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Paper, Please!™ Newsletter

Summer 2014

Get your Friends and Family to say Paper, Please!™

Thousands of International Paper employees and friends have signed the Paper, Please!™ pledge and we're asking for your help to expand our grassroots team by reaching out to your family, friends and neighbors. As a part of our grassroots team, we educate our communities on why paper and paper-based products are a good choice for the environment and the economy. Together, we can fight legislative threats against paper.

Over the past few months we've seen efforts to tax paper bags increase throughout the U.S. In California alone, 113 cities or counties are covered by a bag ban ordinance with another 61 cities in other parts of the United States. As this trend grows, so does the threat to our industry. We must unite because together, we can make a difference. Please forward this e-mail to your friends and family so they can join Paper, Please!™ team. Growing our grassroots network will help amplify our voice in communities where bag ban legislation arises.

Bag Ban Legislation Updates

Many cities throughout the United States continue to debate the issue surrounding the ban on plastic bags, and paper continues to get caught up in the proposals. Here is an update on various measures gaining traction:

Baltimore, Md. - The Baltimore City Council is considering a bag ban ordinance which is now facing opposition from other stakeholders which have stated that they will oppose the bill if the fee on paper is not included. Currently, the bill seeks to place a 5-cent tax on plastic bags and allow retailers to keep 1.5 cents for each 5 cents collected, with the remainder going to the City of Baltimore. The bill was assigned to the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations Committee. International Paper and the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) are working to make sure that paper is not included in the final version of the bill.

Evanston, Ill. - The Evanston City Council voted 5-4 on July 28 to pass a bag ban ordinance. The ordinance will ban plastic bags at chain stores in the city while mandating that paper bags adhere to certain recyclability, content and labeling requirements. These requirements are: (1) contains no old growth fiber; (2) is 100 percent recyclable and contains a minimum of 40 percent post-consumer recycled material; (3) is capable of composting; (4) is accepted for recycling in curbside programs in the county; (5) has printed on the bag the name of the manufacturer, the location (country) where the bag was manufactured, and the percentage of post-consumer recycled material used; and (6) displays the word "Recyclable" in a highly visible manner on the outside of the bag. Although International Paper and AF&PA oppose the paper mandates, we were not successful in excluding this from the final language of the ordinance.

San Diego, Calif. - Environmental groups in San Diego have mounted pressure on the San Diego City Council asking them to vote for an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on a potential bag ban ordinance for the city. Newly elected Mayor Kevin Faulconer has pushed back indicating he doesn't believe city resources should be spent on an EIR while the state is considering a statewide bag ban. Thus the City Council has deferred taking action on this issue until after the state legislative session. The local city ordinance would be similar to hundreds of others in California which include a ban on plastic bags and a minimum 10 cent fee on paper bags. San Diego would be the third largest city in California to take action on this matter.

In the Spotlight: California

International Paper employees throughout California took action by writing letters to their state representatives in opposition to SB 270 as currently drafted. SB 270 (Padilla) is the statewide bill that mandates a minimum 10 cent tax on paper bags. During the legislative summer recess, International Paper's Kraft Bag Plant employees personally signed letters as well. As of July 30, more than 300 letters were delivered to the State Legislature. In these letters, International Paper employees urged their representatives to take the time to understand the consequences of passing SB 270 and asked them to allow consumers to continue to make the sustainable choice by having free paper bags available at check-out stands. Check out pictures of International Paper employees signing the letters.
Just Say…Paper, Please!™

Heading back to school in style doesn't just mean a focus on clothing - it can also be decorating text books and lunch containers.

It's important to keep books in good condition and an inexpensive way to do that is by creating book covers out of paper bags. Covers serve as a layer of protection, guarding them from damage as they are tossed into lockers or book bags. They are also the perfect way to express personality. Decorate the covers to show school spirit, hobbies or other interests. It is your opportunity to be creative and as an added bonus, it will be much easier to quickly identify your books.

So grab some markers, glitter or glue and get creative.

Also, send your kids off to school in style. Take a few minutes to decorate and personalize their paper lunch bag. What a great reminder that you care as well as an effective way to ensure their lunch is not mistaken for another's.

This fall, get creative and send us your pictures of your textbooks covers or paper lunch bags. Send pictures to paperplease@ipaper.com.

Spring 2014

Paper Bag Ban Legislation Heats Up

Cities, counties and states throughout the United States are discussing the merits and pitfalls of a ban on single use plastic bags. As the debates turn into legislation, elected officials are making tough choices on the parameters of these new rules. Often the legislation and local ordinances have a direct impact to International Paper’s bag business. As you recall, you are a member of the Paper, Please!™ grassroots network who will help spread the good news about why paper and paper-based products are a good choice for the environment and the economy. Please explore the website for updates on bag ordinances in your region by clicking on the map or reading what's new in the media section.

Local Bag Ban Updates

CHICAGO, Ill. – In April, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that will ban small and large city retailers from using plastic bags but does not impose a tax on paper bags. Despite the pressure from retailers, seasoned politicians in this large U.S. city made the environmental choice not to tax paper bags which already has a successful recycle/reuse record. This new ordinance will go into effect August 2015.

