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Per- and Polyfluorinated Alkyl Substances: Packaging

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 113464, tabled on 10 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging on the environment.

Answered on

16 November 2020

A number of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are already banned or highly restricted. The UK is a Party to the Stockholm Convention, which has already agreed restrictions on the use of certain PFAS. There are also restrictions in place under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations.

At the end of the Transition Period the UK will put in place its own domestic chemicals regulatory framework. Existing restrictions under REACH will be brought into UK law. Our commitments under the Stockholm Convention will continue to apply. Future UK decisions to control the environmental and human health impacts of substances will be taken under our independent regime and will be based on rigorous assessment of the scientific evidence, including looking at approaches taken by chemical regimes across the world.

We are working to improve our understanding of the emissions and risks of PFAS in the UK, and how we manage these chemicals will be considered in our forthcoming Chemicals Strategy. The Food Standards Agency also regularly reviews new information on PFAS and will be considering the upcoming review by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment of the European Food Safety Authority’s latest scientific opinion on PFAS in food.

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