DoD Sustainable Products Center

PFAS Free Disposable Food Service Ware

Demonstration Overview

The STED Program is currently in planning to demonstrate disposable food service ware that contains no intentionally added per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food service operations at Department of Defense (DoD) Installations.

Disposable tableware, containers, and cutlery have been designated for Federal procurement preference by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program.  The BioPreferred Program defines these categories as:

Disposable containers: “Products designed to be used for temporary storage or transportation of materials including, but not limited to, food items.”

Disposable cutlery: “Hand-held, disposable utensils designed for one-time use in eating food.”

Disposable tableware: “Products made from, or coated with, plastic resins and used in dining, such as drink ware and dishware, including but not limited to cups, plates, bowls, and serving platters, and that are designed for one-time use.”

The BioPreferred Program established a minimum biobased content of 72 percent for disposable containers and tableware and 48% for disposable cutlery.

In addition, several independent certifiers (e.g., Biodegradable Products Institute and Compost Manufacturing Alliance) currently certify products tested and shown to contain less than 100 parts per million fluorine and contain no intentionally added PFAS.

Before these PFAS free and biobased products are utilized by the Military Departments and DoD Components, their performance must be proven to meet DoD requirements.

Demonstration Products

Potential demonstration technologies are being identified.

Demonstration Sites

Demonstration sites and site-specific requirements are currently being identified.

Demonstration Details

Single use food service ware is commonly utilized for take-out food service operations on DoD installations.  Such products may be non-compostable and also contain a grease- or soak-resistant coating that contains PFAS.  In addition to federal biobased procurement preference requirements and the Executive Order 14057 direction to reduce use of single use plastics, many states have passed laws that will ban disposable food service ware containing PFAS starting in 2023 and 2024 due to health concerns from chronic PFAS exposure.

For more information regarding the PFAS free disposable food service ware demonstration, please Contact Us.

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