US City of San Francisco Bans PFAS Chemicals in Single Use Food Service Ware

Top Quote San Francisco joins the state of Washington in restricting the use of PFAS in food contact articles. The new law prohibits the use of PFAS chemicals in single-use food service ware, effective January 1, 2020. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 01, 2018 - The mayor of San Francisco in the US state of California has approved measures to prohibit the use of PFAS chemicals in single-use food service ware. Signed on August 10, 2018, the new law, issued as Ordinance 201-18, amends Chapter 16 of San Francisco’s Environmental Code on Food Service and Packaging Waste Reduction Ordinance.

    PFAS chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), help to repel water and grease and are used in products such as non-stick pans, microwavable bags and disposable containers and wrappers. In addition, they are commonly used in or on single-use service ware products – the target of this new law.

    Definitions of ‘Food service ware’, ‘Food service ware accessory’ and ‘PFAS chemicals’, according to the amendment, are:

    • ‘Food service ware’ – a food contact product designed for single use with prepared foods, e.g. bowls, containers, forks, knives, lids, napkins, plates, spoons, straws, trays and similar items. It includes ‘Food service ware accessories’ but not items made entirely of aluminum, or polystyrene foam coolers and ice chests
    • ‘Food service ware accessory’ – a single-use item usually provided alongside prepared food in single-use plates or cups, e.g. condiment packets, chopsticks, cup lids, cup sleeves, food or beverage trays, napkins, cocktail sticks, saucers, splash sticks, stirrers, straws and toothpicks
    • PFAS chemicals are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom

    The Ordinance also includes several other provisions designed to encourage environmentally responsible practices. These include:

    • ‘Reusable Beverage Cup’ – new definition that requires the vessel or container to be dishwasher safe and reusable at least 100 times
    • Prohibition of cocktail sticks, splash sticks, stirrers, straws or toothpicks made from plastics, including compostable, bio- or plant-based plastics
    • ‘Event Producers’ must give attendees option of ‘Reusable Beverage Cups’ at events where prepared food beverages provided
    • Revision to the definition of ‘Compostable’

    San Francisco’s new Ordinance will become operative on July 1, 2019 and the provision to prohibit the use of PFAS chemicals in single use food service ware will become effective on January 1, 2020. Stakeholders should now ensure their products will comply with the new regulations.

    SGS Food Contact Material Services
    SGS’s technical experts have extensive experience of testing materials and articles in contact with food, including analytical and consultancy for PFAS chemicals. They can ensure that your products meet the appropriate regulations for food contact materials and pave the way for compliance. SGS offers the full range of testing, including migration tests, along with expert advice on emerging regulations, compliance issues and documentation review. Learn more about SGS’s Home Furnishings & Houseware Services. []

    SGS SafeGuardS keep you up to date with the latest news and developments in the consumer goods industry. Read the full San Francisco Bans PFAS Chemicals in Single Use Food Service Ware SafeGuardS. []

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    For further information contact:

    Hingwo Tsang
    Global Information and Innovation Manager
    Tel:(+852) 2774 7420
    Email: ( @ ) sgs dot com

    About SGS
    SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 95,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,400 offices and laboratories around the world.

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