The Clean Water Blog

MA_McDonalds not lovin it_Elizabeth Saunders_Clean Water Action

McDonald’s Announces Ban of Toxic PFAS 'Forever' Chemicals in Food Packaging

This Is HUGE!

In a major victory for Clean Water Action and the Mind the Store campaign, McDonald's has announced a global ban on toxic PFAS ( per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in their food packaging by 2025. McDonald's is the largest fast-food chain in the world, selling over one million Big Macs a day in the United States alone. McDonald's also disclosed that they have already removed other toxic chemicals like phthalates and BPA (bisphenol-A) from its packaging.

We'd like to thank Clean Water Action members and allies for taking action over the course of the campaign, including the members who picked up the phone and called McDonald's headquarters directly. Your reports back to us made it clear that McDonald's was feeling the heat and helped us maintain the level of public pressure needed to move such a large corporation.

This victory affects us all, even if you don't eat at McDonald's. This is an exciting advance for communities like Saugus, Massachusetts that host landfills and trash burners. These communities are on the receiving end for toxic packaging once it's thrown out. Because PFAS is a "forever chemical", meaning that it persists in the environment and in our bodies, PFAS-coated packaging is a long term toxic threat for Saugus and communities like it. 

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"This is huge for us," said Jackie Mercurio, Saugus leader, mother and member of the Alliance for Health and the Environment. "These are long battles, and you don't get wins like this every day. I feel like our toxic threats in Saugus will be reduced, ultimately, and that means a lot. We will keep fighting for zero waste and complete relief from our overall burden but this is a great step toward a healthier future for our families. We look forward to seeing more companies get out of toxic chemicals in food packaging."

Clean Water Action joins our allies in thanking McDonald's for taking this step and urging them to move up their timeline from 2025 to 2022 to achieve this shift. We hope that companies follow the lead of McDonald's, Taco Bell, Panera and others who have now taken this health-protective step. We also encourage all companies to "ReThink Disposable" and phase out single-use packaging in favor of reusable durables.

MA_Carol mctoxicMA_PFAS_McD's Alvin