"Hand Sanitizers is a new product category for EcoLogo and this new standard will allow purchasers to select hand sanitizing products with reduced environmental and health impacts," says Scot Case, vice president of TerraChoice, manager of the EcoLogo Program.
When soap and water is unavailable or when additional precaution is necessary, instant hand antiseptic products help reduce the number of microorganisms on skin. The EcoLogo certification will help identify which of these types of products are greener than the rest.
An important aspect of the Hand Sanitizer certification is the requirement of bio-based content. EcoLogo certification of these products follows the minimum bio-based content standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture''s (USDA) BioPreferred program.
"BioPreferred is proud to support the well-respected EcoLogo on the announcement and promotion of their new environmental standard for hand sanitizers," says Kate Lewis, BioPreferred''s deputy program manager. "Adding bio-based content as an aspect — a requirement — to EcoLogo’s multi-attribute product standard validates bio-based product developments and sets the stage for more rigorous formulation of both bio-based and conventional hand sanitizers in the years to come."
Based on a review of currently available lifecycle information, the product category requirements will produce an environmental benefit through a substitution for less harmful raw materials, a reduction of environmental hazards and an increase of product packaging recyclability. As an example of the specific requirements for raw materials in this standard, at least 73 percent of the total weight of the carbon in the product formula must be bio-based.
This standard for EcoLogo certified instant hand antiseptic products is focused on the "away-from-home market," which encompasses healthcare and food service facilities, in addition to all other instances away from a personal residence.
BioPreferred is a USDA-led initiative to increase the purchase and use of bio-based products. Bio-based products are composed in whole or in significant part of biological ingredients – forestry materials or renewable agricultural materials (including plant, animal, or marine ingredients). USDA identifies more than 4,500 bio-based products in 42 product categories as “BioPreferred designated” products.