There are thousands of EPPs available for purchase on statewide contracts, from re-refined motor oil to green cleaning products to alternative fuel vehicles. Explore options in the following document to assist Commonwealth agencies and political subdivisions in identifying and purchasing products made with recycled content and having other environmentally preferable attributes. The products and services listed are those that are available on Commonwealth Statewide and limited use contracts. In addition, detailed information on the following categories may be found in this guide.
Log in links for this page
- This page, EPP Program - Environmentally Preferable Products and Services on Statewide Contracts, is offered by
- Operational Services Division
EPP Program - Environmentally Preferable Products and Services on Statewide Contracts
Table of Contents
PFAS Free Purchasing
There is growing concern about the pervasive use of a class of highly persistent and toxic “forever chemicals” that are used to make products water-repellant, grease-resistant, and/or heat tolerant known as PFAS, which stands for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances. PFAS have been found in a wide array of consumer and institutional products, including non-stick cookware, stain-resistant carpet and furniture, waterproof clothing, compostable food service ware, firefighting foam, refrigerants, artificial turf, building materials, and more.
View our PFAS Free purchasing guide created by the Responsible Purchasing Network to make it easier for state agencies, local governments, and other users of Massachusetts’ contracts to spot products that are likely to contain PFAS and find safer replacements when purchasing products using Statewide Contracts.
A Slick New Guide to Avoiding PFAS (Forever Chemicals) in Products Using Massachusetts Statewide Contracts
Key Actions for PFAS Free Purchasing
Save Money with EPPs
The environmental and health benefits of “green” products are well known. What is less evident – but equally important – is that many environmentally preferable products (EPPs) save money, either right off the bat or over time. That’s because some EPPs reduce electricity or water bills, last longer, or have lower maintenance or disposal costs.
View our resource guide to learn about green purchasing strategies that may save your organization money while protecting human health and the environment, and listen to and view the slides from the OSD webinar “Saving Money with EPPs”.
Save Money by Buying Green Resource Guide
Save Money with Environmentally Preferable Products webinar slides
Save Money with Environmentally Preferable Products webinar recording
Commercial Battery Powered Landscape Equipment
Converting from gasoline and propane to battery-powered landscaping equipment offers an opportunity to reduce the onsite combustion of fossil fuels and associated emissions from landscaping and lawn maintenance, while providing additional benefits to staff, the local community, and surrounding environment.
OSD offers many types of commercial-grade, battery-powered landscaping equipment, including mowers, string trimmers, and leaf blowers. This equipment has proven track records, performing as well as traditional equipment and meeting the gardening and landscaping needs of many state and municipal facilities across the Commonwealth. The following statewide contracts offer purchase of equipment, services from landscapers using battery-powered equipment, and management of spent batteries.
- FAC116 - Lawns & Grounds, Equipment, Parts, and Services Statewide, Category 13 has Commercial Grade Battery Electric Lawn Equipment. Check with vendors on battery recycling/disposal options before purchasing.
- FAC103 - Landscaping Services, Snow Removal, Tree Care and Related Services have vendors who use battery electric equipment as part of their service. Confirm with vendors before securing service.
- FAC110 - Hazardous/Universal, Medical, Electronic Waste Disposal and Emergency Response has vendors available for battery recycling.
Some Benefits to Switching to Battery Electric Equipment
- Environmental benefits:
- Helps the Commonwealth meet its environmental goals in climate change, clean air, and toxics use reduction.
- Reduces carbon emissions, toxic exposure, air pollution, hazardous waste, and spills.
- Reduces noise pollution and nuisance complaints.
- Reduces wildlife and habitat exposure to toxic emissions, excessive noise, and ground-sourced particulates, and does not contribute to smog.
- Health benefits:
- Reduces worker exposures to toxic emissions, excessive noise, excessive vibrations, and ground-sourced particulates.
- Reduces public exposure to toxic emissions, excessive noise, and ground-sourced particulates.
- Cost benefits:
- Avoided fuel costs.
