"Throwaway Packaging, Forever Chemicals: European wide survey of PFAS in disposable food packaging and tableware"

The study showed the widespread use of and contamination by PFAS in disposable food packaging and tableware across Europe. These items are by definition and design meant to be used for very short durations before being thrown away. This contrasts with the extreme persistence of all PFAS chemicals. Alternatives to PFAS treatments do exist, and even more importantly, safe, durable and reusable options for food containers and tableware are already widely available. It is high time that national governments and European institutions phase out all such uses of PFAS and manage these substances as a group. Where regulation has been put in place such as in the case of Denmark, it has effectively incentivised companies to move away from using PFAS compounds.

Authors: Jitka Straková, Julie Schneider, Natacha Cingotti

Number of pages: 64 

Publication date: 20 May 2021

Read the press release: ‘Forever chemicals’ widespread in disposable food packaging from popular fast-food chains across Europe, new study shows

Executive summary/Czech

Executive Summary/French 

Executive Summary/German 


This report is based on a European study, carried out by 8 civil society organisations, into the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in paper, board and moulded plant fibre disposable food packaging and tableware, sold in six European countries: The Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The aim of this study was to collect evidence on the widespread use of PFAS in disposable food packaging and tableware in Europe, as well as to uncover levels of background (i.e., unintentional) contamination with PFAS chemicals in such products.

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