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American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) president and chief executive officer Donna Harman issued the following statement after the passage of Resolution 1207 in Suffolk County, New York, which imposes a $.05 tax on paper bags and single use plastic bags.

“AF&PA believes that paper bags should be excluded from these kinds of measures, which are aimed at limiting the use of plastic carryout bags. Suffolk County is wrongfully penalizing paper bags and implying that a product that is highly recycled, frequently reused and often composted is part of the environmental problem rather than the solution.

“Government imposed product taxes not only increase costs for consumers, but can 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 for the past six years.”

Published in the October 2016 Edition of American Recycler News