4 April 2011

USDA Grants First BioPreferred Product Labels

List of plant-based cleaners, industrial lubricants and construction products to personal care items

The USDA announced a list of 60 biobased products, including cleaners, engine oils and textiles, that have been granted the first “BioPreferred” labels. The label designates products that are composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials.

USDA says biobased products help add value to commodities, create jobs in rural communities, increase U.S. energy independence by reducing the use of petroleum in manufactured products and may also reduce the introduction of fossil carbon into the atmosphere, thus mitigating potential climate change impacts.

“When consumers see the BioPreferred label in a store, they’ll know that the product or its packaging is made from renewable plant, animal, marine, or forestry materials,” said Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “From bioplastics to plant-based cleaners, from industrial lubricants and construction products to personal care items, this ever-growing list of biobased products helps create jobs in rural communities by adding value to agricultural commodities and can reduce our dependence on imported oil.”

The companies that make the 60 products are: Nutek Green, a division of Hoover, Inc., (Glenwillow, Ohio); Seventh Generation (Burlington, Vermont); Betco Corp. (Toledo, Ohio); Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. (Elk Grove Village, Illinois); DuPont Corporation (Wilmington, Delaware); ElastiKote (Akron, Ohio); Green Earth Technologies (Celebration, Florida); National Industries for the Blind Agencies (Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, Missouri and Travis Association for the Blind, Austin, Texas); NatureWorks LLC (Minnetonka, Minnesota); Rochester Midland Corporation (Rochester, New York); Bio-Lub Canada (Quebec, Canada).

Today’s announcement follows the January 2011 launch of voluntary biobased product certification and labeling from USDA. One hundred companies have submitted applications for about 400 products for certification since the effort began two months ago.

Through implementation of the BioPreferred program, USDA has identified 5,100 biobased products for preferred purchasing by Federal agencies. USDA said the new label will make identification of these products easier for Federal buyers and will increase awareness of these high-value products for consumers. USDA estimates that there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the United States.

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Source: SustainableBusiness.com, 2011-04-04.

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