The RPS Solution for Government Purchasing of Green Cleaning Products

In 2004, the US EPA developed a number of purchasing guides to help government purchasers consider environmental factors in their purchasing decisions. One of these purchasing guides that the EPA developed was to help federal purchasers “Green” their cleaning products. This particular purchasing guide is intended to help reduce human health and environmental concern with regards to cleaning products that are currently in use. Many of the recommendations in the guide are centered around reducing the quantity and hazards of materials currently being used. The purpose of the guide is to provide practical information that will assist federal purchasers in making purchasing decisions.

The EPA came up with following list of key attributes when selecting environmentally preferable cleaning products and RPS’s solution to each is in green.

Product Content and Use

Minimal presence of or exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, such as:

Corrosive or strongly irritating substances.

Substances classified as known or likely human carcinogens or reproductive toxicants by authorities such as the National Toxicology Program, the U.S. EPA, the International Agency for Research on Cancer or the State of California.

Ozone-depleting compounds as listed in Clean Air Act regulations.

Regulated hazardous materials (e.g. products classified as hazardous waste; products that trigger OSHA hazard communication requirements).

RPS SOLUTION – Our products do not contain any of the above mentioned harmful chemicals. In addition, RPS products are recognized by the EPA’s Design for the Environment program (DfE) for safer chemistry.

Use of renewable resources, such as biobased solvents from citrus, seed, vegetable, and pine oils.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS products are sustainable and are also manufactured in a zero discharge facility. Some raw materials are biobased.

Low VOC content.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS products contain Zero VOC’s.

Biodegradable by standard methods and definitions, e.g. ready biodegradability as defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “Ready biodegradability” is a definition meant to ensure that a material degrades relatively quickly in an aquatic aerobic environment.

RPS SOLUTION – Our products contain inorganic materials that are not harmful to the environment, but may not be technically biodegradable. However, the parts of the formula that contain organic materials are biodegradable. RPS products meet the definition of readily biodegradable (OECD 301).

Low toxicity in aquatic species such as fish or aquatic invertebrates, e.g. LC50 or EC50 > 10 mg/L (chronic) reported on MSDS or other product literature.

RPS SOLUTION – Our Hydrocarbon Stabilizer (concentrate) was tested on two salt water species (Mysid shrimp and Menidia) and showed LC 50s of 2,028 ppm and 2,014 ppm. This compares to 32 ppm, 54 ppm, and 77 ppm for Corexit 9,500, PES 51 (Citrus Based), and Simple Green, respectively (in the Mysid test). The Menidia test for the same products resulted in 25 ppm, 137 ppm, and 28 ppm. In addition, RPS product had 100% survival at about 1000 ppm.

Our Hydrocarbon Stabilizer (ready-to-use) was also tested on two freshwater species (Daphnia pulex and Fathead minnows) and showed LC 50s of 420,000 and 520,000 ppm. RPS Hydrocarbon Stabilizer had 100% survival of the fresh water species at 125,000 ppm (12.5%).

Low flammability, e.g. flash point > 200 degrees F.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS products are water-based products, so flashpoint is not applicable (Flashpoint > 200 degrees F).

Designed for use in cold water in order to conserve energy.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS products are designed to be used in cold water.

Limit use of disinfectants to areas where people are likely to come into contact with contaminated surfaces (e.g., bathroom fixtures, doorknobs, other high-touch surfaces). Many general purpose cleaning tasks do not typically require the use of disinfectants (e.g., walls, floors, other surfaces with minimal hand contact).

RPS SOLUTION – Our cleaning products do not require the use of disinfectants. Based on ASTM test methods and testing done by independent laboratories, RPS cleaning products clean more effectively than the competition. The products are safer to use near children, plants and animals.

Conduct training on proper use of products.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS has established a training program for its employees and customers. In addition, RPS provides ongoing support for its customers.

Product Packaging and Shipping

Concentrated formulas with appropriate handling safeguards.

RPS SOLUTION – All RPS products are transported in drums and/or bottles of concentrate and are checked by quality controllers. In addition, RPS products can be washed down the drain as they meet sanitary sewer standards. Applicable RPS products are designed for use in cleaning food preparation areas and carry the NSF logo (requiring only a potable water rinse prior to food preparation on the cleaned surface).

Efficient packaging (e.g., light weight, reduced volume).

RPS SOLUTION – RPS packaging materials are recyclable plastic. There is minimal use of metals except on the intermediate bulk containers. The IBC’s are all 100% recycled or sometimes re-used “as is”. RPS ships concentrated product (when applicable) so as to reduce volume.

Recyclable packaging.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS packaging is made from 100% recyclable plastics.

Recycled-content packaging.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS uses recycled content in its packaging and RPS’ bulk packaging is also reused.

Refillable bottles.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS offers refillable options for all of its products.

Pump sprays rather than aerosols.

RPS SOLUTION – All of RPS quart sized bottles have pump sprays. RPS does not use aerosol for any of its products.

Packaging and dilution systems designed to reduce exposure to the product.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS dilution and packaging systems provide a consistent final product, allowing tight product specifications and reduced exposure to the product.

Products shipped in bulk.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS concentrate is shipped in drums, totes, or tank trucks directly to customers.

Clear labeling and information on use and disposal.

RPS SOLUTION – RPS labels are in accordance with all applicable laws and statutes. In addition, RPS labels include all of the necessary guidelines for safe use, dilution and disposal.

Corporate Environmental Performance

Does the company have a formal environmental management system? (e.g., steps to reduce waste and emissions, efficient use of energy and materials, use of alternative fuels or renewable energy)

RPS SOLUTION – RPS has an extensive environmental management system.  Our products are blended in a zero-discharge facility.  RPS is committed to reducing its carbon footprint.  We maintain a delicate balance between human needs and preserving our ecosystems. This includes everything from recycling to doing business with vendors and business partners who adopt similar policies.

Does the company have International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001 certification?

RPS SOLUTION – RPS does not have the ISO certification.  However, RPS has a written quality system in place. The RPS chemical production facility operates with ZERO DISCHARGE of water and solids to rivers, treatment facilities or landfills. There are no hazardous discharges to the air from RPS products (zero VOC’s).

Does the company have a formal partnership with the Design for the Environment Formulator Initiative?

RPS SOLUTION – RPS has numerous products recognized by DfE in the industrial/institutional cleaning products, consumer cleaning products, aviation products, pet, equine, and odor removal categories.

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