Burger King, thanks for getting rid of PFAS!


PFAS chemicals are used in some food packaging to make it grease-resistant. PFAS have been linked to increased risk for certain cancers, damage to the liver and the immune system, reduced birth weight and decreased vaccine response in children. LDA is also concerned that PFAS may also harm children’s brain health.

UPDATE: Restaurant Brands International (RBI) announced that it will ban PFAS “in food packaging globally by 2025”. RBI owns Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons and is one of the worlds’ largest quick service restaurant companies. Talk about a market shift! Starbucks and McDonald’s have also committed to getting rid of PFAS in their food packaging, thanks to LDA members and other advocates across the US.

PFAS continues to make the national news. Check out these recent news articles by Consumer Reports and CNN on PFAS in food packaging.

PFAS chemicals are nicknamed “forever chemicals” because they do not break down, meaning they persist in our environment and in our bodies. These risks are not acceptable, and these harmful chemicals have no place in food packaging or other products we use.

Recent testing found that these chemicals are likely being used in packaging for multiple items at Burger King—including the Whopper. And they sell more than 2 million Whoppers a day. Other Burger King items that tested positive for fluorine (indicating PFAS chemicals) included Burger King’s chicken nugget bags and their cookie bags. We need your help to tell Burger King to go PFAS-free!

The whole life cycle of PFAS chemicals harms people and the environment. PFAS in food packaging materials can contaminate the food inside—but before that, they can pollute the communities where the chemicals and the packaging are made. And after the packaging holds food briefly, it goes in the trash, only to contaminate communities where the trash is eventually dumped or burned. It’s time to ban this class of harmful chemicals.

But there is good news!

Last fall, LDA and 23 of our LDA state affiliates and partners sent a letter asking McDonalds to ban toxic PFAS and took photos outside McDonalds across the US as part of the Mind The Store week of action. As a result, in January 2021, McDonalds announced they will ban all PFAS from guest packaging materials by 2025. Now it’s time for Burger King to take action.

In addition to McDonald’s, several other quick-service companies like Taco Bell, Panera Bread, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Cava, Freshii and Sweetgreen have also committed to get rid of PFAS chemicals in their food packaging.

Now we need Burger King to take action, which is why LDA and our affiliates sent this LDA and affiliate letter to Burger King and their parent company Restaurant Brands International asking them to ban PFAS in all food packaging and food-contact materials.

By getting the biggest fast-food chains to go PFAS-free, it will have a huge impact on the industry—and build momentum for a nationwide ban of PFAS.

LDA is a proud member of the Mind the Store campaign. Together, we are protecting you against toxic PFAS in food packaging by pushing companies to take action.

Picture of Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire

Tracy Gregoire is the Healthy Children Project Director for the Learning Disabilities Association of America, and is a long-time advocate for children’s health.

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