Planning to sell or manufacture products in Virginia? In this guide, we introduce you to safety standards, chemical restrictions, and other compliance requirements applicable to food packaging, beddings, cosmetics, and other products.
Important: This article only serves as an introduction to safety requirements, substance restrictions, labeling, certification, and other compliance requirements in Virginia. It is not a complete guide and is not kept up to date. Further, keep in mind that national product regulations (e.g. CPSIA) apply in all states.
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Virginia Waste Management Act
The Virginia Waste Management Act covers litter control, waste management, recycling, collection, and more. Here, we focus on several sections of the Act that apply to the substance restriction and waste management of consumer products and packaging.
Expanded Polystyrene Food Service Containers Prohibited
The Act requires that after July 1, 2025, no food vendor shall offer food to customers served in expanded polystyrene containers.
This Act covers the following type of expanded polystyrene food service containers:
- Clamshell food containers
- Beverage cups and lids
Article 3, Chapter 14 of the Virginia Waste Management Act requires that beginning from July 1, 2025, it is forbidden for any type of food vendor to dispense prepared food to customers in an expanded polystyrene food service container.
Labeling of Plastic Container Products Required
Article 3, Chapter 14 of the Virginia Waste Management Act prohibits the sales, distribution of any plastic bottle or rigid plastic container that does not bear the triangulated arrows label indicating the plastic resin used to produce the container.
The requirements of this section apply to single-use plastic bottles or containers of capacity less than 5 gallons.
Under this section, plastic containers must contain three triangulated arrows with acronyms placed below the triangle of arrows. The center of the triangulated arrows will display number 1 – 7, depending on the type of plastic container.
These arrows should be placed at the bottom of the containers made of the following type of materials:
- Polyethylene terephthalate = PETE 1
- High-density polyethylene = HDPE 2
- Vinyl = V 3
- Low-density polyethylene = LDPE 4
- Polypropylene = PP 5
- Polystyrene = PS 6
- Other plastic resin = OTHER 7
You can find an example of the plastic recycling symbol here.
Plastic Holding Device Prohibited
The Virginia Waste Management Act prohibits the packed beverage cans sold in the form connected by plastic holding rings or devices.
The requirements of this section apply to plastic rings or other devices that are used to connect the beverage bottles, cans, or jars.
Article 3, Chapter 14 of the Virginia Waste Management Act requires that it is unlawful to sell beverage containers that are connected by plastic rings or other non-degradable nor recyclable plastic.
Material Containing Fully Halogenated Chloro-fluorocarbons Prohibited
The Virginia Waste Management Act forbids the manufacturer, sales, and distribution of packaging materials that contain fully halogenated chloro-fluorocarbons as a blowing or expansion agent.
Examples of packaging materials that could contain fully halogenated chloro-fluorocarbons include:
- Food packaging
- Styrofoam plates
- Styrofoam bowls
- Fast-food containers
- Packing cushions
Article 3, Chapter 14 of the Virginia Waste Management Act prohibits the manufacture, sales, or distribution of packaging materials that contain fully halogenated chloro-fluorocarbons as a blowing or expansion agent.
Products Containing Trichloroethylene Prohibited
The Virginia Waste Management Act prohibits the sales or distribution of household products containing trichloroethylene.
Trichloroethylene is often used in these products:
- Cleaning wipes
- Aerosol cleaning products
- Tool cleaners
- Paint removers
- Spray adhesives
- Carpet cleaners and spot removers
Article 3, Chapter 14 of the Virginia Waste Management Act prohibits the sales or distribution of household products containing trichloroethylene.
Computer Recovery and Recycling Act
The Computer Recovery and Recycling Act requires that manufacturers of computers must establish and execute a recycling plan according to certain rules set forth in the section under this Act.
The Computer Recovery and Recycling Act applies to computer equipment such as desktop computers and laptop computers.
