Washington state publishes updates on PFAS, draft criteria

Department of Ecology for the US state of Washington publishes alternatives assessment for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging, identifies alternatives for four packaging types; restrictions will come into force early 2023; working draft criteria defining “safer” and “feasible and available” for alternative assessments released for public comment

Presence of chemicals of concern hinder plastic recycling

Report published by civil society organization ChemSec finds eliminating chemicals of concern from plastic waste crucial for upscaling plastic recycling, realizing circular economy; companies struggling to comply with chemical requirements; report recommends phasing out chemicals of concern from new products, may open up substantial market opportunities

Maine FCC priority list open for comments

Maine Department of Environmental Protection publishes list of ten food contact chemicals (FCCs) of high concern, follows state’s Toxic Chemicals in Food Packaging legislation; includes bisphenols, parabens, benzophenone, 4-octyl phenol, octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane, toluene, styrene, benzene methylenedianiline, nonylphenol; open for comments until March 10, 2021

EC gathering experts for chemicals strategy

European Commission (EC) announces creation of expert group to support implementation of EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability; to be composed of up to 32 members from civil society, scientific, industry, and intergovernmental organizations; applications accepted until March 18, 2021

Annie’s to eliminate phthalates from processing equipment, packaging

Annie’s Homegrown tells stakeholders it is working to eliminate all ortho-phthalates present in food processing equipment and packaging; announces its product phthalate levels are below European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) limits; identifies phthalates issue as widespread, complex, affecting whole supply chain

Review analyzes link between ortho-phthalates and ADHD

Targeting Environmental Neuro-Development Risks (TENDR) project publishes review in American Journal of Public Health analyzing link between ortho-phthalate exposure and impaired neurodevelopment, behavioral disorders such as ADHD; authors call for strong governmental and cooperative action, recommend reducing phthalate exposure from e.g. diet, medical equipment, personal care products

California proposes regulating PFAS as single class

US state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control proposes regulating per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as single class under Safer Consumer Products Framework, approach based on environmental persistence; could help other regulatory agencies, be applied to other complex compound classes such as microplastics

US states consider recycled content requirements

Bills proposed in state legislatures include varied recycled content and recovery requirements for different packaging types, follow California’s adopted requirement for 50% recycled content in plastic bottles by 2030

Model legislation suggests regulation of PFAS and phthalates

Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) announces model legislation update, suggests regulation of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and ortho-phthalates, stricter limits for heavy metals

Rare earth elements found in FCMs, recycled plastics

Researchers at University of Plymouth find rare earth elements in 24 of 31 tested products including children’s toys, food contact materials (FCMs); highest abundance in plastic recycled from electronic waste; authors suggest plastic recycling process as source for contamination; suggest elements as indicators for presence of other additives such as brominated flame retardants