Two restaurant chains are eliminating their use of PFAS in their packaging ahead of legislation proposed by Sen. Maggie Hassan that would ban their use by 2024.

Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, known are PFAS, are widely-used chemicals in packaging. They're sometimes called "forever chemicals" because they take a long time to break down, according to the EPA. They have been found in the blood of people and animals all over the world, and are present at low levels in various food products and in the environment.

The chemical was also used at many U.S. military installations, including the former Pease Air Force Base in Newington, to extinguish fires and leached into the water supply.

Hassan introduced legislation in November that would ban PFAS from food wrappers and packaging by 2024. As of 2017, the chemical was found in over 50 percent of fast food, bread, and dessert wrappers.

Restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King and Popeye's among its portfolio of brands, said it would phase out the use of what some call a "forever chemical" from packaging by the end of 2025. Starbucks hopes to achieve the same goal by the end of 2022 in the United States.

“Granite Staters and Americans should be certain that their food wrappers don’t contain toxic chemicals, and I am encouraged that certain fast food chains have heeded my calls to eliminate PFAS from their food wrappers,” Hassan said in a statement. “Removing PFAS from food wrappers is in the best interest of the public health, as well as our environment, and I will continue pushing to eliminate these dangerous chemicals from our everyday lives.”

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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