USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion

WASHINGTON, DC—Dec. 28, 2012—The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking comments on a proposal for a new research and promotion program. The proposed national “Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order” would cover four segments of the paper industry: printing and writing (except for newsprint); kraft packaging paper (used for products like grocery bags and sacks); containerboard (used to make shipping containers and related products); and paperboard (used for food and beverage packaging, tubes, and other miscellaneous products).

A 12-member board would administer the program and be responsible for carrying out activities intended to raise awareness of the renewability, recyclability and reusability of paper and paper-based packaging. Domestic manufacturers and importers of paper and paper-based packaging would pay an assessment of $.35 per ton of manufactured or imported products to fund the effort. Manufacturers and importers of less than 100,000 tons annually would be exempt from paying assessments.

Research and Promotion Programs are industry-funded, authorized by Congress, and date back to 1966. Since then, Congress has authorized the establishment of 20 research and promotion boards. They empower agricultural industries, including the forest products industry, by establishing a framework for them to pool resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities.

The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight, ensuring fiscal responsibility, program efficiency and fair treatment of participating stakeholders. Visit to learn more about research and promotion programs.

Information on the proposed program will be published in an upcoming edition of the “Federal Register.” The rule will provide a 60-day comment period. Comments should be posted on

Comments may also be mailed to the Promotion and Economics Division, FVP, AMS, USDA, Stop 0244, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Room 1406, Washington, DC 20250-0244.

Copies of the proposed rule and any comments that are received may be requested from the same address or viewed at