DALLAS, Texas – On Wednesday, March 26, the Dallas City Council voted 8-6 on a partial plastic bag ban that would force grocery and convenience stores to charge customers a five cent environmental fee for single-use carryout plastic bags. There will be no charge for reusable bags, including paper bags or recyclable material with a minimum of 40 percent recycled content. The partial plastic bag ban will go into effect January 2015. While we do not support product bans, this ordinance allows for our paper bags to continue being a viable alternative in the Dallas market.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas – As bag ban discussions heat up in this region, we will continue to closely monitor proposed bag legislation in San Antonio. No legislation has been introduced at this time, but the public is becoming more vocal about the issue.

In the Spotlight: California

In California we continue to face the possibility of a statewide ban on plastic bags with a minimum 10 cent fee on paper bags. Earlier this year, Senator Alex Padilla announced a deal with key stakeholders that would set aside $2 million dollars for the plastic industry and define a new large plastic bag as reusable. Last month, this deal was debated in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee where it passed and now awaits an Appropriations Committee hearing. International Paper’s Government Relations team has met with more than 30 Assembly members and Kyle Smith, general manager, IP Bag Business, met with Governor Jerry Brown’s office. Our advocacy efforts have helped change the discourse about the role of paper bags in this debate. International Paper has been very vocal about our opposition to the fee on our product and now many legislators have expressed similar concerns. California residents can take action today and send a letter opposing SB 270 to their state legislators.
Just Say…Paper, Please!™

Summer is a great opportunity to make memories and have fun with paper bags. Although the possibilities are endless, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Handmade cards are an easy craft project. Kids will have fun making cards and dad will appreciate the love and effort put into them. Already found dad the perfect gift? Forget a store bought gift bag and make your own. Simply cut two slits at the top of the paper bag then fold them over to look like the collar of a shirt. Secure them down with clear tape so the bag can easily be opened. For the finishing touch, cut out a necktie shape from any material and glue it onto your bag – or draw a tie directly on the bag.

Want a few ideas to keep the kids entertained?

Make a kite by folding over the top of a paper bag to keep it open. Glue on pieces of party streamers under the fold. Reinforce the kite by gluing in some strips of a few thin twigs along the length of the bag. Punch two holes above the opened end and attach two pieces of string or yarn and tie the ends onto a roll of kite string. It should take off when the kids start running.

Turn a plain paper bag into any kind of puppet with a little imagination. Simply turn the bag upside down and create a character of your own. Create a face for the puppet using markers, crayons or by gluing on items.

Looking for something to stand out at your Fourth of July picnic? Cut paper bags into long, slender strips. Then, weave the strips together to make a placemat or basket. Looking for something to occupy the kids? Try a simpler placemat. Cut the front and back panels off the paper bag and let children color on them while they wait for dinner to be served.

No matter what the project, don’t forget... this summer, fun is in the bag.

December 2013

Welcome to Paper, Please!™ Grassroots Team

Thank you for joining the Paper, Please!™ grassroots team! You are receiving this message because you recently made the Paper, Please!™ pledge through the International Paper sponsored website PaperBagsPlease.com. You are part of a grassroots network of thousands who will help spread the news about why paper and paper-based products are a great choice for the environment and the economy and work to help fight any legislative threats against the use of paper bags.

In the coming months, we will begin sending quarterly e-mail updates to provide you with information about legislative developments affecting paper and paper-based products as well as some fun and creative ways to use paper-based products. We hope you will spread the word and forward this e-mail to friends and relatives who you think would make great additions to our Paper, Please!™grassroots team.

Confusion in California Bag Bans

In January, Los Angeles will be the largest city in California to ban plastic bags and place a 10 cent fee on paper bags. As cities like Los Angeles approach their implementation of a new bag ban, other cities are re-evaluating their position. For instance, San Jose implemented its ban on plastic bags in 2012 and was scheduled to increase their fee on paper from 10 cents to 25 cents, but recently changed their position and voted against the fee increase. Earlier this month, the City of Milpitas voted against implementing a bag ban all together. As more and more cities consider bag ordinances, the variation in language and implementation of each ordinance is also increasing. This leads us to the statewide debate where groups such as Californians Against Waste and the California Grocers Association are pushing for statewide ban legislation. Senator Alex Padilla, author of SB 405, the statewide bag ban bill, has vowed to revisit this legislation in January. It is unclear at this time whether the statewide legislation would include a fee on paper bags. This would directly impact International Paper’s Paper Bag business which operates a Paper Bag facility in Buena Park, Calif. To learn more about the issues in California, click here.

In the Spotlight

Last week, all three of International Paper’s Kraft bag plants participated in a Paper, Please! ™ week. The objective was to get as many paper bag employees as possible to sign the Paper, Please! ™ pledge, but more importantly to have them share the pledge with their friends and family. As of today, nearly 3,000 IP employees have signed the pledge. Educating our communities about the importance of asking for paper and how demand for paper products has a direct impact to IP jobs is the cornerstone of this campaign and soon we’ll be asking you to share this information with your friends and family. Check out pictures of IP employees signing the pledge.
Just Say…Paper, Please!™

With the holiday season upon us, here are a few ways you can say Paper, Please!™:
  • Ask for paper bags when out shopping for groceries or gifts for loved ones. 
  • Mail your holiday greeting cards rather than sending an e-mail.
  • Re-use your paper bags by making festive gift tags, ornaments, placemats, gift wrap or thank you cards.
  • Cut/shred holiday wrapping paper to make confetti for a New Year’s Eve celebration.

How do you say Paper, Please!™? Send us your ideas and share pictures on how you are using paper this holiday season.