The Computer Recovery and Recycling Act requires that manufacturers of computers should comply with the following steps before selling in Virginia:
a. Adopt and implement a recovery plan
b. Affix a permanent and conspicuous label to the computer equipment with the manufacturer’s brand name
Also, the manufacturer’s recycling plan must take the following factors into consideration when making the recycling plan:
a. The plan should enable a consumer to recycle computer equipment without paying a separate fee at the time of recycling
b. The collection process must be convenient and available to consumers and able to meet the collection needs of consumers
c. Manufacturers may use the existing recycling infrastructure and try to cooperate with other parties such as the retailers, recyclers, and reuse organizations to maximize the recycling efficiency and achieve resource integration
d. Manufacturers should provide collection, recycling, and reuse information on computer’s packaging, the company’s official website, and to the Department of Environmental Quality
Manufacturers of computer equipment should affix a permanent label with the company’s brand information. In addition, the packaging of the computer should contain collection, recycling, and reuse information.
Lab tests might be required in order to comply with the substance restriction or prohibition requirements set forth by the Virginia Waste Management Act, such as chloro-fluorocarbons, trichloroethylene on packaging and construction products.
Humane Cosmetics Act
The Humane Cosmetics Act prohibits the import, manufacture, sales, or distribution of cosmetic products that use animals as testing or experimenting subjects after January 1, 2022.
This Act applies to cosmetics and personal hygiene products such as the following:
- Shower gels
- Lip balms
- Nail polish
The Humane Cosmetics Act prohibits the import, manufacture, and sales of cosmetic products or cosmetic components that use animals as the testing subjects to verify the safety of the products.
Before importing cosmetic products to the State of Virginia, importers and distributors must confirm with manufacturers and lab testing companies that the cosmetic products and components were not tested on animals.
Regulations for Bedding and Upholstered Furniture Inspection Program
The Regulations for Bedding and Upholstered Furniture Inspection Program requires that importers, manufacturers, or distributors of bedding or upholstered furniture must obtain a license from the State Health Commissioner. In addition, the bedding or upholstered product should include a law label with the company’s information on it.
This Program applies to bedding and upholstered furniture that is used by humans for sleeping or reclining purposes such as:
- Mattress pad
- Upholstered bed
- Sofa bed
- Quilted pad
- Packing pads
- Hammock pad
The Regulations for the Bedding and Upholstered Furniture Inspection Program require that importers and manufacturers of bedding products and upholstered furniture must register with the State Health Commissioner and apply for the registration number.
Covered products must include a law label containing product and manufacturer’s information.
Importers and manufacturers must attach a law label to the bedding products and upholstered furniture with the size not less than six square inches and contain the following information in English:
a. Name and address of the company (importer or manufacturer or distributor)
b. Company’s registration number
c. Type of filling material used in the product
d. A statement that the filling materials are new
f. Permit number issued to the person sterilizing the new feathers, hair, down or other filling materials
Here is an example of the law label for new bedding and upholstered furniture:
UNDER PENALTY OF LAW THIS TAG NOT TO BE REMOVED EXCEPT BY CONSUMER
ALL NEW MATERIAL
Certification is made by the manufacturer
that the materials in this article are
described in accordance with law.
(NAME OF MANUFACTURER OR VENDOR)
(ADDRESS OF MANUFACTURER OR VENDOR)
Date of Delivery ___________________________
Reduction of Heavy Metals in Packaging Act
The Reduction of Heavy Metals in Packaging Act of Virginia restricts the use of certain heavy metals in product packaging and its components.
Packaging includes consumer product packaging and food packaging such as:
- Wrapping foil
This Act also covers components of the product packaging, such as:
- Paper label
This Act restricts the content level of the following heavy metal on the packaging or its component to be less than 0.01% by weight:
- Hexavalent chromium
This Act requires manufacturers and distributors of the packaging must draft and maintain a Certificate of Compliance stating that a package or packaging components comply with the heavy metal level requirements.
Manufacturers or distributors should provide the Certificate of Compliance to the state authorities, purchasers, or the public when being requested.
Manufacturers and distributors of covered product packaging should arrange heavy metal lab tests on their products and the packaging components according to relevant test methods or the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, S-W 846.
|Virginia Waste Management Act||Link|
|Humane Cosmetics Act||Link|
|Regulations for Bedding and Upholstered Furniture Inspection Program||Link|
|Reduction of Heavy Metals in Packaging Act||Link|