Got recycled paper? Fiber industry votes to fund promo campaign

Got recycled paper? Fiber industry votes to fund promo campaign

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Nov. 20, 2013

The paper and paper-based packaging industry has agreed to fund a major research and promotional campaign to help boost awareness of the benefits of fiber recycling.

The U.S. Department of Agricultural Marketing and Services (AMS) held a referendum between Oct. 28 and Nov. 8 to determine stakeholder interest in the program. An overwhelming majority – 85 percent – approved the program, which will allow the paper and paper-based packaging industry to pool resources together in support of the initiative.

According to an AMS press release, a 12-member stakeholder board will oversee the program "to raise awareness about and highlight the renewability, recyclability and reusability of paper and paper-based packaging." Four areas will be targeted: printing and writing, Kraft packaging paper, container board and paperboard. Carbonless paper and newsprint will not be included in the program.

The website of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) asserts that the paper and paper-based packaging industry averages annual sales of $115 billion, compensating nearly 400,000 workers an estimated $30 billion each year. AF&PA's executive director of strategic communications Chuck Fuqua told Resource Recycling that the program, known as "The Paper Check-Off," will aid the industry.

"[The program] will allow our industry to speak with a collective voice on the benefits of paper and paper-based packaging. Our research has shown that when presented with the sustainability facts about paper and paper-based packaging products, consumers' perception of our products improves," Fuqua stated.

During a recent webinar on recycled paper markets, Myles Cohen, president of the recycling division at paper giant Pratt Industries, told listeners to expect a continued roller-coaster ride when it comes to paper market prices. Among the fibers to struggle most during the next decade, Cohen highlighted printing and writing as entering "the beginning of the end."

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