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.
There was a fire in my neighborhood (in Dorchester, MA) this week. I woke up at about 4:40 to popping sounds – wondered if they were fireworks (annoying at that hour but ok) or maybe gun shots (yikes). It didn’t sound quite like either. But quickly I heard sirens…lots of sirens...converging very nearby.
In states across the country, Clean Water Action is tackling the PFAS pollution problem. PFAS (per- and polyflyoroalkyl substances) is known as the "forever chemical" because it persists in the environment and in our bodies. It is associated with a range of health harms from cancers to liver impacts to reproductive issues. PFAS can impact communities in a variety of ways so we will be share updates from spots across the country in the coming weeks to highlight some of these local impacts. Stay tuned and let us know if you'd like to get involved locally!
On August 6th, we co-released a report in conjunction with the Mind the Store campaign titled “Packaged in Pollution.” The report found that PFAS chemicals are used in food packaging and food service ware to repel grease and liquids so food wrappers for burgers, fries, sandwiches and molded fiber plates and bowls are likely culprits.
Canvassing on the streets of central Connecticut after the PFAS spills last summer, community members supplied an abundance of energy and motivation that lead to fantastic steps toward protecting our communities from PFAS chemicals.
In our work at Clean Water Action we throw around a lot of statistics and chemical names which, if you’re not used to hearing them, all sound pretty much like “ethyl-methyl-bad-stuff.” Sometimes that’s really all you need to know: “there’s something bad there – stay away.”
But one group of chemicals you really should know about is PFAS, aka “Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances”, aka “the forever chemicals.” To keep it simple, we’ve boiled down the facts for you in this handy infographic. Check it out!
At this point many people are aware of the dangers of the toxic flame-retardant chemicals that are applied to household products. Now, widespread concern is turning into real action. Motivated by consumer interest, many manufacturers and retailers have been phasing out these chemicals and using safer, fire resistant materials. Thirteen states have already restricted the use of one or more flame-retardant chemicals.
FAS chemicals have created a toxic and lasting legacy of pollution. We must take action to “turn off the tap” of these forever chemicals and we have an opportunity this session to do just that. Contact your legislators today.
Our work with Connecticut’s procurement agency is paying off. Connecticut will now restrict the purchasing of many food service ware and food packaging items that contain toxic per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS chemicals) and significantly reduce styrene (Styrofoam) and plastics.
This week, we helped to release the 4th annual Who’s Minding the Store? www.retailerreportcard.org report card grading 43 major retailers on their actions to keep toxic chemicals out of products and packaging.