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PAC Global Webinar

Future-Proof Your Packaging: Addressing Chemicals of Concern with Value Chain-based Solutions

Guest presenters discussed PFAS (Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances), and other Chemicals of Concern, representing increasingly important, and stressful, considerations for the packaging industry. Industry is working hard to address these challenges, but with an often fragmented approach.

Presented on October 18, 2023.

Key Takeaways:

  • Apply a systems perspective: moving from a fragmented to a collaborative value chain approach increases a company's capacity to mitigate both internal and external risks. Having moved from a state of "fire-fighting" to a state of “proactive market-driven continual improvement” enables the creation of sustainable competitive advantages. The key determinants of companies’ ability to successfully adopt collaborative value chain approaches is attitude and culture, not the scale of their operations. So this is not only for large companies – small corporations and SMEs must be engaged in this work collaboratively, to ensure a comprehensive, sustainable approach towards resolving the use of these chemicals.

  •  Attention regarding PFAS and other Chemicals of Concern is not going to diminish but will continue to increase: PFAS sources include packaging, production, and the environment. In packaging and production PFAS are used in many ways, such as in release agents, forming agents, for improving barrier layers, and providing grease and oil resistance. In our environment PFAS are found in many places, including packaging, carpets, clothing, and drinking water -- as seen in this article published the same day as our webinar. 

  • Testing programs may be required to monitor levels, especially in markets where limit thresholds are being introduced: Replacing PFAS and over 10,000 of Chemicals of Concern is like a game of whack-a-mole. For individual companies, a low-cost initial screening is a Total Fluorine Test, with a suggested red flag of 50-100ppm. If the findings exceed this level, more specific testing can be done based upon the company’s assessment of the legal risk. Regulatory edicts vary in the allowed amount of PFAS. From an industry knowledge-management point of view, companies should work with governing bodies to remove PFAS and many other Chemicals of Concern no longer in use from current approved lists, as well as seeking to only regulate intentionally added PFAS. 

  • Manufacturers must strategize now on phasing out the use of PFAS, and identifying acceptable alternatives. This requires a holistic approach, and the use of the value chain to ensure efficient and economical solutions are implemented.


Martin Gooch


VCM International

Meet Martin

Dr. Claire Sand

CEO, Packaging Technology and Research

Adjust Professor, CalPoly and 

Michigan State University

Meet Claire

Weldon Williams

VP, Supply Chain Standards & 

Operational Excellence


Meet Weldon

Carl Botha

Sr. Manager, Sustainability 

& Packaging

Tim Hortons

Meet Carl  


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