The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) BioPreferred program promotes the use of ecologically-friendly, biobased materials as a replacement for those materials made from petroleum and other non-renewable resources. In late 2010, more than 500 new items were approved, bringing the total to more than 5,000 products listed in the USDA’s BioPreferred procurement program catalog.
The Northwest Ohio Green Products Center (NOGPC), a collaborative effort created by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), continues to play a key role in bringing some of these 5,000 products to fruition. NOGPC provides resources, technical assistance and business expertise to regional entrepreneurs or established manufacturers who currently produce, or plan to produce, green or biobased products – with the goal to receive approval for federal and state procurement.
Biobased products are composed, in whole or significant part, from renewable plant or animal materials, and range from adhesives and construction materials to paints and fuel additives. There are a variety of reasons for producing and using green products, such as enhancing energy security by reducing dependence on fossil fuels (particularly imported oil) and providing a cleaner environment, among others.
Now appearing in the U.S. Congress Congressional Record, the recent addition designated the following items with federal procurement preference: disposable tableware, expanded polystyrene foam recycling products, heat transfer fluids, ink removers and cleaners, mulch and compost materials, multipurpose lubricants, topical pain relief products and turbine drip oils.
Overall, the designated products will improve demand for biobased products, spur development of the industrial base through value-added agricultural processing and manufacturing in rural communities, and enhance the nation’s energy security by substituting biobased products for products derived from imported oil and natural gas.