Burger King signals intention to move away from PFAS in packaging

Burger King customer service staff told concerned callers in June that the company plans to phase out PFAS in its packaging by the end of 2021.

Burger King may become the next major restaurant chain to get rid of food packaging treated with PFAS — a group of toxic chemicals linked to high cholesterol and kidney and liver problems.

Responding to questions from customers, Burger King customer service staff confirmed in June that the company plans to phase out PFAS in its packaging as early as the end of 2021, nearly a year after a report found likely PFAS treatment in food packaging at six restaurant chains, including Burger King. The company has not yet formally committed to phase out PFAS-treated food packaging, though the CEO of its parent company, Restaurant Brands International, told shareholders in June that the issue was under review and alternative packaging materials were being tested.

A formal commitment from Burger King to address PFAS in its packaging would make it the last restaurant chain identified in the report to do so, following Wendy's and McDonald's.

"Using PFAS to prevent greasy fingers simply isn’t worth the risk to our health and our children’s long-term well-being," said Danielle Melgar, U.S. PIRG Education Fund's Zero Out Toxics advocate.

PIRG is urging Burger King to formally commit to phasing out PFAS-treated food packaging.

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Photo: A 2020 report by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Toxic-Free Future found food packaging likely treated with toxic PFAS chemicals being used by Burger King. Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr, CC BY 2.0