In an article published on June 6, 2019 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch editor Kelly Franklin informed that in the U.S. State of Maine “a bill to eliminate the use of phthalates and PFASs [(per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances)] and to put in place a system to assess other substances of concern in those materials” has been “approved by both chambers of the state’s legislature . . . and will head to governor Janet Mills for her consideration.”  

Food contact materials and articles covered by the bill LD1433 include “plastic disposable food service gloves, food and beverage packaging and components thereof, such as coatings, closures, inks and labels.”  Provided the bill is signed into law, from 2020 the sale of such items will be prohibited if they contain “an ink, dye, pigment, adhesive, stabilizer, coating, plasticizer or any other additive to which a phthalate has been ‘intentionally introduced in any amount greater than an incidental presence.’”  

For PFASs, the proposed legislation authorizes establishment of a similar ban to be enforced in 2022, “provided that a safer alternative is identified.” Earlier, bills addressing PFAS in food packaging have been passed by Washington state (FPF reported) and by the city of San Francisco, California (FPF reported). In May 2019, a bill to ban all PFAS in food containers and cookware has been introduce in the U.S. Congress (FPF reported). 

In addition to the phthalate and PFAS bans, the Maine bill “seeks to put in place a scheme for routinely determining substances of concern and requiring disclosure and consideration of possible restrictions on those.” In practice, the state’s Department of Environmental Protection will be charged with “creating and periodically updating” a list of ten “food contact chemicals of high concern.” From this list, the state could determine “priority food contact chemicals” for which a disclosure would be requested from business operators. The priority chemicals could also become subject to specific state regulations. 

UPDATE: On June 13, 2019, governor Mills signed this bill into law. The industry organization American Chemistry Council characterized this legislation as “misguided” as it “ignores science and will harm Maine businesses.”

Read more 

Kelly Franklin (June 6, 2019). “Maine votes to act on PFASs, phthalates in food packaging.” Chemical Watch 

Kevin Miller (June 4, 2019). “Bill to ban ‘forever chemicals’ in food packaging headed to Mills’ desk.” Press Herald 

Environmental Health Strategy Center (June 7, 2019). “First-in-the-Nation bill bans toxic chemicals from food packaging.

Beth Kernier (June 13, 2019). “Time to celebrate: States lead the way against toxic chemicals in products and packaging.Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families

American Chemistry Council (June 14, 2019). “ACC: Maine Food Packaging Ban Ignores Science and Will Harm Maine Businesses.

Kelly Franklin (June 18, 2019). “Maine bill on PFASs, phthalates in food packaging becomes law.Chemical Watch