Senator Hassan Introduced Bipartisan Legislation in November to Ban PFAS in Food Wrappers and Packaging
WASHINGTON – Following bipartisan efforts led by Senator Maggie Hassan, major fast food restaurants – including Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, and Starbucks – announced that they would phase out PFAS chemicals from their food packaging. Last November, Senator Hassan introduced bipartisan legislation to ban toxic PFAS chemicals – also known as ‘forever chemicals’ – in food wrappers and packaging. PFAS chemicals are often used in food wrappers to repel grease, oil, and water, and are linked to serious health challenges in humans, including cancer.
“Granite Staters and Americans should be certain that their food wrappers don’t contain toxic chemicals, and I am encouraged that certain fast food chains have heeded my calls to eliminate PFAS from their food wrappers,” Senator Hassan said. “Removing PFAS from food wrappers is in the best interest of the public health, as well as our environment, and I will continue pushing to eliminate these dangerous chemicals from our everyday lives.”
A 2017 study found that PFAS chemicals were found in more than 50 percent of fast food bread and dessert wrappers. Senator Hassan’s legislation would ban companies from using food packaging materials that contain PFAS chemicals after January 1, 2024.
Senator Hassan is working to address harmful PFAS contamination in a number of ways. The bipartisan infrastructure package that is now law includes a measure authored by Senator Hassan to better ensure that more New Hampshire towns would be eligible for an advanced technology grant program that can be used to remove PFAS from drinking water. Additionally, the December COVID-19 relief and government funding bill that Senator Hassan helped negotiate and pass into law included nearly $300 million in funding to address PFAS, including $15 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s nationwide PFAS study. Senator Hassan also joined in introducing a bill ban the inclusion of PFAS chemicals in cosmetics products, such as makeup, moisturizer and perfume. Additionally, in 2018, Senator Hassan participated in the first-ever Senate hearing on PFAS contamination in drinking water sources.