Posted January 29, 2014
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently published a final rule for the Paper and Paper-based Packaging Promotion program.  The final rule is available here.
The rule establishes a research, promotion, and information program for paper and paper-based packaging.  The program will cover four types: “printing, writing and related paper (used to make products for printing, writing and other communication purposes), kraft packaging paper (like grocery bags and sacks), containerboard (used to make corrugated boxes, shipping containers and related products), and paperboard (used for food and beverage packaging, tubes and other miscellaneous products).
The program will be funded by the industry with an assessment on domestic paper and paper-based packaging manufacturers and importers.  The assessment rate will be $0.35 per short ton.  The industry voted on the program and the assessment fee – 85 percent voted to implement the program.
The proposed rulewas published in the Federal Register on January 2, 2013, and provided for a 60-day comment period.
“Today’s announcement represents a seminal moment for our industry to stand together and promote the benefits of paper-based packaging to customers and consumers,” said Paper Check-off Panel Chairman John Williams, president and CEO of Domtar.  “Our industry produces recyclable products from a renewable resource.  The Paper Check-off will allow us to inform consumers of the sustainable products we make and the responsible manner in which we make them.”  News and information on the Paper program are available here.


Checkoff programs are also referred to as research and promotion programs which promote and provide research and information for a particular agricultural commodity without reference to specific producers or brands.  Producers and handlers usually finance these programs for assessments charged on a per unit basis of the marketed commodity.  For more information on Checkoff programs, please visit the National Agriculture Law Center’s website, here.