Green cleaner and paper towel.

Approved EO 4 Specification: Janitorial Paper Products

Janitorial Paper Products
SHARE
Covered Products

 This specification covers janitorial paper products, including toilet paper, paper towels, toilet seat covers, facial tissues, table napkins, and paper wipers, as well as related dispensing equipment. See Appendix A for detailed sub-category descriptions.

 

Background

Executive Order 4 (EO 4), first signed in 2008 and continued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011, established the following procurement requirements for janitorial paper products:

“Commencing no later than July 1, 2008, all … janitorial paper … purchased by each State agency or authority shall be composed of 100% post-consumer recycled content to the maximum extent practicable, and … janitorial paper shall be process chlorine-free to the extent practicable, unless such products do not meet required form, function or utility, or the cost of the product is not competitive.”

This specification needs to be updated because janitorial paper products typically do not contain 100% post-consumer recycled content. Many “green” janitorial paper products—also called sanitary papers—contain 100% total recycled content with lower percentages of post-consumer recycled content that are often equal to – or 5-10% higher than – the United State Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for specified categories of janitorial paper products. A table below, under the heading “Specifications,” provides the minimum percentage of post-consumer recycled content required for each category of janitorial paper products under EPA’s guidelines.

In addition, the original language in EO 4 does not contain restrictions on chemicals of concern other than chlorine. This specification establishes restrictions on additional chemicals of concern and requires that products be certified by one of the independent, third-party standard setting and certification programs Green Seal or UL EcoLogo.

Third-party certification provides assurance that products meet the requirements established in that program’s standards, which are multi-attribute, include performance requirements, and impose restrictions on the presence of certain toxic substances, such as formaldehyde and heavy metals. The use of third-party certification can also simplify the identification, evaluation, and solicitation process for green products.

Unfortunately, in the case of janitorial paper products, neither the Green Seal nor the UL EcoLogo standard require a minimum percentage of post-consumer recycled content or total recycled content. In addition, the two standards differ with respect to their restrictions on bleaching chemicals and other chemicals of concern. This means that purchasers will need to verify whether a product meets certain of the requirements set forth in this specification directly with the vendor, as described below.

Over 40 brands of janitorial paper products are currently certified by Green Seal. Many of these products contain 100% recycled/recovered material, including a high enough percentage of post-consumer recycled content to meet the US EPA’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. A list of Green Seal- certified products can be accessed here.

There are currently 18 brands of janitorial paper products certified under the UL EcoLogo standard. A list of UL EcoLogo-certified products can be accessed here.     

 

Definitions

Alkylphenol Ethoxylates or Other Alkylphenol Derivatives (APEOs) are chemical compounds that consist of one or more alkyl chains bound to a phenol, which consists of an aromatic ring and a hydroxyl group. APEOs are a type of endocrine disruptor that are suspected of being linked to interfering with hormonal systems of various wildlife.

Post-Consumer Recycled Content (PCRC) means only those products, packages or materials generated by a business or consumer which have served their intended end use as consumer items, and which have been separated or diverted from the waste stream for the purposes of collection and recycling as a secondary material feedstock, but shall not include waste material generated by the manufacturer or converter during or after the completion of a manufacturing or converting process.

Pre-Consumer Recycled Content means materials, by-products or fibrous waste generated after the completion of a papermaking or manufacturing process, which have not reached a business or consumer for an intended end use and have been recovered or diverted from the waste stream, including but not limited to industrial scrap material; overstock, obsolete inventories, or rejected unused stock from distributors, wholesalers, and other companies; envelope cuttings; bindery trimmings; printing waste; cutting and other converting waste; butt rolls and mill wrappers. Such term does not include materials, by-products, or fibrous waste generated from, and commonly reused within, an original manufacturing process, such as fibers recovered from wastewater or trimmings of paper machine rolls (mill broke) regardless of whether such materials are used by the same or another company; fibrous by-products of harvesting, extractive, or woodcutting processes; forest residues such as bark; or on-site converting waste. On-site converting waste can be claimed as recycled material if the manufacturer or advertiser can substantiate that the material would otherwise have entered the solid waste stream.

Total Recycled Content (TRC) means total combined post-consumer and pre-consumer recycled content.

 

Standard Setting and Certification Programs

Green Seal is a non-profit, independent, third-party standard setting and certification organization that follows the Guiding Principles and Procedures for Type I Environmental Labeling adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14024). Green Seal has developed environmental standards and certifies products for more than 40 major product categories.

UL EcoLogo is an independent, third-party standard setting and certification program that follows the Guiding Principles and Procedures for North American Type I Environmental Labeling adopted by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14024). Since its establishment in 1988, EcoLogo has been recognized or referenced in hundreds of specifications and standards. It has standards for cleaning products, sanitary paper, mobile devices, adhesives and more. UL EcoLogo certified products are listed on the UL SPOT database at: www.ul.com/SPOT .

US Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Procurement Guideline is part of EPA's Sustainable Materials Management initiative that promotes a system approach to reducing materials use and the associated environmental impacts over the materials’ entire life cycle. For a list of certified products and how to add your company to the CPG directory, visit https://www.epa.gov/smm/comprehensive-procurement-guideline-cpg-program.

 

Specifications

Affected entities shall, to the maximum extent practicable, purchase janitorial paper products which meet the following specifications. These specifications harmonize with specifications included in the multi-state purchasing contract for Environmentally Preferable Cleaning Products, Programs, Equipment and Supplies (also known as FAC85).

 

1.  Contain 100% total recycled content (TRC).

2.  Meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPGs) for post-consumer recycled content (PCRC). See table, below, for minimum percentage of PCRC required for each category of janitorial paper products.

