Toxic chemicals are used in the making of common food packaging materials. These toxic chemicals can then migrate into food, and many companies aren’t aware that their packaging contains harmful chemicals or what is required to make a proactive pivot toward safer food packaging. This tool is designed to help companies get started on working with their suppliers to identify which toxic chemicals exist in the food packaging they produce and how they got there. Information provided on this website builds upon the work of the SUM Decelerator, creator of the Understanding Packaging (UP) Scorecard and the Food Chemicals of Concern (FCOC) List. EDF is a member of the SUM Decelerator. 

The FCOC List, developed to identify chemicals of concern present in foodware and packaging materials, is grouped into three tiers. Tier 1 presents a shortlist of priority chemicals of concern to avoid, based on broad stakeholder agreement, because the potential health impacts from their migration into food raises serious concerns, and Tiers 2 and 3 present more extensive sets of toxic chemicals.

In collaboration with an independent consultant, EDF conducted further research, including surveying packaging industry professionals, to refine the understanding of the current usage of chemicals on the FCOC List in the production of specific food packaging materials and food containers. The information on this site incorporates the new data on the chemicals of concern that are confirmed to be used in today’s manufacturing of common food contact materials.

The food containers featured on this website are commonly encountered foodware and grocery items. Visitors to this site can see which chemicals of concern are intentionally used in different food containers and food contact materials (or in their production). Additional information about the Tier 1 chemicals, including their hazards and where they are found, is available to help companies get started.