The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adding 30 new product categories to the BioPreferred Program for the preferred procurement of biobased products by federal agencies. The USDA is also amending four existing categories – general purpose de-icers, firearm lubricants, laundry products and water-clarifying agents.
Products that are certified to display the USDA Certified Biobased Product label are required to undergo ASTM D6866 biobased content testing by an independent, third-party testing lab.
|New Product Categories||Examples||Exclusions||Minimum Biobased Content|
|Adhesives||Glues and sticky tapes used in construction, household, flooring, and industrial settings||Epoxy systems||24%|
|Animal habitat care products||Cleaning supplies, sanitizers, feeders, and products that control, mask, or suppress pet odors||Animal bedding or litter products and animal cleaning products||22%|
|Cleaning tools||Tools such as brushes, scrapers, abrasive pads, and gloves||Expendable materials used in cleaning, such as glass cleaners, single-use wipes, and all-purpose cleaners||22%|
|Concrete curing agents||59%|
|Concrete repair materials—concrete leveling||23%|
|Concrete repair materials—concrete patching||69%|
|Durable cutlery||Dining utensils that are designed to be used multiple times||28%|
|Durable tableware||Multiple-use drinkware and dishware including cups, plates, bowls, and serving platters||28%|
|Exterior paints and coatings||Paint and primers||Wood and concrete sealers and stains and specialty coatings such as roof coatings, wastewater system coatings, and water tank coatings||83%|
|Facial care products||Cleansers, moisturizers, and facial treatments||Tools and applicators||88%|
|Feminine care products||Sanitary napkins, panty liners, and tampons||65%|
|Fire logs and fire starters||Fire logs and lighter fluid||Heating fuels for chafing dishes, beverage urns, warming boxes, and wick lamps||92%|
|Folders and filing products||Binders, folders, and document covers||56%|
|Foliar sprays||Liquid fertilizers, foliar feeds, and micronutrient solutions||50%|
|Gardening supplies and accessories||Seedling starter trays, nonwoven mats or substrates for hydroponics, and flower or plant pots||Compost activators and accelerators; erosion control materials; fertilizers, including soil inoculants; foliar sprays; mulch and compost materials; and soil amendments.||43%|
|Heating fuels and wick lamps||Fire logs and fire starters and candles and wax melts||75%|
|Kitchenware and accessories||cookware and bakeware, such as baking cups, parchment paper; cooking utensils, such as brushes, tongs; and food preparation items, such as cutting boards, mixing bowls, coffee filters, food preparation gloves, and sandwich and snack bags||kitchen appliances, such as toasters, blenders, and coffee makers; disposable tableware; disposable cutlery; disposable containers; durable tableware; durable cutlery; and cleaning tools||22%|
|Other Lubricants (products that do not fit into any of the BioPreferred Program’s specific lubricant categories)||Lubricants used for sporting or exercise gear and equipment, musical instruments, and specialized equipment such as tree shakers||Lubricants that are covered by the specific lubricant categories such as chain and cable lubricants, firearm lubricants, forming lubricants, gear lubricants, multi-purpose lubricants, penetrating lubricants, pneumatic equipment lubricants, and slide way lubricants||39%|
|Phase change materials (products that are capable of absorbing and releasing large amounts of thermal energy by freezing and thawing at certain temperatures)||Materials such as animal fats and plant oils that melt at desirable temperatures are typically used to make products in this category.||71%|
|Playground and athletic surface materials||Top coatings, primers, line marking paints, and rubberized pellets that are used on athletic courts, tracks, natural or artificial turf, and other playing surfaces||Artificial turf or surface itself, as that is included in the carpets product category||22%|
|Powder coatings||Powder coatings are typically used for coating metals, such as vehicle and bicycle parts, household appliances, and aluminum extrusions.||34%|
|Product packaging items||Packing and insulating materials and shopping and trash bags||25%|
|Rugs and floor mats||Area rugs, rug runners, chair mats, and bathroom and kitchen mats||Products composed of woven, tufted, or knitted fiber and a backing system because these products fall under the “Carpets” product category.||23%|
|Shopping and trash bags||Can liners, shopping or grocery bags, pet waste bags, compost bags, and yard waste bags||Product packaging, disposable containers, or semi-durable and non-durable films||22%|
|Soil amendments||Foliar sprays and chemical fertilizers||72%|
|Surface guards, molding, and trim products||26%|
|Toys and sporting gear||Products such as cleaners, lubricants, and oils that are used to maintain or clean toys and sporting gear||32%|
|Traffic and zone marking paints||30%|
|Wall coverings||Wallpaper, vinyl wall coverings, and wall fabrics||All types of paints or coatings||62%|
Minimum biobased content requirement is measured by ASTM D6866 testing.
The USDA is also adding a new subcategory for Laundry Products called dryer sheets defined as small sheets that are added to laundry in clothes dryers to eliminate static cling, soften fabrics, or otherwise improve the characteristics of the fabric.
The minimum biobased content requirement is 90% according to ASTM D6866 testing.
General purpose de-icers, firearm lubricants and water-clarifying agents have been renamed and their descriptions amended to include more products. The minimum biobased content requirements for firearm lubricants and water and wastewater treatment chemicals have also been updated.
As previously reported, the USDA proposed to amend the BioPreferred program guidelines in September 2018. The agency accepted public comments until November 13, 2018.
The final rule designating the new product categories is effective August 5, 2019.
Procuring agencies will be giving procurement preference for qualifying biobased products under these newly designated categories no later than July 6, 2020.
Office of Procurement and Property Management, USDA. Designation of Product Categories for Federal Procurement 84 FR 32015 (July 2019)
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