Today the USDA announced the approval of a voluntary biobased product labeling program. Starting this spring, consumers will be able to accurately identify whether products are made from renewable, biobased materials by simply searching for the USDA Certified Biobased Label.
CAW has been concerned with the recyclability and compostability of bioplastics, a problem that can be more easily resolved if bioplastic producers also choose to use the USDA biobased label on their products. As recently discussed in our last blog, Cereplast has put together its’ own plans to create a unique bioplastic label. It is currently uncertain whether the USDA biobased label will trump their efforts to have their own symbol gain universal popularity (their symbol won’t be revealed until April 21st).
The USDA not only supports the new label for the sake of consumer awareness, but also to promote US agriculture production and to decrease the US’s reliance on petroleum. However, the label does not take into consideration the amount of petroleum used in the manufacturing of the product, thus, thwarting the assumption that these biobased products are contributing to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.