Mon. Sep 16th, 2019

Denmark to pursue suggested ban on compounds in paper and cardboard food packaging

In anticipation of EU-wide intervention, Denmark is to pursue a suggested ban on all organic fluorinated compounds in paper and cardboard food packaging products, the Ministry of Environment and Food said.

The proposition was brought to internal consultation for the first time disclosed in February and is anticipated to come into impact on July 2020, the ministry said.

The change would render Denmark the world’s first nation to prohibit in a product type the full set of per-and poly-fluoroalkyl materials (PFASs).

It arrives weeks before the European Commission is supposed to release a study on its assessment of EU FCM legislation, of which 43 years earlier the fundamental requirements were laid down.

For plastic FCMs, some guidelines are in place in the EU, but for others, harmonized legislation is absent. Some Member States have enacted particular laws at the domestic level, but they have been discovered to differ in terms of both consistency and materials.

The Danish national ban would be enforced until EU substance regulation in FCMs goes into effect, the ministry said.

The EU consultation finished in May, with the expectation of a final study in October.

PFASs are used to produce an impact on paper and cardboard products that repels grease and water. In the setting, they are very hard to break down, and some of them accumulate in individuals and livestock, the Danish ministry said. Many are considered carcinogens and disruptors of the endocrine and may influence the immune system.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, part of the Ministry of the Environment, has “long recommended” against their use in FCMs, and some distributors have willingly phased out the drugs.

“These drugs are such a health issue that we can no longer wait for the EU,” said Mogens Jensen, Minister of Food.

After the ban, recycled paper and board used will be permitted, but only if any fluorine content in the material is separated with a barrier to ensure that it does not migrate into the food, the ministry said.

The Danish project supports the risk assessment of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).

In December last year, Efsa found that individuals can tolerate far less of the two chemicals than earlier believed before adverse effects are at stake.