On December 8, 2020, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families reported on Amazon’s newly published restricted substance list (RSL), which bans 17 chemicals for use in the packaging of its Amazon Kitchen brands. The commitment is in line with several recent policy changes, initiatives, and industry announcements, including the most recent bill signed by New York’s governor, prohibiting the use of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging (FPF reported). Amazon’s new commitment is the latest update to its “safer chemicals policy“, first launched in 2018 (FPF reported).
The action has been widely well-received among health campaigners and NGOs. For example, executive director of Toxic-Free Future Laurie Valeriano said, “no company should be using chemicals that can impair a person’s immune system, especially, as we are battling a worldwide pandemic [..].” She also said it is wise of Amazon to get ahead of regulatory bans that are going to come soon.
The restricted list includes the following substances:
- Heavy Metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, Hg)
- Arsenic (CAS 7440-38-2)
- Ortho-phthalates (various CAS – all ortho-phthalates)
- Per- and Poly-fluoroalkyl Substances (various CAS)
- Perchlorate (CAS 14797-73-0)
- Bisphenol A (CAS 80-05-7)
- Bisphenol B (CAS 77-40-7)
- Bisphenol F (CAS 620-92-8)
- Bisphenol S (CAS 80-09-1)
- Bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (CAS 1675-54-3)
In addition, Amazon also announced to prohibit six non-recyclable plastics for use food contact materials, namely, polycarbonates (various CAS), polyvinylidene chloride (CAS 9002-85-1), rigid polylactic acid (CAS 26100-51-6), and polyhydroxyalkanoates (various CAS).
The ban will be applied to all Amazon Kitchen brand products sold in Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Fresh, and Fresh grocery delivery.
Amazon (December 1, 2020). “Amazon Chemicals Policy: Food Contact Materials Restricted Substance List (RSL).” (pdf)
Lana Bandoim (January 13, 2021). “Amazon Bans Toxic Chemicals From Its Food Packaging.” Forbes Magazine
Stephanie Stohler (December 8, 2020). “Amazon announces ban on toxic chemicals and plastics in food packaging.” Safer Chemicals Health Families
Leigh Stringer (December 10, 2020). “Amazon publishes restricted substances list for food contact materials.” Chemical Watch