Maine’s Governor Signs Food Packaging Law

Governor Janet Mills has signed into law a bill that prohibits the use of phthalates and PFASs in food packaging materials. Maine joins the state of Washington which adopted similar legislation in 2018. Maine’s legislation imposes a ban on the sale of food and beverage packaging and their components (including inks and labels) as well as disposable plastic food service gloves when a phthalate has been intentionally added over trace amounts. And, similar to Washington state’s initiative, the legislation directs the development of a rule to prohibit the sale of packaging containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances provided a safer alternative is identified. Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection is also authorized to develop a program to designate chemicals of concern and priority chemicals for which disclosure requirements or restrictions could apply.

This newly adopted legislation amends the state’s Toxic Chemicals in Packaging law that had been enacted in the early 90’s to restrict the use of lead, cadmium, mercury and hexavalent chromium to a sum concentration level of less than 100 parts per million. These provisions remain unaltered in the revised legislative statute.

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