We already know that toxic PFAS “forever chemicals” used in food packaging leaches into the food–even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admits it. And we also know that fast food and highly processed junk food found at grocery stores often contain high levels of PFAS chemicals in the food packaging. Now, one fast food giant, McDonald’s, has promised to remove the PFAS forever chemicals from food packaging by 2025.
While it is disappointing that existing contracts with suppliers means it will take a full four years to phase out the toxin that is leaching into their food, nonetheless it is an important step forward.
“As the largest burger chain in the world, this commitment matters for two reasons. First, that’s just a lot of packaging that will be PFAS-free by 2025. And second, this may help move other companies to make similar commitments.”
-Danielle Melgar, U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund
Wendy’s announces ban on toxic chemicals in food packaging
Company will eliminate PFAS in consumer-facing packaging in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2021—a faster timeline than competitor McDonald’s
Wendy’s new announcement follows a national study led by Toxic-Free Future and its program, the Mind the Store campaign, which analyzed packaging from six food chains, including Wendy’s, McDonald’s, and Burger King. Testing found that all six food chains sampled had one or more food packaging items that likely contained toxic PFAS, including in a paper cookie bag from Wendy’s. Of the six restaurants sampled from this study, Wendy’s is the fifth to announce actions toward banning PFAS in its food packaging since March 2020. Burger King has not yet announced meaningful action on PFAS in food packaging and advocates have launched a petition urging the company to ban PFAS.