Discrepancy between ECHA chemical authorization and production volumes

ChemSec finds statement in recent European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) press release misleading; ECHA claims hazardous chemical usage down 97% in the European Union, but percentage based on chemical volumes in company applications for authorization and not on registered production volumes

Analysis finds pesticides, PFAS in plant-based packaging

EU consumer groups find chemicals of concern above recommended limits in single-use tableware made of molded plant fiber or palm leaf, and paper straws; of 57 sampled items, 53% have chemical concentrations above recommended limits, including 100% of molded plant-fiber plates and bowls; per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) present in 66% of articles, pesticide residues in 28%; argues EU must create chemical regulations for non-plastic single-use food packaging

Plastics Pact launched in Oceania

Sixty stakeholders in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands form ANZPAC, join the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global Plastics Pact initiative; 11th plastic pact overall, second regional pact and first in Oceania; 2025 goals include: 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable, 25% increase in plastic packaging collected and recycled by each country in the region

Chile passes comprehensive plastics legislation

Chilean legislature unanimously passes comprehensive single-use and recycled plastics regulations; regulation bans single-use plastic use within a food establishment, compels markets and convenience stores to only sell recyclable beverage containers, beverage containers must contain plastic collected and recycled within Chile; regulations come into effect over 3 years

Washington State: draft scope for second PFAS alternatives assessment

Department of Ecology (DoE) for US state of Washington publishes document outlining scope of second alternatives assessment for PFAS in food packaging; defines five specific food packaging applications to focus on: flat serviceware, open-top containers, closed containers, bags and sleeves, and bowls; defines PFAS alternatives to evaluate; currently accepting comments

EFSA seeks comments on chemical mixtures research and prioritization

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announces public consultation period concerning draft on “scientific criteria for grouping chemicals into assessment groups for human risk assessment” of chemical mixtures; particular focus on chemicals related to food and feed safety; seeking feedback from experts in chemical risk assessment, organizations and people in the field of chemicals mixtures and food safety; comment period ends July 10, 2021

PFAS detected in European disposable food packaging

Coalition of civil society organizations samples paper food packaging articles from major fast-food chains and supermarkets across six European countries; chemical analysis finds 32 articles were intentionally treated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS); differences identified among countries, results show the currently few national regulations on PFAS are effective where they are in place

Workshop finds knowledge gaps around MOH in food

Trends in Food Science & Technology publishes outcome from multistakeholder workshop by International Life Science Institute “to identify knowledge gaps in analytical methods, assessment of exposure, hazard characterization, and risk assessment of mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH);” highlights need for standardization of MOH measurements in food, finds few studies look at packaging material or foods packaged in materials other than paperboard

Reports investigate packaging and plastics in Africa

Two recent reports published by the African Circular Economy Alliance related to food packaging; “Five Big Bets to Africa’s path to Circularity” looks at opportunities to support African economy and environment, reviews current plastics and packaging infrastructure; “Building the African Circular Economy: Focus on Plastics” is a detailed research report of the plastics economy across Africa

NGO alliance calls on US FDA to update regulations

NGOs in the United States including Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Earth Justice, and the Environmental Defense Fund, launch campaign calling on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to update its rules about chemicals present in food packaging; new campaign targets heavy metals, PFAS, phthalates, and perchlorate