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Keller and Heckman Partner Hazel O’Keeffe will present, “Legislative aspects: food contact and recycled material,” followed by Associate Ales Bartl who will present, “Legislative aspects: REACH and recycled material,” at the International Seminar on Plastics Recycling, taking place in Valencia, Spain on December 1-2, 2021. The seminar will focus on the challenges of recycling plastic waste when implementing a circular economy that aims to create more sustainable solutions.

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1200, known as the California Safer Food Packaging Cookware Act of 2021, on October 5, 2021. The bill bans the use of perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging composed in substantial part of paper, paperboard, or other materials derived from plant fibers. It also requires warning labels on cookware to which PFAS was intentionally added.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing continues to show that the majority of foods do not contain detectable levels of 16 different types of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Testing results released by the agency on August 26, 2021, showed that 164 of 167 foods tested had no detectable levels of any of the 16 PFAS measured. The three food samples that had detectable levels were: fish sticks, canned tuna, and protein powder. The test results were from FDA’s first survey of nationally distributed processed foods collected for the Total Diet Study (TDS).

Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have issued a questionnaire as the next step for preparing a REACH Annex XV Restriction Dossier on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to restrict the manufacturing, use, and placement of PFAS on the EU market.  The purpose of the questionnaire is to provide an overview of the information that these five authorities have on the different uses of PFAS.

The California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced the release of a draft document that describes proposed Public Health Goals (PHGs) for perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) in drinking water.

A South Korean study published on June 25, 2021 in Food and Chemical Toxicology reported the results of overall and specific migration testing of various food contact plastic materials using food simulants. The data indicate that the minimal migration of evaluated substances from plastic food packaging and their corresponding dietary concentrations pose no significant human health or safety concerns.

New laws in Connecticut and Vermont ban the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging. In Connecticut, the ban becomes effective December 31, 2023, and in Vermont the effective date is July 1, 2023. Both laws define PFAS as fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

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

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). 

Washington state has announced that, based on the availability of safer alternatives, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in four types of food packaging will be banned as of February 2023. By way of background, the state’s Toxics in Packaging Law was amended in 2018 to include a ban on PFAS in food packaging that would become effective in January 2022 if safer alternatives were identified by January 2020.