On June 14, 2017 the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) published a scientific opinion on the post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling process ‘EREMA Recycling (MPR, Basic and Advanced technologies).’ The process uses hot washed and dried PET flakes from post-consumer PET containers, containing no more than 5% PET from non-food consumer applications. The PET flakes are heated in a continuous reactor under vacuum. The challenge test conducted by the applicant determined the decontamination efficiency of the main continuous reactor (EREMA MPR technology), which “is the critical step that determines the decontamination efficiency of these three EREMA technologies,” the CEF Panel explained. The challenge test demonstrated that the recycling process can ensure to limit migration of potential unknown contaminants into food to 0.1 µg/kg food (exposure scenario for infants) and 0.15 µg/kg food (exposure scenario for toddlers), when recycled PET (rPET) is used at up to 100%. Therefore, the CEF Panel concluded that rPET obtained from the process ‘EREMA Recycling (MPR, Basic and Advanced technologies)’ is safe for the manufacture of food contact articles “if it is produced in compliance with the conditions and the percentage of recycled PET added to virgin PET specified in this opinion.”
CEF (June 14, 2017). “Safety assessment of the process ‘EREMA Recycling (MPR, Basic and Advanced technologies)’, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials.” EFSA Journal 15(6):4842.