Journalism disaster: Paper-production prices | The Seattle Occasions

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“Hovering newsprint costs worsen native journalism disaster” [June 10, Opinion: Save the Free Press] explores the affect of paper manufacturing value will increase and declining manufacturing on print journalism. Nevertheless, the column fails to focus on how poorly-designed prolonged producer accountability (EPR) insurance policies into account in states throughout the U.S. may worsen paper-production challenges.

EPR insurance policies search to shoehorn completely different supplies with very completely different recycling wants beneath a single regulatory umbrella with the misguided expectation that every one will likely be improved because of this. As an alternative, producers of extremely recycled merchandise, like paper and cardboard, find yourself subsidizing recycling packages for less-recycled supplies. The ensuing value will increase may additional depress paper manufacturing and result in further mill closures.

EPR insurance policies may additionally hamper investments that enhance the circularity of paper merchandise. Due to billions of {dollars} in personal investments, the paper trade recycles greater than 50 million tons of paper yearly, and we’ve already introduced $5 billion in sustainability investments by 2024 to extend our capability to make use of recycled fibers in our merchandise.

Insurance policies that curb air pollution and strengthen recycling infrastructure are essential. However EPR insurance policies may exacerbate paper provide challenges and imperil the trade’s historic recycling progress. Policymakers in Olympia and throughout the U.S. ought to take observe.

Terry Webber, American Forest & Paper Affiliation, Washington, D.C.

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