Environmental consciousness, particularly when it comes to the products that are consumed on a daily basis, has risen dramatically in recent years. The concept of the carbon footprint has become more important to both producers and consumers, and the businesses that adapt to the growing ‘green’ movement will be those that are most competitive in the years to come.
Both people and businesses are increasingly leaning towards products that are produced using renewable materials, and even the U.S. government has implemented the USDA BioPreferred® Program that places significant weight on procurement and promotion of biobased products.
With the help of Beta Analytic that provides third-party testing for applicants of the USDA BioPreferred Program, your business could gain a competitive edge in this new economy.
Reducing your carbon footprint makes sense for a number of reasons. Biobased materials are becoming more readily available and in many cases can be more economically viable than non-renewable alternatives. There are also benefits to be gained from joining the USDA BioPreferred Program, thanks to the increased public awareness of new product labeling. If your business is to be truly biobased, you need to do more than just reduce your reliance on non-renewable materials.
The USDA BioPreferred Program defines biobased products as commercial and industrial products (excluding food and agricultural feed) that are composed of biological products or renewable agricultural materials. Products may be wholly composed of these materials, or should at least have a significant biological material composition. Biobased products are diverse and examples are increasing year to year. Materials or products are tested by Beta Analytic and biobased content is recorded as a percentage, which can then be promoted directly on packaging and in marketing materials.
The USDA BioPreferred Program has awarded certification to end consumer products, commercial products, and even intermediates that are used in industry and manufacturing. The USDA BioPreferred Program is such an important initiative not just because of the positive change it can influence but also because of the wide sweeping areas of the economy that it will benefit.
There are likely countless producers that are already offering biobased products but that have not applied for the USDA BioPreferred Program. Products like lip gloss, disposable food containers, water bottles, and even industrial safety equipment can all be made from renewable materials.
To be eligible for a USDA Certified Biobased Product label, there are minimum percentages depending on the product. Some items, such as food packaging containers, must have a minimum of 72% biobased content. Beta Analytic lab determines the ratio of biomass content versus petrochemical content through ASTM D6866 testing. New products that have not yet been classified require a minimum of 25% biobased content.
With your own products, a higher percentage on a label could make items more competitive in consumer and industry markets and would even make products more competitive for federal supply contracts either directly with the government or through authorized subcontractors.
Early adopters of the BioPreferred Program will be seen as innovators and leaders within their respective industries. If you want the strongest competitive edge while leveraging off of your investment in biobased materials, then it is necessary to enroll in the USDA Biopreferred Program.
Certification can only be provided for both domestically produced and imported products, providing that the testing has been performed by an ISO 17025-accredited laboratory. Beta Analytic offers ASTM D6866 testing, which uses carbon-14 analysis to accurately determine the biobased content of various products.
For turnaround time or price inquiries, please contact the lab.
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How to Join the USDA BioPreferred Program
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