As we strive to reduce single-use plastic, many of us are unknowingly swapping one visible pollutant for more toxic and longer-lasting chemical alternatives - PFAS, the forever chemicals!
The problem with PFAS
PFAS (per- and poly- fluorinated alkyl substances) are a group of over 4,700 industrial chemicals, widely used in the paper, board and compostable food packaging that is rapidly replacing plastic across the UK. Known as ‘Forever Chemicals’ because they don’t break down in the environment, PFAS are a problem we can’t afford to ignore.
These chemicals are polluting our rivers, accumulating in wildlife and contaminating the food we eat. With a growing list of health impacts, and sustainable alternatives already available, continuing to add PFAS to our food packaging is unacceptable.
To protect our health and the environment, we need the UK government to act now and ban all PFAS in food packaging. As we move away from single-use plastic, we must ensure we do not simply swap one harmful pollutant for another.
Recognising the harm these chemicals can cause, the EU have recently committed to banning PFAS from all but essential uses. We want the UK government to do the same by including this commitment in their new chemical strategy.
Write to your MP
We need these forever chemicals banned from our food packaging now. Tell your MP to take action on PFAS today, and urge our government to set clear and ambitious targets to restrict these forever chemicals.
Fidra is an environmental charity working to reduce plastic and chemical pollution in the UK. You can find out more about forever chemicals at pfasfree.org.uk Fidra is a Scottish registered charity and SCIO no. SC043895.