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Want to Buy Green? Look for Biobased

Want to Buy Green? Look for Biobased

The USDA will launch a new labeling initiative in February designed to help consumers identify biobased products, which are commercial or industrial products whose main ingredients are renewable plant or animal materials.

The BioPreferred program was created by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill) as a procurement program designed to increase the purchase and use of biobased products in the Federal government.

The BioPreferred program will now be comprised of two parts: the biobased product procurement preference program for Federal agencies, and the new voluntary labeling initiative for the broad scale marketing of biobased products.

“This label will make those decisions easier by identifying products as biobased,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “These products have enormous potential to create green jobs in rural communities, add value to agricultural commodities, decrease environmental impacts, and reduce our dependence on imported oil.”

USDA estimates that there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the United States and that the growing industry as a whole is responsible for over 100,000 jobs.

If you think biobased products sounds more like science-fiction than current fact, check out this mushroom-based packaging that could replace toxic styrofoam, or these disposable cups made from gelatin.

Through the BioPreferred program, the USDA has already designated approximately 5,100 biobased products for preferred purchasing, including disposable cutlery and carry-out containers, furniture, and cleaning products. The new label will make identification of these products easier for Federal buyers, and will increase awareness of these high-value products in other markets.

To learn more about the USDA’s new BioPreferred product label, visit

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.


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4:52PM PDT on May 18, 2011

This is great but money is tight at the moment and if these products cost more then they will not catch on. This is sad but reality!

11:09PM PDT on Apr 13, 2011

Good to Know..

3:18AM PST on Feb 20, 2011

In the U. K. look for ECO products in youe supermarket!

8:36PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

I encourage everyone interested to join the Sustainable Products group here on Care2, at: .

8:31PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Will L has also asked an interesting question. I wonder whether our society's current demands can all be fulfilled using biobased materials, while retaining current areas of wilderness. Perhaps biobased materials need to be accompanied by the "reduce, reuse, recycle" ethic also?

8:28PM PST on Feb 8, 2011

Interesting, thank you. It sounds like it might be a good step forward for sustainability,

3:50PM PST on Feb 7, 2011


5:31AM PST on Feb 6, 2011

will bio based deplete the bio base?

8:09AM PST on Feb 1, 2011


5:23PM PST on Jan 31, 2011

interesting initiative! I hope that it wont be used in the wrong ways like the bio-fuel leading to deforestation in south America!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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