Fast-food chain Wendy’s recently reported that it will eliminate toxic chemicals PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) from its consumer-facing packaging in the U.S. and Canada by the end of 2021.
Today is National Teflon Day—but that is NOT cause for celebration. It is one of the worst “holidays” we can imagine because it’s the anniversary of the accidental invention of the first non-stick chemical that would eventually become Teflon in 1938. Since then, chemical companies have invented many other chemicals in the same class—per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). And these chemicals, which are used for stain, grease, and water resistance, have gone on the market with little to no testing, ending up in everyday products and contaminating our food, air, water, and bodies.
Although the Trump administration has fallen down on the job of protecting us from PFAS, public health advocates have worked alongside Congress, states, cities, and retailers to pick up the baton and run with it. And we’re making good progress!
A new corporate responsibility trend is taking root with beauty and personal care retailers—phasing out and disclosing toxic chemicals in products and packaging.