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New Jersey and Pennsylvania Bills Would Ban Added PFAS in Food Packaging

bag of microwave popcorn

U.S. states continue to introduce legislation that would ban food packaging with intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Two state legislatures that recently introduced bills impacting food packaging containing PFAS are New Jersey and Pennsylvania. (For more information on laws in other states on this topic, see the article, Navigating U.S. Federal and State Regulations of PFAS in Applications Involving Food.)

In New Jersey, the “Protecting Against Forever Chemicals Act,” S3177 / A4758, was introduced in the Senate on October 3, 2022, and in the Assembly on October 11, 2022. The Act would prohibit the sale of certain products—including food packaging—containing intentionally added PFAS two years after the Act’s effective date. The Act would also require written notification of products for sale in Maine that contain intentionally added PFAS one year after the Act’s effective date. Finally, the legislation also includes a labeling requirement for PFAS in cookware two years after the Act’s effective date. Civil administrative penalties between $1,000 and $20,000 could be imposed for each violation. 

S3177 and A4758 are currently being considered by the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee and the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, respectively.

A bill that would ban the manufacture, distribution, or sale of food packaging containing PFAS in any amount, SB1351, was introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate on October 3, 2022. The ban would come into effect on January 1, 2024. The legislation would also require a certificate of compliance and impose a penalty of up to $5,000 for the first offense. The bill was referred to the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee the same day that it was introduced.