- Lower maintenance costs and reduction in maintenance chemicals
- The possibility for extended work hour options and holiday operation due to lower noise levels
- Advancing Commercial Electric Battery-Powered Lawn Equipment in Massachusetts, OSD Final Report to NASPO, December 2018
- Commonwealth Commercial Battery-Powered Electric Lawn and Garden Equipment Calculator
- Department of Energy Resources, Leading By Example Commercial Battery-Powered Landscape Equipment for MA State Facilities
- Department of Energy Resources, Leading By Example, Sustainable Landscaping at State Facilities
American Green Zone Alliance
OSD Buy The Way, “MassDOT’s Initiative to Reduce Carbon Emissions, Noise and Reap Long-term Savings”
UMass Lowell “Grounds Operations Manager Erik Shaw Finds Innovative Ways To Keep Campus Green”
Green Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies
Statewide Contract (SWC) FAC118 was issued to offer a broad selection of environmentally preferable cleaning products, intended to replace commonly used harsh chemical cleaners. The contract, which is a multi-state contract available to Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Rhode Island, includes environmentally preferable chemicals and janitorial paper goods, safer sanitizers and disinfectants, janitorial supplies (e.g., mops and brooms, sponges, etc.), certain personal protective equipment, hand soaps and sanitizers, trash and composting liners, entryway systems, powered janitorial equipment, and more.
Third-Party Certified: All of the green chemicals are required to be “Independently Third-Party Certified,” which means that the environmental claims, as well as the product’s performance, have been tested and certified by an established, legitimate, and nationally-recognized certification program. Contract users may be assured that the product will perform well.
Allowable Active Ingredients for Sanitizers and Disinfectants: All of the active ingredients for sanitizers and disinfectants have been approved by the Toxics Reduction Task Force, in addition to creating a list of prohibited active ingredients (e.g., chlorinated products such as bleach, and those containing Quaternary Ammonium Compounds).
Assistance: Vendors must be capable of assisting customers with the development and implementation of a green cleaning program based on the guidelines generated by cleaning industry and independent janitorial cleaning certification organizations. Vendors also must be prepared to provide guidance, training, and relevant materials that will enable customers to more easily make the transition to green cleaning products and practices and track their progress and success
Policies and Guidance
- FAC118 Contract User Guide: This guide provides a general summary of the contract, outlines pricing and purchasing options, includes a vendor list, and reviews the benefits and cost savings associated with the contract.
- Approved Green Products List for FAC118: This is an Approved List of Green Cleaning Products that includes the products offered on SWC FAC118:Green Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies. The purpose of this list is to assist users in finding and comparing green cleaning products, supplies, and equipment. The link will take you to the Master MBPO for FAC118 in COMMBUYS where all contract documents are located, and choose the file titled “FAC118 Approved Products List.”
- Attachment A: Mandatory Specifications and Desirable Criteria for FAC118: The FAC118 Strategic Sourcing Services Team (SSST) developed mandatory specifications and desirable criteria for all products offered on FAC118. For a product to be on the Approved Products List, it must meet the criteria listed in this document.
Case Studies and Fact Sheets
- Cleaning The Bathrooms: This fact sheet was created by the Toxics Reduction Task Force for the purpose of providing clear and simple guidance as well as additional resources on cleaning and disinfecting restroom facilities.
- Bradley Palmer State Park: This case study reviews the Bradley Palmer State Park success in using green cleaners.
- Cleaning for Healthy Schools: Infection Control Handbook (2010): This Handbook is designed to help develop and implement effective infection-control practices while minimizing the use of, and exposure to, toxic products. It is intended to be used by school personnel, including facility managers, head custodians, administrators, nurses, and purchasing agents, when customizing their school program. The handbook is a deliverable from a TURI Community Grant.
- Toxics Use Reduction Institute Green Cleaning Lab: The TURI Lab manages a diverse database of tested cleaning products and provides alternatives recommendations for safer cleaning.
- MA Department of Public Health: The Occupational Lung Disease Bulletin: Disinfecting Surfaces and Asthma reviews information about cleaning and disinfecting products, the differences between them, and the links to asthma.
