USA: California places new requirements on food packaging and cookware
NOVEMBER 2021 - ELECTRICALS AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES
California Governor has recently signed a bill into law banning the use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in certain food packaging and requiring labelling of chemicals in cookware. The bill, AB 12001, will protect consumers and the environment from PFAS and other harmful chemicals by:
- Banning food packaging and food service ware that are derived from plant fibres using PFAS chemicals starting 1 January 2023;
- Prohibiting misleading advertising on cookware from 1 January 2023;
- Requiring cookware manufacturers starting 1 January 2024, to disclose the presence of chemicals in their products that are of concern for human health or the environment.
Under the new law, the sale of plant fibre-based food packaging will be specifically banned if such packaging contains PFAS that has been intentionally added to have a functional or technical in the product, or is present in the product at or above 100 parts per million (as measured in total organic fluorine).
In addition, manufacturers of cookware would be required to include a warning label with their products that discloses the presence of any chemicals that might have been intentionally added to the product and that is a "designated chemical" from the list developed by California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)2. The label must be introduced by the phrase “This product contains:” and include a statement in both English and Spanish, that reads: “For more information about chemicals in this product, visit” followed by a website address and quick response (QR) code with 1) the designated chemical(s), 2) the name of the authoritative list(s) referenced by DTSC and 3) the link to the internet website of the list(s). Certain cookware is exempt from the requirements that cannot fit a product label of at least two square inches, and the cookware does not have a container or outer packaging to contain a product label.
More importantly, the law prohibited manufacturers from making deceptive claims that cookware is free of any specific chemical if the chemical belongs to the same chemical group or class of chemicals that are listed.
 DTSC: Candidate Chemicals List (designated chemical)