Clinton to issue new green government order

klunney@govexec.com

President Clinton is planning to issue an executive order later this year instructing agencies to beef up their efforts in environmental management. Fran McPoland, a Clinton administration official who oversees efforts to make federal agencies more environmentally conscious, announced the proposed order, tentatively titled "Greening the Government through Leadership in Environmental Management," at a conference in Arlington, Va., on Monday.

Details of the order have not yet been released, and McPoland would say only that it would be issued "sometime this year."

The only specific aspect of the order McPoland discussed at the 2000 Recycling Symposium, which was sponsored by the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry, was a call for agencies to use environmentally benign pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) in paper products.

In a press release, the U.S. Postal Service proclaimed the adhesive breakthrough a "new era in recycling."

Pressure sensitive adhesives are found on stamps, mailing envelopes, and many other paper products. PSAs tend to form contaminants called "stickies," which adhere to wires and other equipment during the recycling process, literally "gumming" up the works.

But environmentally friendly PSAs do not fragment into such tiny particles, and make any sticky removal much easier-saving recycling mills time and money while preserving precious resources.

Since 1995, USPS, in cooperation with the Agriculture Department, and many private sector groups, has taken the lead on developing a type of PSA that could be easily broken down during recycling. Cathy Caggiano, the Postal Service's manager of stamp acquisition and distribution, said USPS would like to see full-scale implementation of enviro-friendly stamps by 2002.

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