Oregon Bill Banning PFAS in Food Containers Becomes Law
On May 8, 2023, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek signed SB 543 into law. Effective January 1, 2025, the new law prohibits the sale or distribution of foodware containers with intentionally added per- or polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), as well as the use by food vendors of polystyrene foam containers for prepared food.
The Oregon legislation defines PFAS broadly as a class of organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom. “Foodware container” is defined to include bowls, plates, cups, lids, and clamshells – in addition to “other containers or any other items” – used for serving or containing “prepared food,” including takeout food and leftovers from meals prepared by food vendors. “Prepared food” includes food made by a food vendor (defined to encompass various businesses, such as stores, shops, restaurants, delicatessen, and food trucks), as well as food that another person prepares and provides to the food vendor for sale to the public.
Polystyrene foam coolers and other such containers that are intended for more than one use, as well as polystyrene foam containers used for food ingredients and certain polystyrene foam shipping materials (other than packaging peanuts), are exempt from the law’s polystyrene foam container definition.