Burger King addresses use of toxic ‘forever chemicals’ in food packaging

Fast food chains McDonald’s and Wendy’s recently announced plans to roll-out alternatives to PFAS wrapping

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 17 June 2021 19:30
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<p>Burger King</p>

Burger King

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Burger King is working toward replacing its “toxic” food packaging with a more environmentally friendly alternative, according to the chain’s top executive.

In an announcement on Wednesday, Jose Cils said Burger King was working to find alternatives for its leak-proof packaging, which critics argue is “toxic”.

Burger King and other chains have been accused of damaging the environment with its packaging because PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are “forever chemicals” that cannot degrade in the environment, thereby polluting water, soil and air.

Studies also indicate that consumers of fast food and other products containing PFAS are at risk of cancer, thyroid disease, and raised cholesterol, among other health issues.

According to the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and the Mind Store campaign, Mr Cils told shareholders: “Our procurement and brand teams are looking at several alternatives to still achieve the leak barrier that we want without using the PFAS chemical”.

“There’s more work to be done in 2021 on this task but results have been positive, and we plan to share more details in the next few months about our packaging road map as it relates to PFAS.”

The announcement follows calls for Burger King to stop relying on PFAS packaging. McDonald’s confirmed in January it was working to eliminate the packaging by next year, as have Wendy’s.

“We are disappointed that Burger King and RBI (Restaurant Brands International) still have not adopted a policy to phase out and ban PFAS,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store campaign director on Wednesday.

“We’re encouraged to hear the company is investigating alternatives, is beginning to make headway, and has promised to share their progress in the months ahead.”

Mr Schade added that “Any alternatives that they use must be fully disclosed to ensure we’re not replacing one toxic chemical with another.”

According to the Safer Chemicals-Mind Store campaign, Burger King’s parent company (RBI) are already responsible for an environmentally friendly packaging, which has been rolled out in Tim Horton’s.

The Independent has reached out to Burger King for further comment.

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