Amazon announces ban on toxic chemicals and plastics in food packaging


PFAS, phthalates, BPA are among the dangerous chemicals Amazon Kitchen brands now prohibit

Amazon joins a growing trend of companies eliminating toxic chemicals in food packaging

Today Amazon announced that it will ban certain toxic chemicals and plastics in the food packaging materials used for its Amazon Kitchen brand. Toxic chemicals PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), phthalates, BPA (bisphenol A) and other bisphenols, and the plastics polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene (PS), and expanded polystyrene (EPS) are now restricted in certain private-label food contact materials. Amazon’s new commitment is the latest update to the chemicals policy it first launched in 2018, which also restricts toxic chemicals in private-label baby, household cleaning, personal care, and beauty products as well as brand-name paint-removal products.

“Amazon’s new policy commitment signals a growing retail sustainability trend,” explains Mind the Store Campaign Director Mike Schade in response to today’s announcement. “In the past year alone, we’ve witnessed more than a half-dozen food retailers from across the country committing to safer alternatives when it comes to food packaging materials. It is clearly possible to do, and yet some major chains like McDonald’s, Kroger, and Costco have not stood up for the health of their customers or the environment.”

“No company should be using chemicals that can impair a person’s immune system, especially as we are battling a worldwide pandemic,” says Executive Director of Toxic-Free Future Laurie Valeriano in response to Amazon’s new RSL released today. “Amazon is wise to be getting in front of regulatory bans that are soon coming their way, like in their home state of Washington. As we continue to fight for critical government policies to protect us against toxic chemicals in food packaging, it’s welcome news to see how companies, like Amazon, are stepping up to do what’s right.”

“Market leaders like Amazon know that children thrive on healthy food that’s free from toxic chemicals that escape from packaging,” says Mike Belliveau, Executive Director of Defend Our Health. “Further reducing the use of chemicals like phthalates and PFAS that may harm brain development could help halt the epidemic of learning and developmental disabilities our children already suffer.”

Amazon’s new restricted substance list (RSL) applies to its Amazon Kitchen brand products sold in Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Fresh, and Fresh grocery delivery. It does not apply to other private-label or Amazon brand-name food contact materials. Today’s announcement comes five months after a class-action lawsuit was filed, alleging PFAS was present in Amazon private-label disposable plates, which are not included in this new restriction.

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~sSafer Chemicals, 8 December 2020