Study finds microplastics induce reproductive toxicity in male mice

Study investigates reproductive toxicity of environmental concentrations of polystyrene (PS) microplastics to male mice; further examines underlying molecular mechanism; study is first to find long-term PS microplastic exposure affects sperm quality and testosterone levels in mice

New tool for scoring food packaging: UP Scorecard

Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard evaluates and compares impacts of foodware and food packaging; beta version of the tool published, new features and expanded product coverage planned; developed by a multistakeholder collaboration including the Food Packaging Forum

Plastic container fluorine treatments create PFAS

Scientists from Environmental Defense Fund and Green Science Policy Institute find fluorine gas treatment used on “millions of polyethylene and polypropylene containers each year” including those for food contact; treatment can produce PFAS that migrate from the material

Science publishes special issue on “Our Plastics Dilemma”

American Association for the Advancement of Science publishes special journal issue on plastics; includes reviews, perspectives, and news on various components of the plastics value chain; particular focus on waste management technologies that may contribute to a circular plastics economy, effects of plastic pollution on animals and the environment, support for a UN agreement on plastics

Reports highlight reuse benefits and plastics recycling shortcomings

International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) report details current recycling schemes; concludes waste management techniques not “capable of alleviating” the growing plastic pollution crisis; recommends government actions to reduce plastic production; Break Free From Plastic follows up on 215 packaging commitments from top plastic pollution producing companies: 18 projects with no information after press release, few projects lessen plastic production; Upstream compares single-use and reusable service ware for environmental impact and business cost, finds “reuse wins”

FPF publishes five fact sheets on food packaging materials

Food Packaging Forum (FPF) releases new fact sheets on plastic, paper and board, metal, glass, and multimaterial food packaging; address material properties, applications, chemical migration, end-of-life, and recyclability

Study maps intentionally added substances in plastics

Scientists investigate plastic monomers, additives, and processing aids for their chemical identity, use, and hazard classification; identify >10,000 chemicals; 24% categorized as substances of potential concern of which the majority is not currently subject to management measures; emphasize information gaps regarding substance properties and uses

New Horizon 2020 projects to research impacts of micro- and nanoplastics

CUSP cluster launches with five research projects supported by €30 million in EU funding; aims to investigate complex relationships between micro- and nanoplastics and human health over the next five years; Food Packaging Forum collaborates within the AURORA project focused on early-life health

Food packaging identified as primary source of aquatic litter

Nature Sustainability publishes research integrating litter inventories from seven aquatic environments around the globe; finds food packaging makes up the largest share of litter in all aquatic environments (50-88%), except the open ocean; of 112 litter types, 10 make up 75% of litter; top 4 items come from food packaging (44% of total): plastic bags, plastic bottles, food containers, cutlery, and wrappers

ISOE: Guidance on reducing and improving food packaging materials

Scientists at the German Institute for Social-Ecological Research (ISOE) give practical recommendations for food supply companies, associations as well as decision-makers related to reducing single-use and supporting multiple-use packaging, recycling, and innovation on a technological and organizational level