Vol. 1016 | 29 Mar 2018

On March 21, 2018, Washington state Governor Inslee signed bill HB2658 restricting use of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals in food packaging.

Effective January 1, 2022, the law prohibits sale, offer for sale and distribution in the State of Washington, of food packaging to which PFAS chemicals have been intentionally added.

  • The prohibition takes effect only if the Washington Department of Ecology publishes the report by January 1, 2020, identifying a safer alternative.
  • If the department does not find that a safer alternative is available for some or all categories of food packaging applications, beginning January 1, 2021, and each year following, the department of ecology must review and report on alternatives.

    The prohibition in this section for specific food packaging applications takes effect two years after a report submitted to the legislature finds that safer alternatives are available.

In order to determine that safer alternatives are available, the safer alternatives must be readily available in sufficient quantity and at a comparable cost, and perform as well as or better than PFAS chemicals in a specific food packaging application. Also, it should be approved by FDA for food contact use.

The law will also require manufacturers of food packaging to develop and retain a Certificate of Compliance by the date the prohibition takes effect.


"Food package" means a package or packaging component that is intended for direct food contact and is comprised, in substantial part, of paper, paperboard, or other materials originally derived from plant fibers.

"Package" means a container providing a means of marketing, protecting, or handling a product and shall include a unit package, an intermediate package, and a shipping container. "Package" also means and includes unsealed receptacles such as carrying cases, crates, cups, pails, rigid foil and other trays, wrappers and wrapping films, bags, and tubs.

"Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances" or "PFAS chemicals" means, for the purposes of food packaging, a class of fluorinated organic chemicals containing at least one fully fluorinated carbon atom.

"Safer alternative" means an alternative substance or chemical, demonstrated by an alternatives assessment, that meets improved hazard and exposure considerations and can be practicably and economically substituted for the original chemical.

HB2658 can be reviewed at: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/biennium/2017-18/Pdf/Bills/House%20Passed%20Legislature/2658-S.PL.pdf

For questions, please contact Dr. Pratik Ichhaporia (pratik.ichhaporia@intertek.com, +1-312-906-7720) or Laxmi Ravikumar (laxmi.ravikumar@intertek.com, +1-630-209-9265).


Subscribe to Insight