LOS ANGELES—Recycled high density polyethylene has crossed another barrier, with a California reprocessor winning approval to use the material in direct contact with all types of food.
Los Angeles-based Ecoplast Corp. received a letter of nonobjection from the Food and Drug Administration for its patented cleanup process. The process is one of 12 steps Ecoplast takes to get post-consumer HDPE clean enough for food contact.
``Recycled pellets have a stigma that they are not clean,'' said Ecoplast President Parham Yedidsion. ``This technology completely obliterates a lot of the stigma that is associated with recycling.''
He said the approval means Ecoplast's material can be used in direct contact with aqueous foods. Its Chino, Calif., plant has the technology and will have full production within eight months.
Ecoplast and Union Carbide Corp. were the only firms with FDA letters of nonobjection to sell post-consumer HDPE for incidental contact with nonfatty foods. The material—used in bottles, bags, pipe and profiles, injection molding and sheet applications—will be priced competitively with virgin HDPE, he said.
Last year Ecoplast bought the assets of Carbide's recycling operations. The cleanup process technology was part of that deal.