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November-December-2018

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Policy at Play Bradley Byrne Champions the Wood Pallet Industry in Alabama By Patrick Atagi, Vice President of Advocacy & External Affairs 10 PalletCentral • November-December 2018 palletcentral.com CAPITOL HILL CORNER A s part of the NWPCA Congressional Mill Tour program, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, the 1st District Republican from Alabama, was touring Bay Wood Products. During that visit staff took the opportunity to mention that the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) listed plastic pallets as the preferred pallet for government use. The congressman was asked by his constituents to contact the GSA and see if that policy could change. Byrne was swift and successful with his actions. Within days of the visit to the wood pallet manufacturing company, Byrne wrote a letter to the GSA. He noted all that he had learned about the wood packaging industry, including: the number of people employed by these businesses, as well as the environmental benefits of using wooden pallets and how the government should include them as a sustainable option for federal agencies. Just three weeks later a GSA associate administrator wrote back to Byrne agreeing with him saying wooden pallets are an option for federal agencies to use and will be noted as such in their FAQ. "Yes, Byrne is definitely a friend of the wood pallet industry," said Jimmy Wilson, founder and president of Bay Woods Products. "He was one of the first federal congressional representatives to do a plant tour." Byrne was first elected to Alabama's 1st District in a 1994 special election when then representative Jo Bonner resigned to take a position at the University of Alabama. The District, one of seven in the state, is located in the southwest corner of Alabama and includes the state's coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. The population of approximately 700,000 includes all of five counties and a portion of a sixth county. It also includes the very active Port of Mobile. Of his visit to Bay Wood Products, Byrne said, "I had a great visit to Bay Wood Products in Robertsdale to see firsthand the work they do. I was blown away by their first-class operation, and the economic growth they have, both in Baldwin County and throughout the entirety of Alabama. The best part of the iStockphoto.com/Tanarch

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