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Efforts to increase plastic recycling and reuse are underway both by industry and regulators. Three plastics and material science companies announced last month the establishment of the Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund to invest in scalable recycling technologies, equipment upgrades and infrastructure solutions that advance the recovery and recycling of plastics in the U.S. and Canada. An initial investment of $25 million was made by Dow, LyondellBasell, and NOVA Chemicals.

Massachusetts and California have pending bills that would impact the use of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cookware.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently added four new substances to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications. The newly listed substances and the manufacturers are listed below.

Washington State has enacted a law that establishes minimum recycled content requirements for certain plastic products and prohibits the sale and distribution of certain expanded polystyrene products.  The law will also limit the distribution of single-use plastic products by food service establishments. In addition, the law, which becomes effective on July 17, 2021, establishes registration and reporting requirements for manufacturers of certain plastic products.

The California Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced on June 11, 2021, that it intends to list tetrahydrofuran, 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, methyl acrylate, and trimethylolpropane triacrylate (technical grade) as carcinogens under Proposition 65. Also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, Proposition 65 prohibits knowingly exposing any individual to a listed chemical without first providing a “clear and reasonable warning” to such individual. 

Virginia has enacted a ban on polystyrene food service containers, which will be implemented in two phases, and has committed to discontinuing most single-use plastics by state agencies, colleges, and universities.

The Washington Department of Ecology (DoE) released a draft document that outlines the definitions for the specific food packaging applications and alternatives it plans to use in the second Alternative Assessment (AA) for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging. By way of background, the state’s Toxics in Packaging Law includes a ban on PFAS in food packaging two years after safer alternatives are identified (RCW 70A.222.070). 

Keller and Heckman Partner Mark Thompson will discuss Regulations Affecting Cannabis Packaging during the Global Pouch Forum 2020. This annual flexible packaging conference will be conducted virtually in 2020. More information on the Global Pouch Forum 2020, including how to register, can be found here.

Keller and Heckman Partner Jeff Keithline will present “Proposition 65: Best Practices for Implementing the Food & Beverage Safe Harbor Warnings” at the Perrin Conference’s Food and Beverage Litigation Conference; A Look At Hospitality Liquor & Food Liability on October 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. 

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