Skip to content

COMPLIANCE WITH PACKAGING SUBSTANCE RESTRICTIONS

Due to the heavy concentration of metals that they may contain, packages of your finished products should be tested and assessed against packaging substance restrictions of the following chemicals:

  • lead and lead compounds;
  • mercury and mercury compounds;
  • cadmium and cadmium compounds;
  • hexavalent chromium.

Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation

This Model Legislation first appeared in 1989 and was known as the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) legislation. Reducing the presence of these four heavy metals and their compounds within the packaging and their components was the main objective. This legislation was intended to be adopted by all the US states, only 19 of which did as of 2021. These are the 19 member states of the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH). The Model Legislation also took hold in the EU where, for example, the packaging and packaging waste Directive 94/62/EC was instated.

Toxics in Packaging

Common requirements for these regulations are to prohibit the intentional use of the four metals, in any amount. Additionally, any incidental use of these metals cannot surpass a cumulative sum of 100 ppm by weight (0.01% w/w).

European Directive 94/62/EC - Packaging Substance Restrictions

European Union RoHS Flag

For the European Union, the packaging and packaging waste Directive 94/62/EC  specifically requires the management of declarations of conformity collected from packaging suppliers.

United States Toxics in Packaging

The toxics in packaging legislations in the US are:

Where these laws diverge is in the allowable exemptions they allow and the enforcement of their requirements. However, state laws are always precedent over the original Model Legislation.

New Requirements for the TPCH

As of February 2021, an update was issued to the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation. The legislation now includes the following substances:

  • The class of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)
  • The class of Ortho-Phthalates, commonly known as Phthalates

As well as new criteria and processes for regulating and identifying additional concerning chemicals in packaging.

Each state will need to adopt these changes within its own laws or issue a new law addressing toxics in packaging.

Packaging Substance Restrictions: How to be Toxics-Free?

Packaging Substance restrictions

It is recommended to contact your supply chain and verify whether the most strict obligations are met in terms of heavy metals limit in packages, i.e:

  1. The regulated metals –  lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium – were not intentionally added to any package or packaging component during the manufacturing process;
  2. The sum of the incidental concentration levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium present in any package or package component does not exceed 100 parts per million by weight;
  3. Adequate documentation is maintained for inspection upon request.

To do so, you can use the free EPEC Enviropass Product Environmental Compliance Form.

Other obligations, like REACH on Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) and Permanent Organic Pollutants (POP), also apply to packages. You can use the EPEC form to cover all Packaging, REACH, TSCA-PBT, California Proposition 65, and POP requirements.

Ask Enviropass to perform compliance assessments on your behalf for the packaging you use, whether it is about labeling, technical documentation maintenance or simply following up with suppliers.