McDonald’s announces global PFAS ban in food packaging
Last week the international fast food chain McDonald’s announced a global ban of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in its food packaging. The company stated it would phase out PFAS in its packaging products entirely by 2025. The company also disclosed it has already eliminated the other harmful chemicals BPA and BPS in its takeaway packaging.
In a product testing campaign in the US from 2020 carried by Mind the Store campaign and Toxic-Free Future, PFAS was found in Big Mac box and French fries paper bag. Read about the investigation.
McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in the world, serving an average of 25 million customers daily; there are more than 38,000 McDonald’s restaurants worldwide. Hopefully this announcement will push other major fast-food chains to take swift action to eliminate PFAS from their food packaging.
PFAS, also known as the Forever Chemicals, are a large chemical family of over 4,700 highly persistent chemicals that don’t occur in nature. PFAS are the most persistent synthetic chemicals to date, they hardly degrade in the natural environment. These forever chemicals have been linked to a number of health issues including reduced response to vaccines, certain cancers, and thyroid disease.
Since 2014 CHEM Trust has highlighted that the current EU laws regulating the chemicals used in food contact materials (FCM) such as food packaging do not properly protect public health and the environment. CHEM Trust, alongside several European NGOs, are calling on the EU Commission to significantly reform the FCM legislation to better protect human health, wildlife, and the environment. Read the call to action.
To learn more about PFAS: