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USDA adds 30 Product Categories to BioPreferred Program

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 product 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.

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New USDA BioPreferred Program Product Categories

New Product CategoriesExamplesExclusionsMinimum Biobased Content
AdhesivesGlues and sticky tapes used in construction, household, flooring, and industrial settingsEpoxy systems24%
Animal habitat care products Cleaning supplies, sanitizers, feeders, and products that control, mask, or suppress pet odorsAnimal bedding or litter products and animal cleaning products22%
Cleaning tools Tools such as brushes, scrapers, abrasive pads, and glovesExpendable materials used in cleaning, such as glass cleaners, single-use wipes, and all-purpose cleaners22%
Concrete curing agents59%
Concrete repair materials—concrete leveling23%
Concrete repair materials—concrete patching69%
Durable cutleryDining utensils that are designed to be used multiple times28%
Durable tablewareMultiple-use drinkware and dishware including cups, plates, bowls, and serving platters28%
Epoxy systems23%
Exterior paints and coatingsPaint and primers Wood and concrete sealers and stains and specialty coatings such as roof coatings, wastewater system coatings, and water tank coatings83%
Facial care products Cleansers, moisturizers, and facial treatmentsTools and applicators88%
Feminine care productsSanitary napkins, panty liners, and tampons65%
Fire logs and fire starters Fire logs and lighter fluidHeating fuels for chafing dishes, beverage urns, warming boxes, and wick lamps92%
Folders and filing productsBinders, folders, and document covers56%
Foliar sprays Liquid fertilizers, foliar feeds, and micronutrient solutions50%
Gardening supplies and accessoriesSeedling starter trays, nonwoven mats or substrates for hydroponics, and flower or plant potsCompost activators and accelerators; erosion control materials; fertilizers, including soil inoculants; foliar sprays; mulch and compost materials; and soil amendments.43%
Heating fuels and wick lampsFire logs and fire starters and candles and wax melts75%
Kitchenware and accessoriescookware 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 bagskitchen appliances, such as toasters, blenders, and coffee makers; disposable tableware; disposable cutlery; disposable containers; durable tableware; durable cutlery; and cleaning tools22%
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 shakersLubricants 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 lubricants39%
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 materialsTop coatings, primers, line marking paints, and rubberized pellets that are used on athletic courts, tracks, natural or artificial turf, and other playing surfacesArtificial turf or surface itself, as that is included in the carpets product category22%
Powder coatingsPowder coatings are typically used for coating metals, such as vehicle and bicycle parts, household appliances, and aluminum extrusions.34%
Product packaging itemsPacking and insulating materials and shopping and trash bags25%
Rugs and floor matsArea rugs, rug runners, chair mats, and bathroom and kitchen matsProducts composed of woven, tufted, or knitted fiber and a backing system because these products fall under the “Carpets” product category.23%
Shopping and trash bagsCan liners, shopping or grocery bags, pet waste bags, compost bags, and yard waste bagsProduct packaging, disposable containers, or semi-durable and non-durable films22%
Soil amendmentsFoliar sprays and chemical fertilizers72%
Surface guards, molding, and trim products26%
Toys and sporting gearProducts such as cleaners, lubricants, and oils that are used to maintain or clean toys and sporting gear32%
Traffic and zone marking paints30%
Transmission fluids60%
Wall coveringsWallpaper, vinyl wall coverings, and wall fabricsAll types of paints or coatings62%

Minimum biobased content requirement is measured by ASTM D6866 testing.

Amendments to Previously Designated Categories

– Laundry Products New Subcategory – Dryer Sheets

The USDA BioPreferred Program 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.

– De-icers, Firearm Lubricants and Water-clarifying Agents

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.

BioPreferred Program Update 84 FR 32015

USDA Biopreferred Logo

As previously reported, the USDA BioPreferred Program proposed to amend its guidelines in September 2018. The Program 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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This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2019 and is filed under Biobased Products, USDA Biopreferred Program .