- MA Asthma Action Partnership (MAAP): The Massachusetts Asthma Action Partnership (MAAP) is a program of Health Resources in Action (HRiA), whose mission is to reduce asthma health disparities and improve the quality of life for all people with asthma in the Commonwealth by coordinating statewide efforts.
- MA Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH): Through training, technical assistance and building community and labor alliances, MassCOSH mobilizes its members and develops leaders in the movement to end unsafe work conditions.
Hazardous and Medical Waste
Trucks and automobiles in the U.S. generate more than 600 million gallons of used crankcase oils and related lubricants, annually. In addition to motor oil and other fluids, vehicle maintenance activities also generate millions of used oil filters, oil- and solvent-saturated rags, and towels. In recent years, improper disposal of automotive oils and lubricants, filters and rags has caused significant environmental degradation. Deliberate spillage of oils on the ground and into surface waters, as well as disposal of oils and other automotive fluids to sewer systems have caused major environmental disruption. These automotive fluids are toxic to fish and other organisms and can cause costly disruption to wastewater treatment plants. Fluid-soaked rags and spent filters also can leach contaminants into the environment when improperly disposed.
Many automotive fluids can now easily be processed for reuse, conserving resources, saving energy, and reducing the potential for environmental degradation. Nevertheless, EPA reports that only a small fraction of the fluids generated actually are collected for processing and recycling. In the case of discharges to fresh water, the U.S. EPA reports that just one gallon of oil can contaminate one million gallons of receiving waters, making them undrinkable.
The availability of easily accessible collection services facilitates the efforts of government vehicle fleet managers, facility operators, and individuals to prevent the release of oils, lubricants, and related hazardous materials to the environment. Recycling oil filters or installing reusable filters rather than disposing of filters, can reduce the amount of discarded waste oil and the volume of solid waste generated. Reusing rags and laundering them also can reduce the generation of solid waste and the potential for petroleum-driven contaminants to leach into the environment.
Environmental and Public Health Impacts
The primary benefit of the Massachusetts hazardous material collection program is the provision for separation, collection, proper disposal and recycling of hazardous materials to keep them from being discharged to the environment.
Another benefit is the promotion of the recycling and reuse of these materials. The contract requires that the contractor provide for the ultimate disposition of wastes at approved Receiving Facilities through recycling, reclamation, treatment, fuel blending, incineration or land disposal in accordance with all applicable local, state and federal rules and regulations. The contractor is also encouraged to manage the waste materials according to the following waste management hierarchy: (1) Recycled; (2) Reclaimed; (3) Neutralized or treated; (4) Fuel blended; (5) Incinerated; and (6) Landfilled.
Additional Resources for Hazardous and Medical Waste
Integrated Pest Management
Pest management is a necessary procedure needed in order to protect crops and vegetation as well as the public health. It is estimated that since 1945 at least 500 million lives have been saved in the United States because of pest management. Some of the more popular diseases that can be contracted by insects and rodents include: malaria, bubonic plague, and typhus. In addition to saving lives, pest management helps protect crops and vegetation. According to the UN Food and Agricultural Organization about 55 percent of the world's potential human food supply is lost to pests every year.
Even though it is necessary to use pest management to control disease and crop and vegetation safety, the dangers of the conventional pesticides used by professionals and the general public has been of much concern since the 1950's. Not only are most of the conventional pesticides on the market toxic to people and their pets but they are also made from renewable resources that have a significant amount of bodied energy.
Because the many dangers and harmful effects on people's health and the environment associated with pest management and the pesticides that are used within the United States and around the world many governments and organizations are beginning to develop and use non-toxic pesticides, establish new laws and regulations, and implement integrated pest management strategies.
Environmental and Public Health Impacts
Integrated Pest Management or IPM is considered to be the pest control measure of choice for many homeowners, growers, and commercial applicators. IPM is described as being "an approach to pest management that blends all available management techniques-non chemical and chemical into one strategy." This approach usually consists of monitoring pest problems, the use of non chemical pest control, and resorting to conventional pesticides only when it is absolutely necessary and the pest damage exceeds an aesthetic or economic threshold.
