Toxics in Packaging 

Section 22a-255g-m of the Connecticut General Statutes (CGS) prohibits the intentional use of four specific heavy metals (Cadmium, Hexavalent Chromium, Lead and Mercury) in packaging, including packaged products, sold or offered for promotional purposes in the state. It further mandates that the sum of the incidental presence of these metals shall be less than 100 parts per million (weight basis).


By 1989, research had shown detrimental human health effects due to exposure to four heavy metals (cadmium, hexavalent chromium, lead and mercury). These substances were being released to the environment through the breakdown of discarded materials in landfills and incinerators. Packaging comprises approximately 33% of the waste stream. To reduce the amount of these four metals entering the waste stream, a New England Governor's task force drafted model legislation in 1989 to move the packaging industry to heavy metals free packaging over the period of a few years. The task force included members from government, industry and environmental groups. This legislation is the basis for laws passed in Connecticut (in 1990), 18 other states and several foreign countries, including the European Common Market.

Who is responsible

  • Manufacturers, distributors and suppliers of packaging or packaging components sold or offered for promotional purposes in Connecticut;
  • Manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers of products contained in packages sold or offered for promotional purposes in Connecticut

How to comply

  • Intentional introduction of any amount of any of the four regulated metals is prohibited, unless covered by a specific exemption.
  • The sum total of the incidental presence of the four regulated metals must be below 100 ppm for each package and packaging component, unless covered by a specific exemption, granted by the state.
  • Companies manufacturing, supplying or distributing packaging or packaging components must maintain a certificate of compliance for each type of package.
  • The certificate(s) must be signed by an officer of the company.
  • A copy of the certificate must be furnished to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) upon written request.


Allowances have been made to provide manufacturers, distributors and suppliers the time to find feasible replacements for the regulated metals through specific exemptions. Contact either the DEEP or the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse for further information.


Connecticut statutes allow for penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and $25,000 for making false statements.

For more information


Content Last Updated January 2022