better Planet 2030 goal to advance more resilient U.S. forests will further these efforts. 

We will continue to support conservation and restoration programs, educate about the need for forests and promote sustainable forest management practices through certified sourcing programs, forest certification and other means. 

Paper Options

Paper and digital formats work together to deliver the information people need. Some people naturally have preferences. And sometimes that preference is driven by things like access to the internet or a computer. The Federal Communications Commission estimates 25% of rural Americans don’t have access to broadband.

With the government moving to digitize, that often means changing preferences to require the public to “opt-in” to continue receiving information or interact using paper. 

What We’re Doing

AF&PA believes the public should be able to choose how they receive information and services from the government. We support polices that give people the option to receive paper without having to opt-in. 

And we support providing adequate public notice and the opportunity for anyone affected to weigh in before a decision is made.