In addition to IPM being the choice of many homeowners, growers, and commercial applicators; it is also the preferable choice for many school systems and school districts. It has been found that children have the tendency of being more sensitive to conventional pesticides than adults. Therefore, it is even more important for schools, especially those containing small children, to implement an IPM program. IPM programs in schools reduce sources of food, water, and shelter for pests, which in turn leads to a safer and healthier environment for the children.
Many city and state governments are also beginning to make IPM programs and strategies mandatory within their facilities and communities. In January of 2008 the state of Massachusetts worked on a new contract for pest control to be awarded within a couple months to eligible entities access to only qualified providers that utilize IPM. This is because the use of IPM is mandated by the Governor's Executive Order #403 in all state buildings and facilities.
IPM Laws and Regulations
The state of Massachusetts is one of many states that have strived to suppress conventional pesticides and the health and environmental dangers associated with them. As a result of this two of the most popular laws and regulations in regards to conventional pesticides and IPM are still in effect today: the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act and the Children Protection Act/Executive Order of Pest Management No 2003.
Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act
Under the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act Chapter 132B: Section 6 makes it illegal for anyone to distribute pesticide that is not registered, to alter or misbrand any pesticide, to distribute any pesticide that is open or unsealed, to distribute any pesticide container that is unsafe or damaged, to destroy or detach any pesticide label, and to purchase or use a pesticide that is not registered. (General Law of Massachusetts, ND, Ch 132B:6)
Children Protection Act 2000/Executive Order 2003
The Children Protection Act of 2000 and the Executive Order of 2003 are part of the Massachusetts Pesticide Control Act that makes it mandatory for parents, staff, and children of any school or daycare to receive notification whenever pesticide applications are being made on the property. (Mas.Gov, 2003, p. 1) This order was put into place because it was found that children are far more sensitive to pesticides and this is the state's way to ensure their health and safety.
Additional Resources for Integrated Pest Management
Motor Oil, Re-Refined
Massachusetts agencies have been purchasing re-refined motor oil from the state contract since the mid-1990s. Re-refined motor oil is used oil that has been refined to remove the physical and chemical contaminants acquired through use. By itself, or when blended with new lubricating oil or additives, re-refined oil meets applicable American Petroleum Institute (API) service classifications, and is equivalent to the performance standards of "virgin" oil.
Today, re-refined motor oil and other lubricants for use in automotive, heavy-duty diesel and other internal combustion engines, are subject to the same stringent refining, compounding and performance standards as virgin oil. The re-refining technologies now used by several major oil refineries require that used oil be vacuum distilled to remove contaminants such as dirt, water, fuel and used additives, and hydrotreated to remove the remaining chemicals and contaminants from the base oil to restore it to its original condition. Once that process is complete, the highest quality additives are blended into the base stock to fortify and bring the oil to the desired performance standards. These processes are similar to the processes applied to virgin crude oil.
Extensive laboratory testing and purchasing experiences of such volume users as the US Postal Services and the States of Maine, Vermont and New York, among others, and King County, Washington, show that the result is a high quality base stock that is virtually indistinguishable and equivalent in appearance and quality to the virgin counterparts. In addition, the API, which is the basis for most auto and equipment manufacturer warrantees, has certified that these lubricants pass the same cold-start, pumpability, rust-corrosion, engine wear and high temperature viscosity tests as virgin oils do, thus ensuring consistent performance standards for all engine oils. As a result, the major US automobile manufacturers as well as Mercedes Benz and others, now recognize that such re-refined lubricants meet both the industry standards and their individual specifications. In response, they have issued clearly written statements that these products will not void warrantees.
Massachusetts state agencies and departments are also purchasing non-petroleum, or vegetable (oil) based lubricants, also called bio-lubricants. Such bio-lubricants are emerging as a high-performance, environmentally friendly alternative to the more commonly purchased petroleum because they can perform as well or better than petroleum oils, are readily biodegradable, are low in toxicity, offer worker safety advantages and serve to reduce our dependence on foreign petroleum.
