At our 24th General Assembly at the heart of this year’s PEFC Forest Certification Week, we welcomed our 52nd and 53rd national members. The General Assembly, our highest decision making body, voted Ukraine and Guyana into the alliance. “Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe, and 15.6% of land is covered by forests. That is 10.4 million hectares,” said Mariya Maha from the Association National Voluntary Forest Certification System, our new national member for Ukraine. Our second new member, the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC), is leading the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), a trade agreement between Guyana and the European Union. The collaboration between PEFC and local stakeholders in Guyana began in 2015, supported by the PEFC Collaboration Fund.
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Heidi Brock issued the following statement in opposition to the Maine Legislature’s passage of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging (LD 1541):
”American Forest & Paper Association members have a measurable record of success in making paper and paper-based packaging more sustainable and circular through market-based approaches. Maine’s Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging ignores the fact that our industry has achieved a consistently high paper recycling rate. Last year, nearly two-thirds of all paper was recycled, and for over a decade, paper recycling has met or exceeded 63 percent.
“We urge Governor Janet Mills to veto Maine LD 1541. The current bill has direct consequences for Maine’s businesses and manufacturers, including the forest products industry, which operates 35 facilities and employs more than 13,000 people in the Pine Tree State. This legislation does not recognize the material recovery and market development achievements of the paper industry, and it should be based on sound policy that benefits the environment, consumers and reflects best practices for doing business and creating jobs.”