Food Watch petition calls for end of excessive food packaging

Identifies examples of mostly empty packaged food products filled with air in French supermarkets; finds excess packaging not intended to protect food, only serves to convey increased product size; public petition launched to call on specific brands to improve

Walmart responds to increase in use of priority chemicals

US retailer reports 1% increase in footprint across its product assortment from 2017 to 2018; aims to achieve 10% reduction by 2022; plans to finish analysis and publish most recent data later this year

ECHA director responds to criticisms

Interview with Bjorn Hansen discusses efficiency of data sharing across chemical assessments, incompleteness of REACH registration dossiers, identification of additional SVHCs, and the upcoming EU chemicals strategy

BfR recommends lowering EU limits on heavy metals

German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) publishes position statement on specific migration limits for lead, cadmium, and cobalt from ceramic food contact materials; derives recommended limits up to 400 times lower than values allowed by current directive

In vitro toxicity of bioplastics and plant-based materials

Scientists investigate in vitro toxicity of extracts from bioplastics and plant-based food contact articles; find strongest toxicity induced by cellulose- and starch-based products; emphasize similar toxicity profiles among bio-based, biodegradable, and conventional plastics

Greenpeace report criticizes plastic-to-fuel technologies

Organization reviews current chemical recycling projects, finds less than half are plastic-to-plastic recycling, none likely to become viable; criticizes labeling waste- and plastic-to-fuel technologies as ‘chemical recycling’, describes it as misleading for governments, investors and the public

EFSA final scientific opinion on PFAS in food

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) publishes final version of its opinion on risk to human health from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food; sets group tolerable weekly intake limit of 4.4 ng/kg body weight for four most commonly measured PFAS in humans

RIVM publishes risk assessment of aluminum

Assessment performed by Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) finds total human exposure through food, consumer products, and soil far below weekly health guidance value

Client Earth presents action plan on EDCs

Environmental law organization finds EU laws on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) lag behind current science, proposes specific policy and process changes to address gaps; recommends implementing REACH restrictions on all identified EDCs, automatic regulatory consequences to reduce all sources of exposure

China outlines restrictions on single-use plastics

Ministry of Commerce announces increased oversight on use of disposable plastic items by businesses; sets ban on range of single-use plastic items including plastic shopping bags, tableware, hospitality products