In 1992, the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) established the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH) to promote the Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation (Model Legislation), a piece of legislation that restricts the sum of four intentionally introduced heavy metals (lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium (VI)) to no more than 100 parts per million (ppm) in packaging and packaging components. Additionally, the legislation provides certain derogations to these restrictions and requires manufacturers/suppliers to provide a certificate of compliance (CoC) to packaging purchasers, and upon request, to state agencies and members of the public. This legislation has been adopted by 19 states across the United States (US) – California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.
On February 16, 2021, the US TPCH issued an update to its Model Legislation. The revised Model Legislation contains, inter alia, several important changes. It:
Expands the list of regulated chemicals to include (ortho) phthalates and perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)
Adds new processes and criteria for identifying and regulating additional chemicals of high concern in packaging
Provides a new definition for ‘Post-consumer recycled material’
The revised Model Legislation became effective on February 16, 2021.
Highlights of the regulated chemicals in the revised Model Legislation are summarized in Table 1.
TOXICS IN PACKAGING CLEARINGHOUSE MODEL LEGISLATION 2021 UPDATE, FEBRUARY 16, 2021
Substance Scope Requirement Effective Date
Lead, cadmium, mercury and chromium (VI)
Package or packaging component
≤ 100 ppm (sum)
≤ 100 ppm (sum)
Prohibited (Not detected)
*Each state may adopt changes to its existing law or adopt a new law to address toxics in packaging.