Product Type

Minimum Post-Consumer Recycled Content (%)

Bathroom Tissue (Toilet Paper)

20

Paper Towels

40

Paper Napkins

30

Facial Tissue

10

General Purpose Industrial Wipers

40

 

3.  Products shall be Processed Chlorine Free. Additionally, chlorine or chlorine derivatives (e.g., elemental chlorine, chlorine dioxide, sodium hypochlorite, sodium chlorite) shall not be used during the following steps of the papermaking process: re-pulping, screening, deinking, and washing.

​​​​​​​4.  Contain no intentionally added antimicrobial ingredients, fragrances, colorants (pigments or dyes), or alkylphenol ethoxylates or other alkylphenol derivatives (APEOs).

5.  Offered by the vendor in an appropriate dispenser free of charge.

6.  Currently certified by either Green Seal or UL EcoLogo under the following standards:

  • Green Seal under GS-01 (2013), Sanitary Paper Products.
    • Products certified to this standard are not required to have 100% total recycled content or meet EPA’s CPGs, so additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet those requirements.
    • Products certified to this standard are not required to be free of antimicrobial ingredients, alkylphenol ethoxylates or other alkylphenol derivatives (APEOs), so additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet those requirements.
    • All products certified to this standard are required to be process chlorine free, so no additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet that requirement.
    • All products certified to this standard are required to be free of fragrances and colorants (pigments or dyes), so no additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet those requirements.
  • UL EcoLogo under 175, Standard for Sustainability for Sanitary Paper Products.
    • Products certified to this standard are not required to have 100% total recycled content or meet EPA’s CPGs, so additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet those requirements.
    • Products certified to this standard are not required to be process chlorine free, so additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet that requirement.
    • All products certified to this standard are not required to be free of antimicrobial ingredients, fragrances and colorants (pigments or dyes), so additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet those requirements.
    • Products certified to this standard are required to be free of alkylphenol ethoxylates or other alkylphenol derivatives (APEOs), so no additional screening is needed to ensure that products meet that requirement.

 

Verification of Third-Party Certification and Compliance with this Specification

Affected entities should ask bidders or vendors to declare in the bid sheet or other appropriate documentation which certification each product in its offering has earned: Green Seal, UL EcoLogo or both

In addition, if a product offered is Green Seal-certified, the bidder or vendor should be asked to declare in the bid sheet or other appropriate documentation that the product contains 100% total recycled content (TRC), meets or exceeds the minimum percentage of post-consumer recycled content (PCRC) in the applicable EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, and does not contain antimicrobial materials, or alkylphenol ethoxylates or their derivatives (APEOs).

  • For products with a UL EcoLogo claim, the product must be on the current list of UL EcoLogo-certified products on the UL SPOT Database, which can be accessed at www.ul.com/SPOT .

In addition, if the product offered is UL EcoLogo-certified, the bidder or vendor should be asked to declare in the bid sheet or other appropriate documentation that the product contains 100% total recycled content (TRC), meets or exceeds the minimum percentage of post-consumer recycled content (PCRC) in the applicable US EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guideline, is process chlorine-free (PCF), and does not contain antimicrobial ingredients, fragrances, or colorants (pigments or dyes).

 

Packaging

Packaging shall comply with Environmental Conservation Law section 37-0205. Packaging shall not contain inks, dyes, pigments, adhesives, stabilizers, or any other additives to which any lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium is intentionally added or contain incidental concentrations of lead, cadmium, mercury, or hexavalent chromium which together are greater than 100 parts per million by weight (0.01%).

New York State encourages affected entities to adopt the following:

  • The use of bulk packaging.
  • The use of reusable packaging.
  • The use of innovative packaging that reduces the weight of packaging, reduces packaging waste, or utilizes packaging that is a component of the product.
  • That all packaging remains the property of the supplier and not become the property of the affected state entity under any circumstance or condition. The vendor shall certify that the packaging material will be reused, recycled, or composted, and managed in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws.
  • Packaging that maximizes recycled content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines.
  • Packaging that is recyclable or compostable.

 

APPENDIX A

Details of Janitorial Paper Product Categories

A. Toilet Paper

  1. Individual Rolls includes all individual rolls of toilet paper, including 1-ply and 2-ply, standard rolls, embossed individual rolls, premium embossed individual rolls, high-capacity toilet paper rolls, controlled-use single rolls, and embossed and premium embossed controlled-use rolls.
  2. Toilet Paper, Coreless and Small Core Rolls includes all individual coreless and small core rolls of toilet paper, including 1-ply and 2-ply, coreless rolls, high-capacity coreless rolls and small core rolls.
  3. Toilet Paper, Jumbo Rolls includes all 1-ply and 2-ply, Jumbo Senior rolls, Jumbo Junior rolls, and Super rolls.

B. Paper Towels

  1. Roll and Centerpull Towels includes all white and brown, 1-ply and 2-ply, roll towels, hardwound roll towels, universal hardwound roll towels, high-capacity roll towels, center-pull towels, premium high-capacity centerpull towels, perforated roll towels, and kitchen paper roll towels.
  2. Folded Towels includes all white and brown, 1-ply and 2-ply, embossed and non-embossed C-fold, single-fold, multi-fold, and Opti-fold.

C. Toilet Seat Covers

Includes all toilet seat covers, including, for example, half-fold toilet seat covers, and quarter-fold toilet seat covers.

D. Facial Tissue

Includes all facial tissue products.

E. Paper Napkins

Includes all paper napkins and tall fold dispenser napkins. 

F. Paper Wipers

Includes all paper wipers, paper wiping cloths, and extra-tough paper wipers (This category does NOT include wipes that contain cleaning chemicals, disinfectants or sanitizers.)