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Rhode Island, USA, Regulates PFAS in Food Packaging

SafeGuardSHardgoods, HardgoodsAugust 01, 2022

SG 089.22

The state of Rhode Island has become the latest US jurisdiction to ban PFAS in food packaging. This prohibition will become effective on January 1, 2024.

On June 29, 2022, the governor of Rhode Island signed S 2044 Substitute A (Chapter 293, 2022)/H7438 Substitute A (Chapter 294, 2022) into law to regulate perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging.

According to the definitions in the new law, food packaging and PFAS have the following meaning:

  • PFAS means all members of the class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom
  • Food packaging is defined as any package or packaging component that is applied to, or in direct contact with, any food or beverage

The new law amends Sections 23-18.13-2, 23-18.13-3 and 23-18.13-4 to the state’s Toxic Packaging Reduction Act under Chapter 23-18.13.

Highlights of the new law on PFAS in food packaging and the existing law on heavy metals in packages or packaging components are summarized in Table 1. The law also bans any substitute intended to replace any of the chemicals regulated and which would create a hazard as great as, or greater than, the hazard of the chemicals regulated.

H 7438 Substitute A/S 2044 Substitute A (2022) amending Rhode Island General Laws §23-18.13-4
‘Prohibition/Schedule for Removal of Incidental Amount’ under the Toxic Packaging Reduction Act

SubstanceScopeRequirementEffective Date
PFASFood packageProhibited if intentionally introducedJanuary 1, 2024
Lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium (VI)Package or packaging component≤ 100 ppm (sum of 4 metals)In force

Table 1

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. Discover more on our website.

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