Post originally appeared in Toxic-Free Future
Grocery store takeout is a convenient way to get dinner on the table. But it shouldn’t come with harmful nonstick PFAS chemicals. When used in food packaging, the chemicals can leach out of the packaging and get into the food, people, compost, and the environment.
Take Out Toxics: PFAS Chemicals in Food Packaging, a study by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future, looks at the extent to which five of the nation’s largest grocery store chains are using and selling PFAS-containing food packaging, including containers, wrappers, and other food packages.
The study tested packaging from top grocery chains Ahold Delhaize (parent of Food Lion, Stop and Shop, and Hannaford); Albertsons; Kroger; Trader Joe’s; and Whole Foods Market (Amazon).
Recommendations for Grocery Chains and Other Food Retailers
- Adopt and implement public polices with clear quantifiable goals and timelines for reducing and eliminating PFAS in ALL private label and brand-name food-contact materials. Retailers should publicly report on progress and announce when their products are PFAS-free.
- Agree to meet the new Washington state ban on PFAS use in food packaging, not just in Washington, but nationwide.
- Develop a comprehensive safer chemicals policy to reduce and eliminate other toxic chemicals, such as hormone-disrupting phthalates, in food contact materials.
Recommendations for Governments, Composters, and Individuals
- State and local governments should ban PFAS in food contact materials and ensure safer alternatives are used.
- State agencies should give preference to PFAS-free food serviceware in contracts.
- Commercial composting facilities should immediately ban all PFAS-treated materials.
- Individuals must urge food retailers and elected officials to ban PFAS in food contact materials.