Environmental and Public Health Impacts
While the world relies on oil and other fuels for most of its energy and is likely to do so for years to come, emissions from their production and use have raised concerns. These emissions may be helping to warm our planet by enhancing the natural greenhouse effect of our atmosphere. The contribution of possible man-made warming is uncertain as are the extent and timing of potential future impacts. Nevertheless, the need to take action is clear.
Re-refining oil offers both economic and environmental advantages. Used oil can be re-refined and reused indefinitely, thus eliminating the need to purchase virgin oil. Because recycled oil used to manufacture re-refined oil is not discarded into the waste stream, the recycling and re-refining process serves to eliminate air pollution from oil incineration and potential water pollution caused by improper dumping. Moreover, purchasing re-refined oil reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
Refining used oil is an energy efficient and environmentally beneficial process. During the process, the contaminants within the used oil are removed. Lubricating additives that were depleted during use are added back into the oil.
Modern re-refining processes have evolved considerably from methods used even as recently as 20 years ago. Methods used back then could not always remove the impurities. This resulted in the misconception that all re-refined oils are inferior to virgin oils. The results of research studies conducted comparing re-refined and virgin oils have consistently indicated that re-refined oils performed as well or better than virgin oils. And the price for re-refined oil is very competitive with that for virgin oil.
Benefits of Purchasing Re-Refined Motor Oil
Unlike some products, oil is not "used up," nor does it wear out. It does gather impurities during its use in an engine. By removing these impurities, re-refining helps extend the life of the original oil many times over. In fact, re-refining takes only one-third the energy used in obtaining the virgin oil from the crude stock. Moreover, it takes just one gallon of used oil, compared with 42 gallons of crude oil, to produce the same 2.5 quarts of lubricating oil. As such, it is an excellent way to conserve virgin, nonrenewable petroleum resources without compromising quality or increasing spending. It also helps to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil. As a renewable resource, re-refined oil represents a more environmentally responsible choice.
Compared to crude oil refining to produce virgin lubricating oil, producing lubricating oil from used motor oil requires less energy, and conserves valuable crude oil, a non-renewable resource. Many state and local agencies, the Federal government, and private companies already use re-refined oil in their vehicle fleets.
- Re-refined motor oil conserves the crude oil supply by re-using the motor oil rather than having to extract additional crude oil from diminishing domestic supplies or importing additional crude oil from foreign countries. For every gallon of used oil recycled, 2.5 quarts of re-refined motor oil can be produced. Buying re-refined motor oil reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
- Conserving our non-renewable oil supplies is not the only benefit. By buying re-refined motor oil, less used motor oil will be used as fuel, resulting in cleaner air (currently, more than half of all used motor oil is recycled into fuel oil cutter stock, where it is blended with off-specification or heavy crude based materials and burned as fuel, resulting in air pollution from phosphates, sulfur, and heavy metals).
Additional Resources for Motor Oil, Re-Refined
Furniture, Environmentally Preferable
Many traditional office and school furniture products contain harmful chemicals in the adhesives, finishes, foams, fabrics and other materials that impacts indoor air quality. They may also use a large amount of virgin resources, from wood to plastics. As the industry has matured, it is now easier to ask for and find greener alternatives that are comparable on performance, style, and price. Many manufacturers of commercial and institutional furniture are actively competing on environmental and health attributes for their products.
The Operational Services Division’s Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement (EPP) Program has worked with existing vendors to identify environmentally preferable “lines” of furniture on Statewide Contract OFF38: Office, School and Library Furniture, Accessories & Installation that have reduced indoor air quality emissions and toxicity:
- Finding EPP Furniture on Statewide Contract OFF38: Office, School and Library Furniture, Accessories & Services:this is a two page summary description of the OFF38 EPP Furniture Table.
- Guidance for Environmental Preferable Furniture: Review of Chemicals of Concern and Certifications & Standards, August 2016: includes a summary of chemicals of concern typically used in the furniture industry, and a list of some of the certifications and standards that have been used to measure environmental performance of furniture.
