Scientists warn over-production of chemicals altering planetary systems

Peer-reviewed study finds pollution from synthetic chemical production and plastics is now altering planetary systems vital to human survival; recommends implementing cap on chemical production and release similar to greenhouse gases

UK Parliamentary session on plastic waste

UK Parliamentary Committee plans to hold session to “scrutinize the ways in which the UK Government might reach its own target of eliminating all ‘avoidable’ plastic waste by 2042”; session to be streamed live

Several studies determine chemical migration from food packaging

Researchers from several European and Chinese institutions develop methods to explore chemicals in food contact materials (FCMs); report styrene migration from different polystyrene FCMs into several food matrices; detect photoinitiators in paper FCMs and chlorinated paraffins in green tea and its packaging; find irradiation treatment of metalized polypropylene to reduce migration of tested chemicals

Two food contact chemicals added to SVHC Candidate List

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) adds four chemicals to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHC); two of the substances are known to be used in food contact applications; obligates producers and suppliers to provide safety information and to notify ECHA

OECD outlines sustainable chemistry considerations for designers of plastic products

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) releases report outlining the goals, considerations, and trade-offs when designing a more ‘sustainable’ plastic product; encourages transparency in chemical composition and manufacturing processes through the supply chain

US congressional committee questions FDA about lack of action on phthalates

Letter from the US House Oversight and Reform Committee to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asks what steps FDA is taking to evaluate human health effects from, or to ban, phthalates in food packaging and processing materials

Ghana publishes roadmap for ‘radical’ reduction of plastic pollution

Ghana National Plastic Action Partnership publishes roadmap to reduce plastic use and pollution in the country; includes 11 case studies of projects already underway; outlines strategies for both public and private institutions to contribute to the vision

Scientists use in silico-based models to prioritize food contact chemicals

Two studies applied computational methods to screen food contact chemicals (FCCs) for carcinogenic properties or interaction with 31 nuclear receptors; one identifies 44 potential carcinogens among 1623 assessed FCCs; other finds more than half of 8091 screened FCCs with high binding affinity for several nuclear receptors

EU Member States endorse 8th Environmental Action Program

Council of the EU announces member states endorsement of recently completed negotiations on the 8th Environmental Action Program (EAP); EAP will guide EU climate and environmental policy until 2030; priority objectives include decreasing the EU’s material and consumption footprints

EFSA publishes guidance on chemical grouping for risk assessments

Final version of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance prioritizes hazard-driven criteria for grouping chemicals; supports human health risk assessments of combined chemical exposures; recommends relying on mechanistic information on toxicity within a weight-of-evidence approach