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Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP)

Environmentally preferred purchasing (EPP) means practicing pollution prevention when making new purchases. Several EPP strategies are:

  • buying only what you intend to use

  • buying in bulk

  • avoiding extensive packaging

  • buying locally

  • buying least hazardous products (cleaners, paints, etc.)

  • looking for products with high post consumer recycled content!

  • buying remanufactured and factory reconditioned

Why buy recycled?

  • Saves natural resources: products from recycled materials reduce the strain on extraction and refinement of virgin materials.
  • Saves energy: usually less energy is needed to manufacture recycled products; recycling aluminum into usable stock requires 95% less energy than making new aluminum from bauxite ore.
  • Saves clean air and water: less refinement of materials also means, in most cases, that less air and water pollution is created.
  • Saves landfill space: materials that go back into new products are diverted from landfills.
  • Saves money and creates jobs: recycling processes creates far more jobs than landfills or incinerators.


Federal  Links
EPA's Green Products and Labeling Page 
EPA List of re-refined Oil Vendors 
Federal Supply Service-Green Products  
EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines 
Federal Energy Star Programs 
Federal Gov. EPP Success Stories
EPA Update #7 EPP Newsletter 
Selling Environmental Products to the Government
Selling Energy-Efficient Products to the Government

State Based Links
EPP Guide - Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board of Minnesota Metropolitan Counties 
Environmentally Friendly Purchasing resources
Connecticut DEP How to Buy Recycled   
California Buy Recycled Program 
King County, WA, Purchasing Department

Other Organizations
Green Seal Product Certifications
EPPNET - Listserve sponsored by the Northeast Recycling Council
PPRC - Product Stewardship, Greening Supply Chains,

Product Specific Links
Information on recycled paper

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