In February, crucial discussions kicked off as the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of Ministers engaged in the first trilogue negotiations on the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR).
The primary goal of these negotiations is to reach a final agreement on the regulation's text, and a noteworthy topic on the table is the proposed ban on PFAS and BPA in food contact packaging.
Scientific studies have linked exposure to PFAS with various health effects, spanning the immune, digestive, metabolic, endocrine, and nervous systems, as well as reproductive and developmental issues.
The proposed ban on these substances is a positive step, considering their status as endocrine disruptors and the adverse impact they have on human health. Notably, PFAS is a persistent "forever chemical" in the environment.
Interestingly, the initial draft of the regulation by the Commission did not include this proposed ban.
However, the European Parliament, recognizing the importance of addressing these concerns, added the ban under Article 5. This move signifies a proactive approach to safeguarding the health of European citizens.
Frédérique Ries, the Rapporteur for the file, emphasized the urgency of action, citing recent events in Europe, particularly in Belgium, regarding water pollution caused by PFAS chemicals. The European Parliament's vote to ban these "forever" pollutants in food packaging reflects a commitment to protecting citizens' health.
VOICE, having advocated for such a ban in recent years, calls on the public to join the fight against PFAS.
This initiative follows our submission of the 2021 report, "Chemicals of Concern in Food Contact Materials on the Irish Market," to the Joint Committee on the Environment and Climate Action.
As trilogue negotiations unfold, the Parliament faces the challenge of convincing the Council to retain the proposed ban in the final regulation text. While the Council did not initially include this provision in their compromise amendments, VOICE and other environmental NGOs across the EU have reached out to national ministries, urging them to commit to banning PFAS and BPA in food contact packaging.
Highlighting the logical extension of the ban, considering that some EU Member States already prohibit these substances, VOICE emphasises that including these bans will enhance the single market's functionality and provide the industry with greater certainty.
Additionally, given the delays in REACH and the Food Contact Materials regulation, the ban under the PPWR emerges as a crucial step in protecting health and the environment from BPA and PFAS in food packaging.
To support the inclusion of this ban, VOICE encourages individuals to take action by emailing Eamon Ryan, urging the incorporation of a ban on PFAS and BPA in the final text of the PPWR.
Read more about Pfas Chemcials on our campaign page HERE