Today’s consumers care about sustainability, especially when it comes to food. They’re paying close attention to not only what they’re eating, but also the packaging it comes in. It’s why the subject of per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) has become a household talking point—and a major focus of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Food packaging—especially for foods heavy with Fats, Oils and Greases (FOG)—often contain PFAS. These oleophobic, hydrophobic chemicals are the perfect solution for protecting packaging. Unfortunately, they have the opposite effect on the environment. Here’s what you need to know.
What are PFAS?
PFAS are called “forever chemicals” because they’re incapable of breaking down naturally in the environment. For perspective, some scientists estimate the life of PFAS materials into the thousands of years. While the true threat of PFAS is still under research, early research shows that exposure in animals can affect growth and development. They’re also linked to problems with reproduction, thyroid function, the immune system and liver function.
The biggest problem with PFAS is that they’re being found everywhere: in bodies of water, animals, human bodies and even air around the world. They’re an ever-present threat that affects every living being, and scientists agree that the threat is much greater than previously thought.
The prevalence of PFAS in the environment is due to their widespread use in the production of everything from food to consumer goods.
PFAS and food packaging materials
In the food industry, PFAS are used in fluoropolymer coatings and products that are grease-, heat-, oil-, stain- and water-resistant. That means the packaging that touches your food commonly contains PFAS, so the direct impact on your overall health—while unknown—is ever-present. Pizza boxes, in particular, commonly contain PFAS, since operators don’t want rivers of grease leaking out onto customers.
Luckily, there’s a growing body of PFAS-free alternatives. Perfect Crust has developed a PFAS-free pizza box liner that’s good for consumers and the environment. Not only do these liners contain no “forever chemicals,” they’re also biodegradable and compostable. It’s a sustainable approach to serving pizza that keeps PFAS out of the mouths of hungry customers, as well as out of the environment.
Enjoy every slice with peace of mind
PFAS are a growing problem around the world, but thankfully, change is on the horizon. The EPA and other climate agencies are cracking down on PFAS, and responsible producers have already begun eliminating PFAS from their products—especially pizza delivery products.
The next time you take a bite of pizza, check to see if it’s sitting atop a Perfect Crust pizza liner. If it is, you can rest assured you’re enjoying a PFAS-free slice.