By Donna Harman
AF&PA President and CEO
From an impressive paper and paper-based packaging recovery rate to energy efficiencies from sustainable manufacturing practices to steady progress on regulatory process reform, the paper and wood products industry is advancing solutions that serve the environment, the economy and society well. In 2018, AF&PA celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary. With the beginning of our next quarter century of service to the industry, we have new opportunities to deepen that success story through our 2019 advocacy priorities.
Market-based public policies for paper recycling, enhanced transportation infrastructure, free and fair trade, regulatory reforms and process improvements and a competitive tax system, rank high on our list of actions that will sustain our industry’s ability to innovate, invest, grow the economy and create American manufacturing jobs. We’re ready to partner with decision makers in Washington, state capitols and strategic allies to do just that whenever and wherever necessary.
Let’s start with recycling. Paper, by weight, is the most recycled material from municipal solid waste streams in the United States today with our companies reaching or exceeding a 63 percent paper and paper-based packaging recovery rate for each of the past nine years. That achievement stems from voluntary investment toward building a commercial paper recycling infrastructure and the commitment of millions of citizens to recycle at home, at work or at school every day.
Count us in to find new ways to promote market-based policies for paper recycling and demonstrate the effective use of recovered materials to create jobs, reduce environmental impact and improve quality of life. Case in point: The November 15, 2018 America Recycles Day Recycling Summit at Environmental Protection Agency headquarters where we joined in signing a pledge to help identify solutions to issues facing the U.S. recycling system