2 September, 2019, the Danish ministry of environment and food announced that the Danish government will ban the use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in paper and cardboard used in food contact materials by July 2020. The proposal, first published in February, has been submitted to external consultations and is expected to come into force in July 2020.
The ban aims to reduce the risk of harmful substances from food packaging migrating into food. The move will make Denmark the first country in the world to ban the use of whole groups of monofluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in a product type.
PFAS is commonly used to produce grease and waterproofing on paper and cardboard materials. They are difficult to break down in the environment, and some PFAS may be carcinogens and endocrine disruptors that accumulate in humans and animals and harm the immune system.
Although no strict EU regulations in force, there are growing concerns about the use of PFAS in everyday consumer goods. PFAS compounds have been used in industry and the production of many products for decades. They are also used in everyday objects such as paints, fire foams, POTS, clothes and cosmetics. Consumers are exposed to PFAS because many products are treated commercially to make them stain-resistant, water-resistant or non-stick. These items include carpets, leather, plastic, rubber, paper, dental floss and cooking utensils. Water may also be contaminated if the source or body of water has been contaminated with PFAS. Denmark's national ban will remain effective until EU regulation of substances in the FCMs comes into force.