Guidance for TPCH 2021 Model Legislation Update

PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) and Ortho-Phthalates in Packaging: A Guidance Document in Support of the 2021 Update to Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse Model Legislation

Click here for a PDF of the TPCH Guidance Document for 2021 Model Legislation Update*

Overview and Background

In February 2021, the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) announced the organization’s 2021 update to their Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation. The 2021 update includes the addition of the class of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and ortho-phthalates as regulated chemicals, as well as new processes and criteria for identifying and regulating additional chemicals of high concern in packaging. The previous (prior to 2021) TPCH Model Legislation and laws enacted in 19 states prohibit the intentional use of cadmium, lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium in any package or packaging component. The laws also limit the total incidental concentration of the four metals to 100 ppm. Incidental concentration may result from the use of post-consumer recycled content to manufacture new packaging and components. The laws take a pollution prevention approach by prohibiting intentional use, and they place the primary burden of compliance on the supply chain by requiring manufacturers and suppliers to verify that their packaging is in compliance.

It will be up to each state to adopt changes to their existing laws or adopt a new law to address toxics in packaging.

Several TPCH member and non-member states have recently enacted laws that address PFAS in packaging, most of the laws are specific to food packaging. A listing of these laws can be found on the TPCH website on the page titled ‘Related Laws’.

*This TPCH guidance document represents the best information available at the time of publication. Analytical methods are subject to change. Other information may be available in the future. Compliance with the law should not be based solely on this guidance document.

Cleaner Packaging, Cleaner World