Read the full article by Nate Seltenrich (Environmental Health News)

“Here’s a secret about single-use foodware: brands and manufacturers don’t have to tell what’s in it, and in some cases, they don’t even know.

This presents a challenge for safety-conscious consumers of takeout containers, disposable cups, and similar materials who are hoping to avoid chemicals like per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), bisphenols, phthalates, and other less high-profile compounds.

But the nonprofit organizations Clean Production Action, based in Massachusetts, and Center for Environmental Health, based in California, both advocates of chemical safety in consumer products, believe they have a solution: the first-ever independent, third-party chemical screening and certification program for disposable foodware. Private consumers and institutional buyers can use the program to inform purchasing decisions.

Launched last November, the GreenScreen Certified Standard for Food Service Ware is a subset of the larger GreenScreen brand, operated by Clean Production Action since 2007. The brand also includes certifications for firefighting foams, textiles, furniture, fabrics, cleaners, and degreasers.

Manufacturers of single-use foodware seeking certification can apply at one of three levels, with increasingly fewer chemicals allowed and individual chemicals assessed with stricter criteria at each level. Even at the lowest level, Silver, full disclosure to GreenScreen of all intentionally added ingredients is required, and more than 2,000 chemicals of concern are prohibited. These include endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as bisphenols, phthalates, parabens, and organotin compounds; chemical classes including PFAS, organohalogens, and polycyclic aromatic amines; compounds of cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead, and mercury; and antimicrobials and nanomaterials.”…