- OFF38 EPP Furniture Table, 7/1/2016: searchable list of furniture lines from existing OFF38 Vendor offerings which notes whether the products meet environmentally preferable criteria, including those for indoor air quality. All information in the table was submitted by the vendors and has not been verified by the Commonwealth of MA. Buyers should confirm with the vendor all environmental specifications prior to purchase and should discuss how the vendor will provide evidence of conformance. This table is meant solely as a guide to help buyers identify environmentally preferable options and is current as of 7/1/2016.
- Contract User Guide for OFF38: Office, School and Library Furniture, Accessories & Installation includes summary of all components of the statewide contract.
Additional Resources for Furniture, Environmentally Preferable
Remanufactured Toner Cartridges
Executive Order 515 requires the purchase of remanufactured and other environmentally preferable products (EPPs) wherever they are available. The Joint Enterprise Printer Cartridge Acquisition Policy, issued by the Operational Services Division and the Information Technology Division on October 27, 2012, requires all Executive Department Agencies to purchase remanufactured laser print toner cartridges wherever they are available, and makes the same requirement for Non-Executive Department Agencies using Commonwealth Information Technology Capital Funds.
The Commonwealth’s goal is to ensure that a minimum of 80% of all laser printer toner cartridge purchases by Executive Departments are remanufactured. In addition, all other Commonwealth entities are encouraged to adopt, at a minimum, policies and requirements to support this policy.
There are multiple cartridge manufacturers making a wide range high quality, third-party certified products for most equipment models. Remanufactured cartridges must be guaranteed to meet Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) standards, and be certified to meet all test methods developed and used by the printer cartridge industry. All vendors offer cartridge recycling at no cost to customers and some may offer rebates on the cartridges.
Policies and Guidance
- ITC66 Contract User Guide: This guide provides a general summary of the contract, outlines pricing and purchase options, includes a vendor list, and reviews benefits and cost savings associated with the contract.
- ITD Enterprise Printer Cartridge Acquisition Policy (10/27/2012): This Policy establishes requirements for the purchase and recycling of laser printer toner cartridges aimed at increasing the purchase and use of remanufactured laser printer cartridges throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Department agencies by 40% during Fiscal Year 2013 (FY13) and by a minimum of 10% annually thereafter.
- ITC66 Remanufactured Toner Cartridge FAQs : This Frequently Asked Questions reviews some of the most asked questions regarding the ITD Enterprise Printer Cartridge Acquisition Policy.
- Remanufactured Printer Cartridge Resolution Guidance : Developed jointly by ITD and OSD, this guidance reviews steps agencies can take to resolve issues when using remanufactured toner cartridges.
- Case Studies: These case studies highlight Agency success in transitioning to remanufactured cartridges.
Alternative Fuel Vehicles
The demand for alternative fuel vehicles, particularly those that run on electricity, continues to grow across the Commonwealth as agencies and communities look to reduce their carbon footprint. OSD provides numerous Statewide Contract options for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), as well as products/services to build the infrastructure needed to power them. These include:
- VEH98 - Purchase of Vehicles: This contract features a range of electric vehicles (EVs), including battery electric (BEVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and those that have options to run on compressed natural gas, biodiesel, and flex fuel, which includes a portion of ethanol.
- VEH102 - Advanced Vehicle Technology Equipment, Supplies and Services provides options for EV supply equipment, such as charging stations, idle reduction technologies, and after-market conversion technologies. See the VEH102 Technologies to Green Your Fleet flyer for a broad range of information, including funding sources.
Why Switch to Electric Vehicles?
- Save on fuel costs;
- Reduce maintenance/operational costs:
- Battery, motor, and electronics require little maintenance when compared to internal combustion engine vehicles;
- Fewer fluids required;
- Regenerative braking reduces wear and tear;
- No tailpipe emissions or particulates – cleaner fuel source versus gasoline and diesel;
- EVs with up to 300-mile ranges on VEH98;
- There are hundreds of publicly available charging stations in MA, and the number is growing!
