FDA rejects petition to ban specific chemicals in food packaging
The citizen petition to the FDA aimed to ban eight ortho-phthalates and revoke prior sanctioned uses for five others in food due to safety concerns. Credit; JHVEPhoto via Shutterstock.
In May 2022, a citizen petition urged the FDA to ban eight ortho-phthalates and revoke approval for five others in food packaging due to safety concerns. Ortho-phthalates are chemicals used in plastic products for added durability, but they have raised worries about potential risks.
However, the FDA decided not to grant the petition's request and will maintain the current approval for nine phthalates in food packaging production.
This decision received mixed reactions from consumer safety groups, with some advocating for stricter regulations and alternative packaging materials for public health and environmental safety.
Exposed: UK’s top plastic polluters, annual survey results
A Surfers Against Sewage annual audit found Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and PepsiCo as the top contributors to packaging pollution in the UK.
Coca-Cola remains the biggest polluter for the fourth consecutive year, responsible for 17% of branded plastic pollution. McDonald's surpassed PepsiCo as the second-largest polluter, accounting for 11% of pollution.
Together, these three companies contributed 37% of branded pollution. Surfers Against Sewage calls for companies to take responsibility for their products' life cycle and urges the government to implement a deposit return scheme for drinks of all sizes and materials to combat pollution.
Companies responded by highlighting their sustainability efforts and recycling initiatives.
EU faces dilemma in packaging regulation amendments
The EU faces a dilemma with proposed amendments to its Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulations (PPWR). While aiming to reduce waste and pollution, the amendments, particularly the mandate for reusable packaging, have raised concerns.
Critics argue that the broad rules may lead to a surge in plastic waste, inadvertently favouring the plastics industry over recyclable materials like cardboard. The trade association FEFCO warns that unnecessary plastic transport packaging could double by 2040.
Cardboard plays a vital role in the circular economy, being renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable.
With only 9% of plastic globally recycled, increasing plastic usage contradicts circular economy principles and sustainability goals.
‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ on Skittles’ packaging faces backlash
Candy brand Skittles has come under fire after teaming up with GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and making changes to its packaging to incorporate ‘Black Trans Lives Matter’ messaging.
The move has triggered criticism on social media, with some drawing parallels to previous marketing controversies.
Skittles, known for its vibrant colour wheel packaging, joined forces with GLAAD for the fourth consecutive year to support the LGBTQ+ community. The collaboration involves releasing limited edition Pride Packs, which deviate from Skittles’ usual colourful packaging.
The candy company opted for a more subdued design featuring an illustration, departing from its signature colour wheel.
Amazon orders are arriving with reduced packaging
Millions of Amazon orders in the US are arriving on doorsteps with decreased packaging, marking a new phase in the company’s delivery transformation.This move aims to appeal to customers who are concerned about the excessive Amazon-branded boxes they receive and discard regularly. As part of this shift, chief executive Andy Jassy is pursuing innovative packaging strategies to enhance customer satisfaction and address environmental concerns.
Amazon has undertaken a comprehensive overhaul of its logistics network in the past year, streamlining deliveries for increased speed and efficiency.
A significant aspect of this transformation involves the reduction or elimination of extra packaging. This initiative is critical for Amazon to retain its competitive edge, reduce costs and align with its environmental targets.