Chicago Paper Bag Provision is Short-sighted

Nov 16, 2016

Contact: Heather Stegner
(202) 463-2436, comm@afandpa.org

WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement in response to the Chicago City Council’s passage of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to amend the city bag ordinance by placing a 7-cent fee on both paper and plastic bags.

“Government imposed product taxes not only increase costs for consumers and disproportionately impact those who are low-income, but can also substantially distort the free flow of recoverable materials, such as paper. The paper and paper-based packaging industry has achieved a consistently high rate of recovery voluntarily. In 2015, 66.8 percent of all paper consumed in the United States was recovered for recycling, and the recovery rate has met or exceeded 63 percent since 2009.

“Imposing a tax on paper products discourages consumers from using products that are recyclable, biodegradable, compostable and reusable.”

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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA 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 over $200 billion in products annually, and employs approximately 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. Visit AF&PA online at www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.