||Greening the Government Exploredat Bio-Based Products Seminar
By federal definition, bio-based describes a commercial or industrial
product, other than food or feed, that utilizes biological products,
or renewable domestic agricultural or forestry materials. For
example, biodegradable soybean starch is being explored as a petroleum-substitute
to manufacture bio-based plastic utensils.
To spread awareness of new technologies, Committee D20 on Plastics sponsored a Bio-Based Product Development Seminar
on July 24 in conjunction with their standards development meetings
in Colorado. Approximately 80 people attended presentations by
Ron Buckhalt, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Nancy Royal-Jones,
U.S. Defense Logistics Agency.
Buckhalt discussed an interagency working-group implementation
of Executive Order #13134, Developing and Promoting Bio-Based
Products and Bio-Energy, and described his activities with the
White House Task Force on greening the government.
Royal-Jones also described implementation of the order, as well
as the partnering of federal agencies and industry for its success,
and the stimulation of additional markets for bio-based products.
Executive Order #13134 has been put into Federal law by the passage
of H.R.2559, noted D20 committee chairman, Paul Sample, Ph.D.,
Samples, Inc., Wilmington, Del. Therefore, what was a presidential
position has now been supported by Congress. We will green the
government wherever and whenever possible. This is just the beginning.
Committee D20 continues to develop reliable ASTM reference standards
for bio-based product manufacturers and regulators, and acquisition
personnel responsible for ordering environmentally-preferable
products. ASTM D 6400, Specification for Compostable Plastics, is available for use
in a industry certification program to identify plastic products
that will biodegrade and compost satisfactorily in actively-managed
compost facilities. The specification was completed last year
by Subcommittee D20.96 on Degradable Products. Currently, they
are developing a provisional Standard Specification for Bio-Based
Cutlery that is intended to replace Federal Specification A-A-3109.
These voluntary-consensus standards support the inclusion of bio-based
products into the federal supply system. To learn more about this
process, go to www.buygreen.dlis.dla.mil.
For more information regarding D20s bio-based activities, contact
D20 chairman, Paul Sample, Ph.D., Samples, Inc., 308 Walden Rd., Wilmington, DE 19803-2424
(302/656-3212), or the D20.96 chairman, Ramani Narayan, Professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Michigan
State University, A2527 Engineering Building, East Lansing, MI
48824 (517/432-0775). //
Copyright 2000, ASTM