Starbucks is eliminating all PFAS in its packaging
In March of this year Starbucks pledged to eliminate harmful ‘forever chemicals’ PFAS from all packaging in the US by the end of 2022 and in all stores worldwide by the end of 2023.
PFAS are a large family of chemicals that do not occur in nature, hardly degrade in the environment and can be toxic to humans and wildlife. The most studied chemicals in this family are known to interfere with the reproductive system and the development of the foetus as well as promoting the development of certain cancers.
The pledge came in the same month as the announcement from Restaurant Brands International (who own Burger King and many other popular fast food chains), that they will be phasing out any added PFAS from all customer packaging by the end of 2025 or sooner.
CHEM Trust welcomes these moves by global chains to remove this group of harmful chemicals from food packaging. Last year we jointly took part in a study investigating the presence of PFAS in disposable packaging and tableware available in six European countries and found that the majority contained intentionally added PFAS.
A group restriction on PFAS has been put forwards in the EU, however, this will not come into force until 2025 at the earliest. PFAS pose a threat to our health, are fuelling the biodiversity crisis and have created an irreversible toxic legacy of global contamination. The use of PFAS in food packaging is unnecessary and these chemicals can be easily substituted for something safer. In the UK we are calling for a ban on the use and production of all PFAS by 2025 and are pleased companies are taking steps to implement bans in advance of nationwide or EU wide restrictions.
Find out more about our work on PFAS in the UK and in the EU.