Forbes examines difficulties of beverage carton recycling

Article discusses the challenges of recycling TetraPak food and drink containers due to the composite of paper, plastic, and aluminum; few recycling facilities can handle the containers; only 16% of beverage cartons recycled in the US; calls for legislators to incentivize use of more recyclable containers

Study tracks mineral water microplastics from well to bottle

Recent publication in peer-reviewed journal Water measures microplastic content in well water at each stage of the bottling process to track microplastic sources; microplastics introduced at all steps of bottling process with greatest increase at capping

EFSA determines titanium dioxide not safe as food additive

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) releases new assessment of titanium dioxide as a food additive, could not rule out genotoxicity; change in opinion from last assessment in 2016; announcement does not affect food contact materials

Nature News reviews research on micro- and nanoplastics

Feature article provides an overview of the current research surrounding the study of microplastics and nanoplastics, potential effects on human and environmental health, and concerns for the future

Free tool supports companies design circular packaging strategy

The Recycling Partnership and SYSTEMIQ launch Plastic IQ, a free tool to help US companies make their plastic packaging strategy more sustainable; tool assesses current packaging impacts from consumption through end-of-life, builds customizable action plans, and compares “circularity of packaging strategy against industry best practices”

Scientists aspire to align UNEA terminology with plastics policy goals

Scientific opinion published in Environmental Science and Technology argues United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) should define terminology around plastic pollution; argues “marine plastic” label misleading; “pollution” a better term than “littler”, “debris”, or “waste”; microplastics should be considered together with macroplastics

CVORR analysis: Bio-based vs. conventional plastics

Scientists compile matrix to compare the sustainability impacts of fossil carbon-based with bio-based plastics in the food packaging value chain; apply Complex Value Optimization for Resource Recovery (CVORR) base-line analysis, social, economic, environmental, technical metrics; study highlights knowledge gaps; discusses land-use change, chemical migration, eco-labels, biodegradability standards

EC seeks feedback on CLP Regulation Roadmap

European Commission (EC) releases roadmap for revision of the Regulation on hazard classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals (CLP); aims to outline which regulatory and non-regulatory changes to consider in cost-benefit analyses during forthcoming impact assessment; wants to explore opportunities to use new technological tools; accepting public comment until June 1, 2021

Study: migration into dry foods higher than US FDA assumption

Comprehensive literature review in the journal Food Additives and Contaminants investigates substance migration into dry foods and food simulants; review analyses: foods off store shelves, foods and food simulants in experimental settings, food particle characteristics, and packaging material; finds migration commonly exceeds 50 µg/kg, the assumed migration rate of dry foods according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Scientists comment on proposed polymer registration criteria

International Panel on Chemical Pollution (IPCP) publishes joint statement from scientists critiquing European Commission’s (EC) draft guidelines for polymer registration under REACH; statement asks for more inclusive criteria for polymers requiring registration (PRR), consideration of micro- and nano-plastic hazards; statement open for signatures