Nov 13, 2020
HC’s fiber containers for horticulture USDA-certified as biobased
The HC Companies –a leading manufacturer of horticulture containers – recently obtained Certified Biobased Product Labeling Program for both their EcoGrow and FiberGrow lines of sustainable growing containers, as well as their fiber protective packaging solutions, according to a news release from the company.
“For over 30 years, HC’s been providing fiber-based solutions to the North American market – helping organizations and communities positively impact their environmental footprint,” Eric Gunderson, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The HC Companies, said in the release. “We are honored that our fiber-based solutions meet the high standards maintained by the USDA. With this esteemed certification, growers, garden centers, big-box stores and consumers – through quantifiable data – know they are making responsible choices.”
The USDA Certified Biobased Product Label displays a product’s biobased content, which is derived from plants and other renewable agricultural, marine and forestry materials, according to the news release. Biobased products generally provide an alternative to conventional petroleum-derived products and include a variety of offerings such as lubricants, detergents, inks, fertilizers, containers and bioplastics.
“We applaud The HC Companies for earning the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label,” Vernell Thompson, USDA BioPreferred Program, said in the release. “Products from The HC Companies are contributing to an ever-expanding marketplace that adds value to renewable agriculture commodities, creates jobs in rural communities and decreases our reliance on petroleum.”
According to a report released by the USDA in July 2019, biobased products contributed $459 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016 (a 17% increase from 2014) and support – both directly and indirectly – 4.6 million jobs. The report’s research team estimates the reduction of fossil fuels and associated GHG emissions from biobased products equivalent to approximately 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) in 2016.
The BioPreferred Program is a USDA-led initiative that assists the development and expansion of markets for biobased products. The BioPreferred Program is transforming the marketplace for biobased products through two initiatives: mandatory purchasing requirements for Federal Agencies and Federal contractors and voluntary product certification and labeling. Biobased products span a diverse range of applications, such as lubricants, cleaning products, chemicals and bioplastics.
The USDA Certified Biobased Product label communicates a product’s biobased content. Expressed as a percentage, biobased content is the ratio of non-fossil organic carbon (new organic carbon) to total organic carbon in a product. New organic carbon is derived from recently-created materials. The total organic carbon in a product consists of new organic carbon and old organic carbon that originates from fossil carbon materials, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas. More than 3,500 products have earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product label.