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Department of Ecology
Committees, Boards, and Workgroups

PFAS in Food Packaging Alternatives Assessment

Background

In 2018, Washington State passed a law to prohibit all Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) in plant fiber-based food packaging. The PFAS ban takes effect following the identification of safer alternative products as described in the Toxics in Packaging law (RCW 70.95G). 

The PFAS Alternatives Assessment (PFAS AA) must consider chemical hazard, performance, cost and availability, and exposure. Following the product evaluations, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) will submit their findings for external peer review and publish the results in the Washington State Register.

Ecology originally planned to focus its analysis on food wrappers and liners, which are the most common application of PFAS in food packaging. Based on our research and feedback from interested parties, Ecology is expanding the scope of the assessment to include additional food packaging types and we will be reaching out to end users of these products for input on the use of alternatives in the market.

In addition to food wrappers and bags, the new research includes looking at other packing categories such as plates, bowls, trays and take-out containers.

The point of contact for the project is Ken Zarker, Ecology’s Pollution Prevention Section Manager, at ken.zarker@ecy.wa.gov.

Please sign up for the listserv for future updates.

For more background information, refer to Ecology's PFAS AA Focus Sheet, or browse the documents available below.  

 

Latest updates

Ecology PFAS AA Webinar 1/28/2020

Ecology will be hosting a project update webinar on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. PT. This webinar will provide a summary of the current project activities and  the expanded scope. To pre-register for the webinar go to:  https://watech.webex.com/watech/onstage/g.php?MTID=e09efcc759c13c7ba102ad80638bdfb4a

Project Management at Ecology

Ecology’s technical lead for the PFAS AA project, Brian Penttila, has recently left the agency to pursue other interests. Ecology appreciates Brian’s leadership for scoping the original project and we wish him all the best for the future. Ecology project team, in partnership with the Washington Department of Health (DoH) is continuing to work on the alternatives assessment with SRC, Inc., the contractor assigned to the project.

Collaboration Opportunities

The project team is reaching out to alternatives producers and other interested parties to collaborate on product market research and to help identify a list of alternatives for assessment. Interested researchers, innovators, product users and manufacturers are encouraged to contact Jenn Rhoades (rhoades@srcinc.com) for additional information.

Hazard & Exposure Methodology and Decision Rules

Ecology is working to finalize the draft Assessment Methodologies and Decision Rules for the hazard and exposure assessment modules. Please save the date for February Tuesday, February 11th at 11:00 PST/2:00 EST. You can also pre-register online.  

Upcoming Stakeholder Topics

Ecology & SRC are anticipating hosting several stakeholder discussions over the next few months. At high-level, this will include product selection, hazard & exposure assessment methodology, cost & availability, and performance.

For more information, contact the PFAS AA Team:

For previous updates, see the archived documents below. 

 

Other PFAS Links

Washinton Department of Ecology's PFAS Chemical Action Plan website
Washington PFAS in firefighting agents and equipment law (RCW 70.75A).
    More information about firefighting foam and equipment.
 Washington PFAS in food packaging law (RCW 70.95G) this law also applies to metals in packaging.
 Washington Department of Ecology's PFAS website.
 Washington Department of Health's PFAS website.
 ATSDR's PFAS fact sheet.
 ATSDR's PFAS and your health website.
      ATSDR = Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
 EPA's PFAS fact sheet.
 EPA's PFAS in your environment website.

Questions?

Contact Ken Zarker at ken.zarker@ecy.wa.gov or 360-407-6724. 

Documents

 File NameFile SizeDescriptionCategoryDate Added
PFAS_AA_Hazard_Assess_Overview.pdf 595.7 KB
Hazard Assessment 12/26/19 04:37 PM
PFAS_AA_Hazard_Assess_Methodology_DRAFT.pdf 424.7 KB
Hazard Assessment 12/26/19 04:37 PM
PFASFoodPackagingAAProjectSummary110618.pdf 618.9 KB
General information 12/26/19 04:36 PM
PFAS_Food_Pckg_AA_Timeline.pdf 345.6 KB
General information 12/26/19 04:36 PM
PFAS_Food_Pckg_AA_Deliverables.pdf 397.4 KB
General information 12/26/19 04:34 PM
PFAS_Food_Pckg_AA_Statement_of_Work.pdf 585.3 KB
General information 12/26/19 04:33 PM
PFAS_CBI_Submission_Process.docx 25.2 KB
Confidential biz inf... 12/26/19 04:32 PM
PFAS_AA_CBI_Request_Template.docx 19.1 KB
Confidential biz inf... 12/26/19 04:31 PM
PFAS AA November 2018 update.pdf 175.2 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:09 PM
PFAS AA January 2019 update.pdf 174.7 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:09 PM
PFAS AA February 2019 update.pdf 177.3 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:08 PM
PFAS AA May 2019 update.pdf 174.5 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:08 PM
PFAS AA July 2019 update.pdf 279.6 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:08 PM
PFAS AA August 2019 update.pdf 108.3 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:07 PM
PFAS AA September 2019 update.pdf 297.5 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:07 PM
PFAS AA October 2019 update.pdf 271.1 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:07 PM
PFAS AA November 2019 update.pdf 179 KB
Project updates 12/26/19 04:06 PM

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