logo

Agency approves recycling processes for food-contact

By: Keith Nuthall

August 23, 2012

PARMA, ITALY (Aug. 23, 1:30 p.m. ET) — The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has declared safe the use of recycled plastics in food-contact applications where the recycled resin has been sourced from 10 recycling processes, the first time it has released such a formal opinion.

These processes include four based on Vacurema Prime technology – LuxPET, Jayplas, PolyQuest and CIER; five based on Starlinger IV+ technology – namely the Preformia, STF, MPTS, PET to PET and Eco Plastic systems; and the recycling process PETUK SSP.

In all cases, these technologies grind waste plastics into small flakes, which are decontaminated and then reprocessed into plastics for use in food packaging.

EFSA has declared these to be safe where the resulting plastic is not made up of more than 5 percent PET collected from non-food consumer products “and these processes are operated under well-defined conditions,” it said.

The agency is continuing to assess other plastics recycling practices and will insist that after its work is done, “recycled plastics used in food packaging, food containers and other food contact materials should only be obtained from processes which have been assessed for safety by EFSA and authorized by risk managers.”