California Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act (AB 1200)

At a Glance

BCPP is cosponsoring the California Safer Food Packaging & Cookware Act of 2021 (AB 1200 – Ting), introduced in February 2021. 

The bill:

  • Bans paper-based food packaging containing PFAS chemicals
  • Requires cookware manufacturers to disclose the presence of hazardous chemicals
  • Prohibits misleading advertising on cookware packaging

Status: Passed the Assembly floor 4/22/2021. Passed the Senate Health Committee 9-2 6/23/2021. Next, it goes to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee in July.

Overview

The California Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act of 2021 (AB 1200), authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting, does three things:

  1. Bans toxic PFAS chemicals in paper food packaging in California. The bill bans the sale or distribution of plant-based food packaging that contains intentionally added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of hazardous chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS are known as ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down; they build up in our bodies and the environment, endangering future generations.

Toxic PFAS are widely used in plant-based (paper) food packaging such as cardboard or paper. Examples of PFAS in food packaging include paper wraps, liners, bags, sleeves, dinnerware (plates, bowls, trays), and takeout containers made of molded fiber. From this packaging PFAS get into our food and water. PFAS migrate into the food from the packaging. PFAS remaining in the food packaging, contaminates soil when it is composted and water systems when it is landfilled.

These chemicals are linked to serious health problems, including breast and other cancers, birth defects, hormone disruption, kidney and liver damage, and thyroid disease.

PFAS have also been linked immune system toxicity – including decreased antibody response to vaccines, an effect that is particularly concerning now in light of COVID-19. Learn more about the links between PFAS and breast cancer.

  1. Requires cookware manufacturers to disclose hazardous chemicals, such as PFAS and BPA (Bisphenol-A). Chemicals to be disclosed are those from the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Candidate Chemical List. The disclosure must be on the product label and online.

A recent report by the Ecology Center found that the majority of pans tested, and one fifth of the bakeware tested, were coated with PTFE, a form of PFAS commonly known by the brand Teflon™. When PTFE-coated pans are heated, especially above 400-500ºF, they can release hazardous chemicals, contaminating the air we breathe. In addition to consumer exposures, toxic and persistent chemicals like PFAS in cook and bakeware can expose workers, nearby communities and the environment during the manufacturing stage. PFAS in cook and bakeware can also contaminate groundwater, drinking water, soil and communities suffering from environmental racism at the disposal stage, including through landfilling, recycling or incineration.

  1. Prohibits misleading advertising on cookware packaging about unsafe chemicals in cookware. For example, claims that a product is free of a specific hazardous chemical when other chemicals from the same class are present.

Some marketing claims on cookware labels are misleading buyers into believing the product is free of hazardous chemicals. As an example, pans claiming to be “PFOA free” often contain other harmful PFAS chemicals like PTFE.

BCPP is cosponsoring this legislation with our partners the Center for Environmental Health, Clean Water Action, Environmental Working Group and Natural Resources Defense Council.

Fact Sheets

Learn about the health hazards lurking in cookware and bakeware.

PFAS in Food Packaging March 2021

Toxic Chemicals of Concern in Cookware March 2021

Supporters

As of April 7, 2021

Companies/ Industry Associations

  1. Compost Manufacturing Alliance
  2. Integrated Resource Management LLC
  3. Marin Sanitary Services
  4. Northern California Recycling Association

Public Agency Associations

  1. California Association of Sanitation Agencies
  2. Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts*

NGOs

  1. Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics, California
  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists CA District IX*
  4. Ban Single Use Plastics
  5. Black Women For Wellness Action Project
  6. Breast Cancer Action
  7. Breast Cancer Over Time
  8. California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
  9. California Health Coalition Advocacy
  10. California Product Stewardship Council
  11. Californians Against Waste
  12. CalPIRG
  13. Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice CCAEJ
  14. Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)
  15. Center for Public Environmental Oversight
  16. Clean Production Action
  17. Consumer Federation of California
  18. Courage California
  19. Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
  20. American Academy of Pediatrics, California
  21. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists CA District IX*
  22. Ban Single Use Plastics
  23. Black Women For Wellness Action Project
  24. Breast Cancer Action
  25. Breast Cancer Over Time
  26. California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative
  27. California Health Coalition Advocacy
  28. California Product Stewardship Council
  29. Californians Against Waste
  30. Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice CCAEJ
  31. Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)
  32. Center for Public Environmental Oversight
  33. Clean Production Action
  34. Consumer Federation of California
  35. Courage California
  36. Defend Our Health
  37. Advocate
  38. Erin Brockovich Foundation
  39. Families Advocating for Chemical & Toxics Safety (FACTS)
  40. Five Gyres Institute
  41. Friends Committee on Legislation of California
  42. Friends of the Earth
  43. Heal the Bay
  44. Just Transition Alliance
  45. Keep A Breast Foundation
  46. MADE SAFE / Nontoxic Certified
  47. Michael J Fox Foundation
  48. National Stewardship Action Council
  49. Pacoima Beautiful
  50. Plastic Oceans International
  51. Plastic Pollution Coalition
  52. ReThink Disposable
  53. Safer States
  54. San Francisco Baykeeper
  55. San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility
  56. Save Our Shores
  57. Science and Environmental Health Network
  58. Seventh Generation Advisors
  59. Sierra Club California
  60. UPSTREAM
  61. Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation
  62. Women’s Voices for the Earth
  63. Woodland Coalition for Green Schools
  64. Worksafe
  65. Zero Waste USA

*Sent solo letters of support (not on group letter sent to Assembly ESTM Committee 3.30.2021)

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