Plastic packaging is increasingly used globally, causing rising concerns for the environment and human health from littering, release of microplastic and leakage of hazardous chemicals. An estimated 40% of plastic production is used for packaging. A large part of packaging is for foods and beverages, but growth in the internet based market place is increasing demand for consumer packaging for non-food items as well. In order to fully assess hazards in the manufacture, use, disposal and recycling of packaging, we need a comprehensive list of chemicals associated with plastic packaging manufacture including non-intentionally added substances.
The research project “Hazardous chemicals in plastic packaging: State of the art, prioritization, and assessment” is a multi-partner collaboration led by the Food Packaging Forum (FPF). The aim of the project is to develop a comprehensive database of chemicals associated with plastic packaging, compile current scientific information and make it accessible to all stakeholders. A special focus will be placed on human and environmental health, as well as socio-economic impact. Further, the project will also analyze substitution options for the most hazardous chemicals.
Food Packaging Forum: Dr. Jane Muncke, Dr. Ksenia Groh, Dr. Birgit Geueke
University of Gothenburg, Department of Biological & Environmental Sciences: Dr. Bethanie Carney-Almroth, Prof. Thomas Backhaus
University of Gothenburg, Centre for Environment & Sustainability: Dr. cand. Daniel Slunge
New York University, School of Medicine: Prof. Leonardo Trasande
ChemSec International Chemical Secretariat: Dr. Anna Lennquist
CHEM Trust: Dr. Michael Warhurst
Independent consultant: Dr. Maricel Maffini
The project is funded by a grant from the charitable Swiss-based MAVA Foundation and will run from mid-2017 until mid-2019
The Healthy Building Network is pleased to support this Project with data services and a forum for collaboration.
Current Status: The project team has published a paper Overview of known plastic packaging-associated chemicals and their hazards.
Sci Total Environ. 2019 Feb 15;651(Pt 2):3253-3268. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.015. Epub 2018 Oct 4.
The paper describes a database of over 3377 substances possibly associated with the manufacture of plastic packaging with a focus on food contact packaging. The 906 chemicals that are likely associated with plastic packaging are available as a comparison list here in Pharos, allowing you to view the hazards of each chemical
For an overview of the project, download the extended abstract: Chemicals in plastic packaging: Prioritization of hazardous substances
See also ChemTrust’s project description: Hazardous chemicals in plastic packaging: an initial analysis
Join the conversation about this project by sharing your questions, comments, and ideas in the Plastic Packaging Chemicals Discussion.