An Act To Protect the Environment and Public Health by Further Reducing Toxic Chemicals in Packaging
Sec. 1. 32 MRSA §1731, as enacted by PL 1989, c. 849, §1, is amended to read:
§ 1731. Purpose
The purpose of this chapter is to reduce the toxicity of packaging and packaging waste without impeding or discouraging the expanded use of post-consumer materials in the production of packaging and its components. Under this chapter, reduction of the toxicity in packaging and packaging waste is accomplished by prohibiting the unnecessary addition of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, and other chemicals of concern, such as PFAS and phthalates, in packaging and packaging components.
Sec. 2. 32 MRSA §1732, as amended by PL 1995, c. 656, Pt. A, §§7 and 8, is further amended to read:
§ 1732. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
The use of a regulated metal or other regulated chemical as a processing agent or intermediate to impart certain chemical or physical changes during manufacturing, when the incidental retention of a residue of the metal or chemical in the final package or packaging component is neither desired nor deliberate, is not considered intentional introduction for the purposes of this chapter.
The use of recycled materials as feedstock for the manufacture of new packaging materials, when a portion of the recycled materials may contain amounts of the regulated metals or other regulated chemicals, is not considered intentional introduction for the purposes of this chapter when the new package or packaging component is in compliance with section 1733.
Sec. 3. 32 MRSA §1733, as enacted by PL 1989, c. 849, §1, is amended to read:
§ 1733. Prohibitions; substitute materials
Sec. 4. 32 MRSA §1733-A is enacted to read:
§ 1733-A. Chemicals of concern
The department may by rule designate a chemical of concern in a food package or a packaging component of a food package and, except as provided in subsection 4, impose one or more of the requirements in subsections 1 to 3.
Sec. 5. 32 MRSA §1734, as amended by PL 1995, c. 656, Pt. A, §9, is further amended to read:
§ 1734. Exemptions
All packages and packaging components are subject to the provisions of section 1733 unless:
For packages or packaging components exempted under paragraph A or , B or D, a 2-year exemption may be granted and that exemption may be renewed for an additional 2 years. An exemption granted under paragraph C is valid for 6 years; or
Sec. 6. 32 MRSA §1735, sub-§3 is enacted to read:
Sec. 7. 32 MRSA §1737, as amended by PL 1995, c. 656, Pt. A, §12 and PL 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
§ 1737. Rules
The department shall adopt rules necessary for the implementation, administration and enforcement of this chapter. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
Sec. 8. 32 MRSA §1739, as enacted by PL 1989, c. 849, §1, is repealed.
This bill amends the laws regarding the reduction of toxics in packaging to prohibit the sale of food packaging to which phthalates have been intentionally introduced, effective January 1, 2022. It also authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection to by rule prohibit the sale of food packaging to which perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been intentionally introduced upon a determination by the department that a safer alternative to the intentionally introduced PFAS is available, except that such prohibition may not take effect until January 1, 2022 or 2 years following the department's determination that a safer alternative is available, whichever is later.
The bill provides an exemption from these prohibitions for a manufacturer of a food or beverage product that has annual national sales of all food and beverage products produced by the manufacturer of less than one billion dollars. It also authorizes the department to designate additional chemicals of concern in food packaging; to require manufacturers of food packaging that use such designated chemicals to report regarding its use of the chemical and the availability of safer alternatives; and to prohibit the sale of food packaging to which a designated chemical of concern has been intentionally introduced if safer alternatives are reasonably available, effective and affordable to the consumer.