WASHINGTON, DC, June 22, 2021 (Press Release) -The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement in opposition to the Maine Legislature’s passage of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging (LD 1541):
”American Forest & Paper Association members have a measurable record of success in making paper and paper-based packaging more sustainable and circular through market-based approaches. Maine’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging ignores the fact that our industry has achieved a consistently high paper recycling rate. Last year, nearly two-thirds of all paper was recycled, and for over a decade, paper recycling has met or exceeded 63 percent.
“We urge Governor Janet Mills to veto Maine LD 1541. The current bill has direct consequences for Maine’s businesses and manufacturers, including the forest products industry, which operates 35 facilities and employs more than 13,000 people in the Pine Tree State. This legislation does not recognize the material recovery and market development achievements of the paper industry, and it should be based on sound policy that benefits the environment, consumers and reflects best practices for doing business and creating jobs.”
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.