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What Are PFAS Chemicals and How Do They Impact Your Packaging?

A look into the use of PFAS chemicals in packaging, along with current and forthcoming state regulations. Download our free guide to get helpful information on PFAS chemicals and regulations.

What Are PFAS?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a diverse group of thousands of chemicals used to make fluoropolymer coatings and products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water. While these “forever chemicals” have been in use since the 1940s, today there is concern about long-term environmental and health effects due to PFAS exposure.

PFAS can enter the environment by migrating into the soil, water, and air during production, use, and disposal. Because these chemicals do not degrade easily, they can enter the food supply through plants and animals that are cultivated, raised, or processed in contaminated areas. It has also been discovered that small amounts of PFAS can enter foods through food packaging, processing, and cookware.

Although PFAS have been in use for over 80 years, it’s only been in the last five years that scientific knowledge and technical tools have advanced enough to test for PFAS at low concentrations in food. Studies have shown that exposure to some PFAS may be linked to harmful health effects in humans and animals.

How Does PFAS Affect Rigid Packaging?

PFAS may be used as processing aids on food contact products to reduce build-up on equipment during the manufacturing process and increase efficiency on filling lines. For plastics, PFAS could be a byproduct from fluoropolymer coatings. These coatings are often used to treat High-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP) containers for food packaging and consumer products to help strengthen the integrity of the plastic packaging.

PFAS have been and are currently used in many types of food and beverage packaging, such as:

  • Cans and Ends
  • Caps
  • Closures
  • Plastic Containers and Bottles

Efforts are underway to regulate and phase out the use of PFAS in various industries to prevent further harm to the environment and public health. Many U.S. states are taking legislative and regulatory action to phase out the use of PFAS in packaging products, and some are putting a ban on the intentional use of PFAS.

U.S. State Laws and Timeline

These states have or will legislate the use of PFAS in packaging:

What is Gamer Packaging Doing to Navigate PFAS Regulations?

As your packaging partner, Gamer Packaging is here to help you understand PFAS regulations and navigate the packaging process. We guarantee all packaging material quality control and processes meet the highest set of standards. You can rest assured knowing that if the unexpected happens, we’re here to get you back on track.

Our Quality Assurance team is dedicated to ensuring packaging manufacturers are compliant with state-specific laws and regulations. Connect with us today to learn more about how PFAS impacts your product packaging.

Learn more about our Quality Assurance services and capabilities!