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: This bill passed the Assembly floor April 22, 2021 and now moves to the Senate. 

Overview

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

1. Bans the sale or distribution in California of plant-based food packaging that contains intentionally added perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of hazardous chemicals known as PFAS, or ‘forever chemicals.’

PFAS are widely used in plant-based (paper) food packaging such as cardboard or paper. PFAS can migrate from the packaging into the food, as well as contaminate soil when composted and water systems when landfilled. These chemicals are linked to numerous health problems, including breast and other cancers, hormone disruption, kidney and liver damage, and harm to infants and children. 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.

2. Requires cookware manufacturers to disclose, on the product label and online, the presence of hazardous chemicals, such as PFAS and BPA (Bisphenol-A), from the CA Department of Toxic Substances Control’s (DTSC) Candidate Chemical List.

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, the use of toxic and persistent chemicals, like PFAS, in cook and bakeware can expose workers, nearby communities and the environment during the manufacturing stage; and contaminate groundwater, drinking water, soil and environmental justice communities during disposal, including through landfilling, recycling or incineration.

3. Prohibits misleading advertising on cookware packaging which claims a product is free of a specific hazardous chemical when 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. CalPIRG
  31. Center for Community Action and Environmental Justice CCAEJ
  32. Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)
  33. Center for Public Environmental Oversight
  34. Clean Production Action
  35. Consumer Federation of California
  36. Courage California
  37. Defend Our Health
  38. Advocate
  39. Erin Brockovich Foundation
  40. Families Advocating for Chemical & Toxics Safety (FACTS)
  41. Five Gyres Institute
  42. Friends Committee on Legislation of California
  43. Friends of the Earth
  44. Heal the Bay
  45. Just Transition Alliance
  46. Keep A Breast Foundation
  47. MADE SAFE / Nontoxic Certified
  48. Michael J Fox Foundation
  49. National Stewardship Action Council
  50. Pacoima Beautiful
  51. Plastic Oceans International
  52. Plastic Pollution Coalition
  53. ReThink Disposable
  54. Safer States
  55. San Francisco Baykeeper
  56. San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility
  57. Save Our Shores
  58. Science and Environmental Health Network
  59. Seventh Generation Advisors
  60. Sierra Club California
  61. UPSTREAM
  62. Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation
  63. Women’s Voices for the Earth
  64. Woodland Coalition for Green Schools
  65. Worksafe
  66. Zero Waste USA

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

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