On January 17, 2018, 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 ‘Envases Ureña,’ based on the Starlinger Decon technology. Hot caustic washed and dried PET flakes from post-consumer PET containers, comprising no more than 5% PET from non-food consumer applications, are used as input to this process. The PET flakes are preheated and then submitted to solid-state polycondensation (SSP) in a continuous reactor at high temperature under vacuum and gas flow. The provided challenge test demonstrated that the recycling process can ensure to limit the migration of potential unknown contaminants to 0.1 μg/kg food. Therefore, the CEF Panel concluded that recycled PET (rPET) produced from the process ‘Envases Ureña’ is safe for the manufacture of food contact materials and articles with up to 100% rPET content. Finished materials and articles are intended to be used “for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long-term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill,” the CEF Panel noted. Further, the CEF Panel informed that ‘Envases Ureña’ rPET trays should not be used in microwave and conventional ovens.
CEF (January 17, 2018). “Safety assessment of the process ‘Envases Ureña’, based on Starlinger Decon technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials.” EFSA Journal 16(1):5118.