Polluted Polly Applauds Burger King for Taking Action Against Toxic PFAS Chemicals
March 30, 2022
Hi friends, Polluted Polly here! We probably met last year as I launched my neighbor-to-neighbor push to ban toxic chemicals like PFAS, otherwise known as the ”forever chemicals,” in food packaging. I’ve traveled the country and met so many great friends and leaders, from state legislators working to pass laws that protect our health, to concerned families living with PFAS-contaminated water, to health professionals wanting to reduce exposure to PFAS especially during the time of COVID. I’ve learned a lot on my journey. For example, did you know that seven states have already passed laws that ban PFAS in food packaging?! How cool is that?!
I’m seeing how state action leads to market transformation and today I’m doing a dance to celebrate some great news. Burger King, and its parent company, Restaurant Brands International, have announced a commitment to eliminate PFAS in their packaging globally by 2025!
This is huge for many reasons. Burger King sells an estimated two billion Whoppers annually, meaning two billion fewer pieces of PFAS-laden wrappers will head to landfills and incinerators across the U.S. and the world each year. When you include the reduced PFAS wrappers coming from all brands such as Popeyes and Tim Hortons (28,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries), that’s a lot of “forever chemical” trash prevented from just this one corporation’s actions. And they join other chains who have already made similar policy commitments in the past year, like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell. During my recent journeys, I visited my friends living in frontline communities like Hartford, Connecticut, which hosts an infamous trash incinerator. I know they do not want to be burdened with the incineration of PFAS chemicals.
There is more to the story, too. Having spent time with state legislators like Senators Jo Comerford and Mike Moore this fall, I know that they are working hard to pass PFAS policies in their home state of Massachusetts. They, and many of their counterparts in states across the country, are leading efforts to turn off the tap on PFAS and stop adding to the burdens of contamination caused by this very persistent, long-lasting toxic chemical. In addition to preventing further health impacts, this will also stop the escalation of cost in cleaning up PFAS-poisoned communities – conservatively estimated at roughly $2 billion dollars!
The news from Burger King provides more momentum for states to lead the way as we have yet another example of successful efforts to reduce exposure to PFAS in our communities. So today, we celebrate! And tomorrow, we keep pushing for a healthier future. With your help, we can build support for the federal Keep Food Containers Safe from PFAS Act!
Lots of exciting things are in the works, talk to you all soon. Polly out!