Packaging often contains harmful chemicals that pose risks to both human health and the environment. Safer States is actively addressing this issue by advocating for safer materials, reducing the use of single-use packaging, eliminating the most harmful packaging, and promoting non-toxic reuse and refill solutions. Through these efforts, Safer States is working towards establishing a safer system of delivering goods to consumers
As public concern grows over the global plastic crisis, the chemical and plastic industry is promoting false solutions that they are calling “advanced,” “molecular,” or “chemical” recycling. MORE.
Toxic chemicals such as PFAS and phthalates are sometimes added to packaging. Some plastic packaging is made from toxic plastics such as polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycarbonate, and melamine.
Toxic chemicals present in packaging materials can leach into the contents they are in contact with, such as food, beverages, or personal care products. These chemicals can pose health risks when consumed or absorbed by the body. Some toxic chemicals found in packaging, such as bisphenols and phthalates, have been linked to hormonal disruptions, reproductive issues, developmental problems, and certain cancers. Additionally, when packaging materials containing toxic chemicals end up in landfills or are incinerated, they can release harmful substances into the air, soil, and water, contributing to environmental contamination.
We need to reduce single-use packaging, eliminate harmful materials, and promote non-toxic reuse and refill solutions. This includes minimizing waste by encouraging non-toxic reusable alternatives and packaging-free options, phasing out the use of toxic materials, embracing refillable systems, and promoting sustainable, durable materials. By adopting these strategies, we can create a more sustainable packaging system that reduces waste and protects both our health and the environment.
As an alliance of organizations and coalitions, the collective work of Safer States has an incredible impact both within individual states and across the country. Twelve states including CA, CO, CT, HI, ME, MD, MN, NY, OR, RI, VT, and WA have enacted phase-outs of PFAS in food packaging. Several states have also taken action on packaging made of toxic materials such as PVC and polystyrene. Additionally, states are actively working to promote non-toxic refill and resume systems. Both OR and WA have adopted policies promoting these solutions.