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 www.biopreferred.com

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Howard Crosse
Howard Crosse5 years ago

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!

Diana M.
Diana Martin5 years ago

Good to Know..

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers5 years ago

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

Monica D.
M D5 years ago

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

http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/sustainableproducts .

Monica D.
M D5 years ago

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?

Monica D.
M D5 years ago

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

John S.
Past Member 5 years ago


Will L.
Past Member 5 years ago

will bio based deplete the bio base?

Edit F.
Fekécs Edit5 years ago


Rachel R.
Rachel R5 years ago

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