In December 2022, 3M announced it will exit per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS) manufacturing and work to discontinue the use of PFAS across its product portfolio by the end of 2025. According to the statement released by 3M, the discontinuation helps position the company for sustainable growth by optimizing its portfolio, continuing to innovate for customers, and delivering long-term value for shareholders.

As a result of the announcement, 3M plans to:

  • Exit all PFAS manufacturing by the end of 2025: 3M will discontinue manufacturing all fluoropolymers, fluorinated fluids, and PFAS-based additive products. They will help facilitate an orderly transition for customers. 3M intends to fulfill current contractual obligations during the transition period.
  • Work to discontinue the use of PFAS across its product portfolio by the end of 2025: 3M has already reduced its use of PFAS over the past three years through ongoing research and development and will continue to innovate new solutions for customers.

3M's decision is based on an evolving external landscape:

  • Regulatory: The European Union has indicated plans to potentially restrict all PFAS by 2025. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has indicated plans to place limits on PFAS in drinking water at current detection limits. Regulatory agencies elsewhere, including in Canada, Australia, and Asia, are increasingly active on this topic.
  • Marketplace: Customers and consumers are increasingly interested in alternatives to PFAS.
  • Investors: The challenges of managing businesses and operations with products based on PFAS have increasingly weighed on 3M's business results in recent years.

3M reports that PFAS continues to be essential for modern life and can be safely made; however, they will focus on other future applications in material science innovation.