On February 17 and 18, 2015, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published two scientific opinions on the recycling processes of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), respectively. In the first opinion, the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) deals with the safety assessment of the recycling processes ‘Greentech’, ‘Alimpet’ and ‘Polyrecycling’. The inputs to these processes are washed and dried PET flakes from post-consumer PET containers. The proportion of PET from non-food consumer applications in the input to be recycled must not exceed 5%. The CEF panel concluded that the materials derived from the processes are safe for food contact. The thermoformed, recycled PET trays shall, however, not be used in microwaves or ovens. In the second opinion, CEF evaluated the safety of the recycling processes ‘Biffa Polymers’ and ‘CLRrHDPE’. Both processes are used to recycle post-consumer HDPE bottles (commonly milk bottles) to produce recycled HDPE pellets. The CEF Panel concluded that recycled HDPE obtained from the process ‘Biffa Polymers’ can be safely used for the manufacture of recycled trays that come into contact with whole fruits and vegetables including mushrooms, at room temperature or below (uses not requested for ‘CLRrHDPE’). However, for the manufacture of recycled bottles for milk and fruit juices and trays for animal products, the CEF Panel requested additional data for both processes to reach its final conclusions on the safety assessment.

Read more

CEF (February 17, 2015). “Scientific Opinion on the safety evaluation of the following processes based on EREMA Advanced technology used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials: ‘Greentech’, ‘Alimpet’ and ‘Polyrecycling’.EFSA Journal 2015;13(2): 4017.

CEF (February 18, 2015). “Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of the processes ‘Biffa Polymers’ and ‘CLRrHDPE’ used to recycle high-density polyethylene bottles for use as food contact material.EFSA Journal 2015;13(2):4016.