The Maine DEP has initiated a consultation for its proposal to prohibit nine types of food packaging. Comments are accepted until August 21, 2023
In 2019, the US state of Maine approved LD 1433 (Chapter 277) to amend the state’s Reduction of Toxics in Packaging Law by, among other things, prohibiting perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packages by rule, if safer alternatives have been determined to be available (SafeGuardS 89/19).
An important provision in the amended law directs the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to initiate rulemaking to prohibit PFAS in food packaging after making the determination that safer alternatives to PFAS in specific food packaging applications are available (32 MRS §1733 (3-B)).
In August 2023, the Maine DEP made available a proposal (PFAS in Food Packaging and Concept Draft) to prohibit nine types of food packaging that contain intentionally added PFAS and made, in substantial part, from paper, paperboard or other materials derived from plant fibers that are intended for short-term storage or to hold freshly prepared food:
- Bags and sleeves
- Closed containers
- Flat serviceware
- Food boats
- Open-top containers
- Pizza boxes
- Wraps and liners
The identified alternatives follow determinations made by Washington, which has published two reports on safer alternatives to PFAS in certain types of food packaging under its RCW 70A.222.070 law.
Per Maine law, manufacturers with less than USD 1 billion of total annual national sales of food and beverage products are exempt from this prohibition (32 MRS §1733 (3-C)).
Comments will be accepted until August 21, 2023.
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