PFAS in food packaging: comments due by June 30.

This 22 June 2021 notice from Earth Ministry

I wanted to make sure you saw Maddie’s email below about a current action opportunity. The Earth Ministry community is encouraging the WA Department of Ecology to speed up the phase out of toxic PFAS chemicals in food packaging. It is crucial that the bill we passed in 2018 be implemented in a strong and timely manner to help reduce use of these toxic “forever chemicals.”

PFAS isn’t just a health concern for consumers in our state, it’s also a serious environmental justice issue in the communities where PFAS is manufactured. All of the PFAS used in our country’s food packaging in the US is made at one plant in Decatur, Alabama, creating a long history of PFAS pollution contaminating the community’s drinking water and farmland. Nearly 80% of the people who live within three miles of this plant are people of color, with African Americans making up 51% of the community. This ongoing harm to our human family across the country increases the urgency for Washington to phase out PFAS in food packaging, and compels us to speak out as people of faith who seek justice and wellbeing for all.

Please submit your comment on PFAS in food packaging before the June 30 deadline!

Jessica Zimmerle
Program and Outreach Director, Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light

PFAS in Food Packaging:
We Can’t Wait      Comment today!

You may recall that in 2018, Earth Ministry/WAIPL helped pass a bill to ban food packaging containing toxic PFAS chemicals. Faithful advocates like you spoke out for the health of our communities and the environment in advocating for strong protections from PFAS – thank you!

The Department of Ecology is now implementing that law by conducting a series of “alternatives assessments” before retailers are required to stop using food packaging with PFAS. Unfortunately, this process is slow going and Ecology just finished their first PFAS food packaging alternatives assessment. The result will ban PFAS in wraps and liners, plates, food bowls, and pizza boxes in 2023 – but there are six other product categories that will not yet be regulated.

Right now, Ecology is accepting comments on the scope of their second PFAS alternatives assessment. We are reminding the agency that their decisions and timeline have real implications for the health of human families and ecosystems.

Submit your comment here to tell the Department of Ecology that getting toxic PFAS chemicals out of our food packaging is important to faith communities and in alignment with our value of environmental justice.

Time is of the essence. A recent study by our partners at Toxic Free Future showed PFAS in the breast milk of all women tested. Not only does PFAS pose health risks for consumers, it is also a serious environmental justice concern for the communities in which these chemicals are manufactured. Safe and suitable alternatives for PFAS in food packaging are available and are currently required in Seattle and voluntarily used by many retailers elsewhere. Now is the time to strengthen this ban statewide.

Thank you for joining Earth Ministry in this faithful advocacy for safer food packaging across Washington!

Maddie Smith, Operations Manager

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