United States – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has expressed its disquiet after the passage of Resolution 1207 in Suffolk County, New York, which imposes a five-cent tax on paper bags as well as 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,’ says the association’s president and ceo Donna Harman. ‘Suffolk County is wrongfully penalising 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,’ she continues. ‘The paper and paper-based packaging industry has achieved a consistently high rate of recovery voluntarily.’
In 2015, according to AF&PA, 66.8% of all paper consumed in the USA was recovered for recycling ‘and the recovery rate has met or exceeded 63% for the past six years’.
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