How retailers can stop packaging food with “forever chemicals”

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The Mind the Store Campaign, in partnership with Toxic-Free Future, has developed new guides for grocery and quick-service restaurant chains. We’re offering straightforward steps for chains to make sure their food packaging is truly free of all PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). These chemicals are commonly added to paper and fiber-based food packaging for grease or water resistance, and it’s hard to tell which packaging contains PFAS and which is free of the chemicals. Our new guides will help chains find a clear path to adopt and implement policies to go PFAS-free.

Our brand-new investigation into PFAS at top fast-food chains McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, and fast-casual chains Sweetgreen, Cava, and Freshii, indicates that PFAS is still used in food packaging at some of the nation’s largest food chains. Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to the quick-service restaurant industry. In our 2018 investigation into PFAS in food packaging from five major grocery chains, testing of packaging suggested PFAS treatment. In 2019, follow-up testing of other food packaging from one of those chains also showed several items with levels of fluorine suggesting PFAS treatment.

Retailers must do more to get these unnecessary toxic chemicals out of food contact materials.



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