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Packaging giant 3m to stop using 'forever chemicals'

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Image: Samsøe Samsøe x Gore-Tex

3M, a global manufacturer of packaging solutions from packing tape to Post-IT notes to waterproof coatings, have said it will stop making and using so-called "forever chemicals", common materials that have been linked to environmental hazards and health problems, such as cancer.

3M follows companies such as Gore-Tex, who have pledged to eliminate PFCs of environmental concern from the life cycle of its consumer fabrics products.

Many of 3M’s solutions include substances for coatings, such as waterproofing clothing, chemicals known as PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances) that do not break down under normal environmental conditions, and have been found in dangerous concentrations in soil, water, food and even the human body. For years campaigners have urged for alternatives in the food industry where harmful chemicals were used to create non-stick pans.

The BBC reported 3M will phase out the chemicals by the end of 2025, but honour contracts until then. It will mean thousands of industrial and everyday products will need to be re-calibrated or re-formulated with alternative materials.

"With these two actions, 3M is committing to innovate toward a world less dependent upon PFAS," the firm said.

3M said it previously phased out use of two PFAS earlier in the 2000s. Revenue from 'forever chemicals' generates approximately 1.3bn dollars in sales each year, less than 5 percent of its overall revenue, said the BBC.

By aligning with consumer and environmental sentiment, 3M is positioning itself as a leader in more environmentally-friendly packaging solutions.

Article source: BBC

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