May 7, 2024 | AD & Biogas, Composting, Contamination, Food Waste, Policies + Regulations

End Of PFAS Grease Agents In Food Packaging

Top: A PFAS-free pizza box is more likely to absorb grease. Photo by Alex Lozupone, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (cropped and manipulated by BioCycle).

In late February, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that grease-proofing materials containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are no longer being sold for use in food packaging in the U.S. “The major source of dietary exposure to PFAS from food packaging like fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out paperboard containers and pet food bags is being eliminated,” noted the FDA in its announcement. “This marks the fulfillment of a voluntary commitment by manufacturers to not sell food contact substances containing certain PFAS intended for use as grease-proofing agents in the U.S.” In 2020, the FDA engaged companies to cease sales of grease-proofing substances that contain certain types of PFAS following its post-market safety assessment. The research FDA scientists conducted and published played a large part in helping the agency obtain commitments from manufacturers to voluntarily phase out the use of these substances containing PFAS in paper and paperboard food packaging products.

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