On July 15, 2016 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 ‘Polisan Hellas S.A.,’ which is based on the Polymetrix (formerly Buhler) technology. The process uses washed and dried PET flakes from post-consumer PET containers, mainly bottles, containing no more than 5% PET from non-food consumer applications. The PET flakes are extruded into pellets, crystallized and then subject to decontamination in a continuous countercurrent reactor under high temperature and inert gas flow. The recovered PET is then mixed with at least 67% virgin PET (by mass) before the main decontamination step. Conducted challenge tests demonstrated that the recycling process can ensure that migration of potential unknown contaminants into food does not exceed 0.1 μg/kg food. Therefore, the CEF Panel concluded that recycled PET derived from the process ‘Polisan Hellas S.A.’ and containing at least 67% virgin PET input, is safe for materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long-term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill. However, trays made of this PET should not to be used in microwave and conventional ovens.

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CEF (July 15, 2016). “Safety assessment of the process ‘Polisan Hellas S.A.,’ based on Polymetrix (formerly Buhler) technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials.