The use of health-harming PFAS chemicals in disposable food packaging and tableware is a widespread practice across Europe, as shown in a recent study undertaken by Czech NGO Arnika, in cooperation with the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), CHEM Trust and six other non-profit organizations in Europe. Out of 42 samples sent for analysis, 32 samples including packaging from major global fast-food chains such as McDonald's, KFC, Subway and Dunkin' Donuts, showed an intentional treatment with PFAS. Findings in the study include:
- PFAS are widely used in disposable food packaging and tableware in Europe; 38 out of the 99 samples (38%) collected from takeaways, supermarkets and e-shops in 6 European countries (Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom) are suspected to have been treated with PFAS chemicals in order to achieve oil repellency.
- 32 out of 42 samples selected for chemical analysis (76%) show intentional treatment with PFAS.
- Traces of PFAS were detected in all samples selected for lab analysis including samples not intentionally treated with PFAS.
- 99% of the organic fluorine present in selected samples is not captured by the laboratory’s compound-specific analysis of 55 PFAS, meaning it is impossible to identify the present PFAS compounds with certainty.