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Maryland Bans PFAS in Food Packaging – Hawaii and Colorado Advance Similar Bills

bag of microwave popcorn

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed HB0275 into law on April 21, 2022. The new law prohibits the use, sale, and manufacture of food packages to which perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are intentionally added, beginning on January 1, 2024. “Food package” is defined as packaging (a) designed and intended for direct food contact and (b) substantially composed of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers, including packaging components. The law also establishes a certificate of compliance requirement.

Hawaii’s legislature passed HB1644 on May 5, 2022. The bill would make it unlawful to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, distribute for sale, or distribute for use in Hawaii wraps and liners, plates, food boats, and pizza boxes substantially composed of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers to which perfluoroalkyl or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) have been intentionally added beginning on December 31, 2024. Hawaii Governor David Ige has until July 12 to sign or veto the bill, or the bill will become law without his signature. 

The Colorado legislature passed HB 22-1345 on May 11, 2022. The bill would prohibit the sale and distribution of food packaging substantially composed of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers to which PFAS has been intentionally added beginning January 1, 2024. It would also require cookware manufacturers to 1) indicate on product labels if food-contact surfaces contain PFAS and 2) include a statement on the product label of the cookware that directs consumers to a website with information about why PFAS chemicals were intentionally added to the product. In addition, effective January 1, 2024, manufactures will be prohibited from claiming that cookware is free of PFAS chemical if any individual PFAS chemical is intentionally added to the cookware. The Governor must sign or veto the bill within 30 days of transmittal or it becomes law without his signature.

If the Hawaii and Colorado bills become law, they will join eight other states – New York, Maine, the State of Washington, Minnesota, Vermont, California, Connecticut, and Maryland – in enacting bans of intentionally added PFAS in food packaging. The bans in New York and California will go into effect first on December 31, 2022 and January 1, 2023, respectively.