PFAS no Longer Used in Grease-Proofing for Food Wrappers

On February 28, 2024 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that manufacturers of packaged food are no longer using per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food contact wrappers for food sold in the United States. This was part of a voluntary phase-out of use of these chemicals for this purpose that started in 2020.

What are PFAS?

PFAS are a group of chemicals that resist both water and oils. They have a wide variety of uses, including preventing friction in machinery, coating non-stick cookware, and in packaging for consumer goods. Unfortunately, many PFAS have been found to be harmful to people’s health. These chemicals do not break down in the environment and are one of the types of chemicals often called “forever chemicals”. While two of the previously most widely used PFAS, PFOA and PFOS, are no longer used in the US, many other PFAS are currently being used in consumer products. You can read more about PFAS on our fact sheet.

What is the significance of not using PFAS in food wrappers?

Our food is one of the major ways people are exposed to PFAS. Previously one of the major sources of dietary PFAS was microwave popcorn, since PFAS were used to grease-proof the bags. PFAS have also been found in paper bags and wrappers for baked goods, sandwiches and burgers, and fried foods. Removing PFAS from food wrappers will help to reduce our exposure to PFAS in the food we eat.