On May 24, 2021, the Department of Ecology (DoE) for the US state of Washington published a draft scoping document for the agency’s second alternatives assessment for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging. The DoE proposes to evaluate single-use or short-term use flat serviceware, open-top containers, closed containers, bags and sleeves, and bowls. Should it find safe PFAS alternatives, manufacturing companies will have two years upon publishing the report to replace PFAS in their food packaging within the state.
The first assessment, published earlier this year (FPF reported), investigated PFAS alternatives for ten short-term food packaging materials and found alternatives for four of them: wraps and liners, plates, food boats, and pizza boxes. For this second assessment, DoE reevaluated the definitions of the six materials where they did not identify safe PFAS alternatives. The DoE is proposing to update the definitions for the second assessment “to focus less on specific examples of food packaging products and more on the general functions of food packaging during the serving and transport of freshly prepared food.”
The draft scoping document also lists the PFAS alternatives the DoE plans to consider in the second assessment, as well as those not under consideration. Comments on the draft scope of the second alternatives assessment are currently being accepted.
DoE (May 24, 2021). “Draft scope for the second PFAS in food packaging alternatives assessment.”
DoE (May 24, 2021). “Public Comment Form – PFAS in Food Packaging – Alternatives Assessment.”