Reuse Minnesota continues to track various bills moving through the state capitol. Among them are bills that propose to restrict the use of PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) chemicals in the manufacture of various products. HF1000 and SF0834 propose prohibitions in several categories of products including cookware, clothing, and upholstered furniture, along with other items. Reuse Minnesota supports these restrictions because the presence of these legacy chemicals in consumer goods creates an environmental and ethical dilemma in the reuse sector. These items become a burden for our thrift stores who must decide if they want to sell such products to their customers or deal with the expense of disposal. For charitable organizations that rely on used goods to assist people who are in need of household goods, items with PFAS become an environmental justice issue as they get passed on to communities that rely more heavily on secondhand items. In addition, our government members educate the public on the proper way to recycle or dispose of items. It can be difficult to determine what the “right” answer is when it comes to items containing PFAS, due to the long-lasting nature of the chemicals and if they might show up in recycled products. Eliminating the use of PFAS chemicals in the manufacture of products addresses these concerns upstream and in turn reduces the number of problematic items passed on to Minnesota reuse organizations.
SF0834 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Environment, Climate, and Legacy committee on Thursday, March 2, at 3pm. While we will not be testifying, we have submitted a letter in support of the bill.
If you or your organization would like to sign up to testify (in-person, unless remote is requested 24 hours in advance), submit written testimony, or provide hand-outs, email Committee Administrator Kara Josephson at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Wednesday, March 1. Include your name, organization, and title of all testifiers (if you wish to speak). Please provide any handouts/letters in PDF format.