On May 12, 2015 the EU Commission held a consultative meeting with its Food Contact Materials (FCM) working group. Invited experts from Members States, industry associations (FCM manufacturers, food producers) and the Food Packaging Forum participated in the meeting and discussed details of a planned amendment to the Plastics Regulation (EU 10/2011). This amendment will contain amongst other changes lowered specific migration limits for aluminum (1 mg/kg), nickel (0.02 mg/kg) and zinc (5 mg/kg); furthermore, specific conditions for migration testing will be adjusted, and a sharpened definition of the regulation’s scope is planned to also include thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). The new amendment is expected to be published by the end of 2015.

The Commission also informed about the Biocidal Product Regulation (EU 528/2012) which affects FCMs, because biocides used in FCMs will require authorization. Under the new Commission administration the biocides dossier has been moved from DG Environment to DG Santé. Proposals for the FCM biocides authorization process are currently being discussed, specifically how evaluations by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) can be integrated with FCM-specific requirements which would be reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

Plastics recycling was another topic on the working group’s meeting agenda. The Commission stated that a risk management guideline was currently being prepared in collaboration with EFSA. This document is expected to be available by the last quarter of 2015.

Furthermore, the Commission informed the working group members that the criteria for membership in the group would be changed and that the meeting shall become more restricted to consulting with industry stakeholders affected by specific regulation.

Read more

EC – DG Health and Consumers. Food and Feed Safety. “Food Contact Materials – Introduction.” (accessed May 21, 2015).