New infographics illustrate that harmful chemicals in food packaging may put our health at risk
CHEM Trust, The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Zero Waste Europe, the European Consumer Organisation BEUC, and ClientEarth have collaborated to bust some of the most popular myths surrounding chemicals used in food contact materials. The infographic launched earlier this week illustrates how the chemicals used in the production, processing, preparation and packaging of food may put our health at risk.
Nobody should have to worry about toxic substances making their way into their food. Yet most consumers have little or no idea about the chemical composition of the packaging wrapping their food and drinks, or how exposure to these chemicals may lead to the development of cancer, reproductive disorders or hormone disruption.
This is why together with other NGOs, we support calls for new EU-wide legislation on food contact materials. To adequately protect our health and the environment, policymakers should:
- Guarantee adequate safety data and assessments, and prohibit known substances of concern in all food contact materials.
- Commit to a clean circular economy based on non-toxic material cycles. Primary and recycled food contact materials should have the same level of safety.
- Thoroughly assess, measure and control chemicals in food packaging.
- Develop EU harmonised rules for all types of food contact materials, and effectively enforce these rules.
- Improve transparency and traceability of chemicals throughout the supply chain and towards consumers.
Last month an European-wide study into ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS in food packaging was released in several European countries, including the UK. Samples of disposable food packaging and tableware made of card, paper and molded plant fibre available in 6 European countries were collected and sent to independent laboratories to analyse for PFAS content. The study found intentionally added PFAS in a large number of samples. Read more about the study here.
Click here to read more about CHEM Trust’s work on food contact materials and chemical contamination.
Download the infographics: