News Category

Paper Bags Should Be Excluded from Tax Measures

Sep 08, 2016
Contact: Heather Stegner
(202) 463-2436,

WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement after the passage of Resolution 1207 in Suffolk County, New York, which imposes a 5-cent 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.” 

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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 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

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