The PFAS Dilemma: What You Need to Know

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, it’s likely you’ve seen an influx of coverage related to PFAS. From national outlets to local papers, the media has been covering PFAS, its role in the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) market and new, growing restrictions throughout the world.

While commonly found in many consumer goods, PFAS has been identified in a diverse range of packaging solutions. As consumer demand for alternative solutions increases and more legislation takes hold, CPG manufacturers, brand owners and packaging suppliers will need to be more aware of their own product materials and manufacturing processes.

Let’s get focused on what you need to know today about PFAS, your products and packaging. You can also view our FREE webinar – The PFAS Dilemma – for a deeper look at how to navigate the PFAS dilemma.

What is PFAS?

PFAS, technically known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of commonly used chemical additives that are incorporated into products to increase their grease, water, heat, oil and/or stain resistance. To achieve this layer of protection, PFAS additives were engineered to withstand extreme conditions without breaking down.

For decades, the FDA has established safe levels for PFAS that manufacturers and suppliers have followed. However, the resiliency of these chemicals is prompting new concerns. Rising levels of PFAS in our environment are impacting food chains and being linked to adverse health effects. These concerns are forming the basis for new legislation that limits how PFAS is used.

As consumers continue to educate themselves on this issue, demand for alternatives will grow, requiring manufacturers to identify substitutes and implement these changes. Forward-thinking companies benefit from making these adjustments sooner versus later to remain compliant and stay ahead of competitors.

Is PFAS in Flexible Packaging?

Now more than ever consumers expect product packaging to serve many roles. Packaging must be highly visual and grab consumer attention on the shelf, extend shelf life, ensure food safety/product hygiene, protect the package from your facility to the shelf and speak to the product’s nutritional content.

Chemical additives with minimal amounts of PFAS have been used for decades – in accordance with FDA guidelines – to improve packaging usability and create higher quality substrates. Now it’s up to packaging suppliers to discover and research viable substitutes that provide a healthier alternative without sacrificing product performance. Incorporating comparable alternatives, like those used in our No PFAS Added packaging solutions can lessen the amount of PFAS entering our waste streams, and by extension, prevent further build up of these chemicals in our environment.

What Can My Business Do About It?

While PFAS is a topic of conversation across industries, the consumer goods and packaging sectors can help make a meaningful difference in reducing the amount of PFAS put into our environment. Here are three ways to start.

  1. Educate yourself on the latest regulations and best practices. Working with industry experts can help you stay on top of recent changes and ensure product compliance with regulations.
  2. Know your supply chains and require transparency from your suppliers. Innovative suppliers are actively exploring material alternatives that will put you ahead of the curve and differentiate you from your competitors.
  3. Consider sustainable material alternatives for a healthier, eco-friendly packaging solution. Virgin materials are easier to monitor and manage PFAS levels, versus post-consumer recycled options. Take advantage of the sustainability opportunity with a knowledgeable packaging expert.

There’s more to learn and our experts are here to help! Take next steps to get up to speed on the impacts of PFAS with our FREE Webinar – The PFAS Dilemma: Today’s Hottest Consumer Packaging Issue.

Learn five key steps you can take to navigate PFAS regulations and meet consumer demand.


Why Great American Packaging?

From day one, we’ve believed that how we serve you is what matters most. Today we demonstrate this commitment to service by staying on top of latest industry challenges and delivering custom packaging solutions that benefit products, processes, people and the planet.

As a proud resident of Southern California, we are first to know about new legislation and trends that are shaping the industry. We ensure that our customers are prepared ahead of time to best capitalize on consumer demand and stay ahead of the competition.

Interested in learning about how we deliver more to our customers? Have questions about PFAS and its impact on your business? We’d love to connect!