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New York State Regulates PFAS Substances in Certain Food Packaging

SafeGuardSHardgoods, HardgoodsDecember 10, 2020

The US state of New York has approved measures to regulate PFAS substances in certain food packaging. The new law will become effective on December 31, 2022.

On December 2, 2020, the governor of New York State signed into law S8817 (companion A4739-C) to prohibit intentionally added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS substances) in certain food packaging.

According to the new law, ‘food packaging’, ‘PFAS substances’ and ‘intentionally added’ have the following meaning:

  • ‘Food Packaging’ means a package or packaging component that is intended for direct food contact and is mainly comprised of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers
  • ‘PFAS substances’ means ‘perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances’, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom
  • ‘Intentionally added’ chemical means a chemical in a product that serves an intended function in the product component 

The new law amends the state’s Environmental Conservation Law and adds new § 37-0209 to prohibit PFAS substances in food packaging.

Highlights of the new law are summarized in Table 1.

Environmental Conservation Law
§ 37-0209 ‘Prohibition on the Use of Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl Substances in Food Packaging’
Effective Date
PFAS substancesFood packaging made, in substantial part, from paper, paperboard or other materials derived from plant fibersProhibited
December 31, 2022 

Table 1

PFAS substances are a diverse family of synthetic chemicals that are used in the manufacture of everyday products with anti-stain, water, grease, oil and/or dirt repelling properties. These chemicals, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), are known to be used in the manufacture of a wide variety of consumer products, including:

  • Cosmetics
  • Fast food containers 
  • Firefighting foams
  • Microwave popcorn bags
  • Non-stick cookware
  • Paper wrappers such as those for sandwiches and butter
  • Stain-resistant carpets and upholstered furniture
  • Waterproof apparel and equipment

SGS technical experts have extensive knowledge and testing experience in materials and articles in contact with food. They work to ensure that your products meet the appropriate regulations for food contact materials, paving the way for compliance. From overall migration tests to expert advice on emerging regulations, compliance issues and documentation review, SGS is the partner to trust. In the end, it’s only trusted because it’s tested. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information or visit our website

For enquiries, please contact:

Hingwo Tsang
Global Information and Innovation Manager
t: (+852) 2774 7420


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