PFAS Free Logo

Supporting a PFAS-free economy to protect environmental
and public health from ‘forever chemicals’


PFAS are a group of over 10,000 industrial chemicals used in many everyday items that now pollute air, soil, and water worldwide. These ‘forever chemicals’ build-up along food chains, causing harm to both people and wildlife. PFAS have been connected with a wide range of health concerns including growth, learning and behavioural problems, cancer, immune system disorders and fertility issues. The extreme persistence of these chemicals means their presence has the ability to risk environmental and public wellbeing for generations to come.

Fidra are working to demonstrate effective alternatives to PFAS use in support of transitioning towards a PFAS-free economy. This has included case studies on school uniforms, paper and board food packaging and our current project, PFAS use in pesticides.

PFAS have been found in more than 600 wildlife species across the globe. Image: Mana5280, Unsplash


PFAS are extremely persistent, highly mobile and can bioaccumulate in wildlife and people. Very little is known about the vast majority of these chemicals, but those that have been studied in depth have been linked to significant environmental and human health concerns. PFAS continue to be added, often unnecessarily, to a huge variety of products, from clothing, furniture and cosmetics to food packaging, cookware and pesticides.

PFAS can accumulate within the environment, wildlife and people. Image: Fidra


The PFAS pollution crisis is one of the biggest chemical threats of our time. Fidra are therefore calling for an urgent transition towards a PFAS-free economy in the UK, restricting all avoidable uses whilst supporting innovation towards safer alternatives. Many industries are already working to phase PFAS out of their supply chains and a growing number of PFAS-free solutions are readily available. This must now be supported by a robust regulatory framework to ensure a just transition and level playing field across UK businesses.

PFAS are used in pesticides across the UK. Image: Magda Vrabetz, Unsplash


A PFAS-free economy

We’re calling on the UK Government to protect the environment and public health by committing to transition towards a PFAS-free economy.


PFAS in pesticides

To protect soil health and future food security, we’re calling on the UK Government to restrict PFAS use in pesticides as part of wider commitments to reduce pesticide use, and to improve transparency of pesticide inert substances along supply chains.

We’re also asking farmers and agronomists to support sustainable alternatives to pesticides, such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), wherever possible, and where pesticides are still used, to talk with suppliers about the potential presence of PFAS.

PFAS can be found in a wide range of consumer products, including clothing, cosmetics and food packaging. Image: Alexandra Gorn, Unsplash


Fidra worked with UK supermarkets to successfully encourage a phase-out of PFAS-based stain resistant coatings in school uniforms.

Fidra published a report, ‘Forever Chemicals in the Food Aisle’, demonstrating the widespread use of PFAS in paper and cardboard food packaging, and through dialogue with the UK food sector, have seen major UK supermarkets commit to take action on PFAS in their food packaging.

Alongside other environmental NGOs, Fidra has supported development of an Action Plan for transitioning the UK towards a PFAS-free economy. The plan outlines 7 clear and comprehensive steps for the UK to successfully achieve a PFAS-free economy by 2035.