In a press release published on October 4, 2017, the industry association Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) drew attention to the legal uncertainty surrounding the use of recycled plastics for food contact applications in Europe. The regulatory framework has been defined by the Regulation (EC) No 282/2008 more than 9 years ago. In the years passed since that, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued “more than 140” scientific opinions evaluating the safety of recycling processes for plastic food contact materials (FCMs). Based on these opinions, the European Commission (EC) “is in a position to officially authorize the evaluated processes.” However, up to now the EC “has not taken any initiative in that direction,” PRE explained.

This situation is inacceptable because it “prolongs the lack of harmonization” and “generates legal uncertainty and unnecessary burden for the industry using recycled materials,” PRE stated. Therefore, PRE, supported by several other industry organizations including Petcore Europe and European Plastics Converters (EuPC), now calls on the EC to authorize recycling processes which have received a positive evaluation from EFSA. This step “would ensure harmonization of the market,” as well as “remove any legal uncertainty in trading recycled materials in food contact application,” and “enable to drive circular economy for plastics by opening new markets for recyclates,” PRE reiterated.

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PRE (October 4, 2017). “EU delays approval of recycling processes in food contact applications: An obstacle to the circular economy.

Plastics News Europe (October 5, 2017). “Why is there still no EU approval for use of recycled plastics in food contact applications?

PlastEurope (October 20, 2017). “Plastics Recycling Europe. PRE calls for EU approval of recycling process for food contact.