Commonwealth Fuel Efficiency Standards
Biodiesel for Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources Electric Vehicle Charging Information
Clean Cities Coalition Network-Massachusetts
Alternative Fuels and Electric Vehicles 101
Department of Energy Resources, Leading By Example Clean Transportation Initiative
State and Federal Electric Vehicle Funding Programs
US Department of Energy - Massachusetts EV Incentives
Utility Make Ready Programs (for Charging Stations)
MassEvolves: Zero Emission Vehicles Resource
- 2021 Electric Vehicle Purchase Challenge - spotlights new EV acquisitions for fleets, offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate leadership, and helps entities gain additional recognition for on-the-ground efforts to reduce environmental impacts.
Additional Resources for Alternative Fuel Vehicles
Recycle and Buy Recycled – Close the Loop!
As published in the Massachusetts Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) Procurement Program Annual Report, Commonwealth buyers diverted an estimated 13,049 tons of waste from disposal to recycling in FY21 using resources on Statewide Contract (SWC).
Our contracts enable buyers to recycle a vast number of items and offer tools to develop your own recycling program, effectively helping to minimize waste and work towards a circular economy. SWC vendors are available to assess organizations’ needs, make cost-effective recommendations, and provide employee assistance. Our recycling guidance document reviews contracts to keep top of mind and it includes a list of recyclable items, such as electronic waste, paints, scrap metal, mattresses, and large appliances, along with the supporting SWC.
In addition, the Commonwealth closes the recycling loop by including many products on SWC’s that are made with post-consumer recycled content, often referred to as PCRC. This term means that a product has been made using reprocessed materials that have been recycled from a consumer recycling program (i.e., aluminum, cardboard boxes, paper, and plastic bottles, etc.) and these products are considered environmentally preferable. PCRC specifications in SWCs may be found in the EPP Program’s Minimum Environmentally Preferable Products and Services Specifications Guide.
Other benefits of recycling and purchasing products with PCRC:
- Saves energy by reducing the need to extract and process new materials, which in turn reduces greenhouse gas emissions;
- Saves disposal capacity;
- Conserves natural resources (timber, water, minerals), requires less energy, and prevents pollution from manufacturing products from recycled materials. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that using recycled materials reduces energy and emissions, even when accounting for the transportation of materials;
- Increases economic security by tapping a domestic source of materials; and
- Recycling creates jobs!
Support Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic Purchasing
OSD signed on as an advocate for the Government Recycling Demand Champion Program run by the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) in partnership with the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR). The initiative encourages state, local, and regional government entities to support recycling efforts by purchasing products that contain PCR plastic. The Program offers free technical assistance and training, recognition, and tools.
Find products on SWC with PCRC Plastic
OSD offers many paper products with PCRC. Since 1994, Massachusetts has required most copy paper and envelopes to have a minimum PCRC of 30% (unless a particular paper type is only available with a lesser percentage), including options for 50% and 100% PCRC, as well as various tree-free options. In addition, janitorial paper products, foodservice papers, and other office products are required to include PCRC.
The quality, performance, and availability of the products are equal to their virgin counterparts. Recycled content paper is competitive to virgin paper and may be less expensive when considering long-term impacts and life-cycle cost of the product.
- Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council: SPLC Model Sustainable Purchasing Policy. Request the SPLC Model Purchasing Policy Guidance here;
- NASPO Green Purchasing Guide;
- USDN and RPN - The Buck Starts Here: Sustainable Procurement Playbook for Cities. View their Sample policy;
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Purchasing Program and their guidelines on how to identify recycled products;
- EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines provides Federal recycled content recommendations for numerous products;
- Responsible Purchasing Network Purchasing Guides;
- Environmental Paper Network, includes the Paper Calculator and the EcoPaper Database; and
- Conservatree, includes the Environmental Paper Listing and report Paperwork: Comparing Recycled to Virgin Paper.
Environmentally Preferable Products Procurement Program Case Study about Performance Shell Jackets & Fleece Made From 100% Recycled Plastic.