Help keep One Green Planet free and independent! Together we can ensure our platform remains a hub for empowering ideas committed to fighting for a sustainable, healthy, and compassionate world. Please support us in keeping our mission strong.

A new lawsuit in the United States says that many plastic containers used to hold food, cleaning supplies, personal care items, and other consumer products are likely contaminated with toxic PFAS. The lawsuit asks federal courts to finally halt their production.

Source: LastWeekTonight/YouTube

The Guardian reported that the lawsuit references soon-to-be-published research that found PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) from HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic containers leach at extremely high levels into things like ketchup, mayonnaise, olive oil, and everyday products.

The defendant, Inhance, produces tens of millions of consumer containers that contain PFAS, according to the consumer advocacy group behind the lawsuit. The plaintiffs are asking the judge to order Inhance to follow EPA rules that require it to receive approval for its production process. The groups also claim that regulators have known of the potential health risks since early 2021 but have failed to eliminate them.

“It’s a grave concern for me that these containers are used for food, full stop,” said Kyla Bennett, a former EPA scientist who is now with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, which brought the suit with the Center for Environmental Health.

“[Regulators] have known about this for a while and nobody has taken strong action to stop it, which is mind-boggling.”

Inhance treats plastic containers with fluorinated gas to create a barrier to keep the products inside from degrading. The consumer group says that this process creates PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, as a byproduct. This includes PFOA which is one of the most dangerous in its class. EPA rules that were implemented in 2020 require companies that are manufacturing PFAS to submit for a safety review and approval, which the suit alleges Inhance failed to do so.

PFAS has been linked to health issues like immune system suppression, lower birth weight, and increased cancer risk. Packaging made from PFAS often resembles paper or cardboard but is smooth and oil-resistant. Just like plastic, these chemicals can seep into the food or beverage that it is holding, which a study in 2021 found is even more likely when the food is fatty, salty, or acidic like most fast food is. Also, like plastic, PFAS can contaminate water and soil when they end up in landfills and when they are burned, the chemical spreads through the air.

Currently, the EPA has guidelines on PFAS in drinking water but more needs to be done to keep these dangerous chemicals out of our food, water, and air.

sustainable tshirt pollution climate change
Solution Not Pollution T-Shirt by Tiny Rescue: Climate Collection

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and essential stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, Donate if you can, grow your food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!