GLENWILLOW, Ohio — Three Ohio companies were recognized recently at a meeting unveiling the first 60 products consumers will see in stores throughout the country bearing the new USDA BioPreferred product label for certified biobased products.
Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan made the announcement during a biobased product meeting held at Hoover, Inc. in Glenwillow, Ohio.
The new BioPreferred label designates biobased products that are composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients — renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. This new label indicates that the product has been independently certified to meet USDA BioPreferred program standards for biobased content.
Companies recognized include: Nutek Green, a division of Hoover, Inc., (Glenwillow, Ohio); Seventh Generation (Burlington, Vermont); Betco Corp. (Toledo, Ohio); Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. (Elk Grove Village, Illinois); DuPont Corporation (Wilmington, Delaware); ElastiKote (Akron, Ohio); Green Earth Technologies (Celebration, Florida); National Industries for the Blind Agencies (Lighthouse for the Blind, St. Louis, Missouri and Travis Association for the Blind, Austin, Texas); NatureWorks LLC (Minnetonka, Minnesota); Rochester Midland Corporation (Rochester, New York); Bio-Lub Canada (Quebec, Canada).
Products unveiled include hand soaps and hand sanitizers, plant-based plastic food packaging used to package fresh food, an array of biobased cleaning products, engine oils and lubricants, as well as biobased fiber spun into carpet and clothes.
Biobased products help add value to commodities, create jobs in rural communities, increase U.S. energy independence by reducing the use of petroleum in manufactured products and may also reduce the introduction of fossil carbon into the atmosphere, thus mitigating potential climate change impacts.
The announcement follows the January 2011 launch of voluntary biobased product certification and labeling from USDA. One hundred companies have submitted applications for about 400 products for certification since the effort began two months ago.
Through implementation of the BioPreferred program, USDA has identified 5,100 biobased products for preferred purchasing by Federal agencies. The new label will make identification of these products easier for Federal buyers and will increase awareness of these high-value products for consumers. USDA estimates that there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the U.S.