GreenNY Specification: Sorbents

Covered Products

Sorbents that are used for absorbing liquids.


California Proposition 65 – known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires the State of California to publish a list of chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment follows a rigorous scientific and open, public process to evaluate available scientific information and lists chemicals based on recommendations from State committees of scientists and health professionals, presence on an authoritative list of chemicals of concern (e.g., IARC or NTP), identification by a state or federal agency as a carcinogen or teratogen, or satisfaction of certain criteria defined in the California Labor Code.
EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines – An EPA created set of guidelines for procuring products that contain recycled content to increase the size of the market for recycled materials.
UL ECOLOGO – is an independent, third-party standard setting and certification program that follows the Guiding Principles and Procedures for 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 more than 350 specifications and standards. It has a number of standards for general purpose cleaners.
USDA Biobased Product – is a third-party certification of the biobased content in a product and its packaging administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The content is quantified using ASTM International D6866.


All affected entities shall, to the maximum extent practicable, purchase sorbents that meet at least one, and as many as possible, of the following specifications:

  • Contain 90% total recycled content,
  • Certified as a Biobased Product by USDA,
  • UL ECOLOGO certified,
  • Does not carry a California Proposition 65 warning,
  • Does not contain diatomaceous earth, vermiculite, or crystalline silica, or
  • Does not contain fragrances.



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 in order of preference when purchasing items that come in packaging:

  • Items that do not need packaging, or the packaging is part of the product.
  • Items that come in reusable packaging.
  • Items that come in bulk packaging.
  • Items that come in innovative packaging that reduces the amount of packaging.
  • Items that come in packaging that remains the property of the supplier and does not become the property of the end user 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.
  • Items that come in packaging that maximizes recycled or biodegradable (compostable) content and/or meets or exceeds the minimum post-consumer content level for packaging in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines. Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists that accept the material.
  • Items that come in Packaging that is recyclable or biodegradable (compostable). Biodegradable products should only be used in areas where a composting facility exists and will accept the material.


Specification Passed: December 14, 2022