American Forest Paper Association president and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) putting new interim innovation criteria for the BioPreferred Program in effect today.
"The BioPreferred Program's new innovation criteria allow the nation's pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers to compete on a level playing field with other biobased products.
"The paper and paper-based packaging segment of the industry has provided great innovative products that extend the shelf life of food; reduce waste; improve the quality of papers made with recycled content; and significantly reduce energy and water usage. Paper-based packaging offers strength and protective characteristics as well as product marketing capabilities that convey important product information to consumers.
"We welcome these interim guidelines and look forward to working with USDA to improve them as they are finalized."
The American Forest Paper Association (AFPA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AFPA 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 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $210 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states.