In an article published on April 9, 2018 by news provider Euractiv, reporter Frédéric Simon discussed the use of recycled plastics in food packaging. The Swedish beverage carton manufacturer Tetra Pak, for example, is currently not using any recycled plastics in its packages because “no food-grade recycled plastics [are] available” for the company’s intended use. “[F]ood safety is the cornerstone of our industry and cannot be compromised,” Tetra Pak stated.
The European Commission’s (EC) plastics strategy (FPF reported) foresees an increased use of recycled materials in new products, including use of recycled plastics in food packaging. Therefore, the EC plans to soon authorize over one hundred plastic recycling processes that have been considered safe by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
The non-profit organization European Environmental Bureau (EEB) expressed concern over contamination of food with “legacy” chemicals (i.e., substances that are now legally banned) when recycling old plastic products. EEB deems it unacceptable to possibly allow “more contamination when the product comes from secondary materials compared to standards that are applied on new materials.” The EC asserted that it will not make compromises on food safety. However, regarding legacy chemicals, “you have to make a trade-off sometimes.”
Frédéric Simon (April 9, 2018). “Safety first: Food packers shun recycled plastics, for now.” Euractiv