On March 1, 2016 the Swiss Packaging Institute (SVI) released the “Guideline 2015.01_Innenbeutel” providing guidance on functional barriers for inner bags of recycled cartons. In 2013, SVI’s Joint Industry Group on Packaging for Food Contact (JIG) launched the project “barriers for inner bags” in response to concerns over migration of chemicals of concern (e.g. mineral oils) from recycled paperboard into food (FPF reported). In the scope of the project, different barrier films were tested and methods for measuring barrier efficiency were developed. Eight companies provided 30 test films, which were examined between autumn 2014 and spring 2015 by the Cantonal Laboratory Zurich, Switzerland. The guideline defines a minimum required barrier efficiency to reduce migration of unknown substances and toxicologically untested substances to a level that can be considered of no safety concern. In this manner, the guideline sets a benchmark for barrier efficiency by assigning a corresponding value and a measuring method. The project results showed that various plastics fulfill the requirements of the benchmark. The guideline applies to common retail folding boxes made from recycled paperboard, containing dry foods, and intended for long term storage at room temperature.

“Guideline 2015.01_Innenbeutel” is intended to offer an industry standard and thus give packaging and food manufactures, as well as consumers, confidence in the barrier efficiency of inner bags in recycled cartons. The guidance document can be ordered from SVI’s website.

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SVI (March 1, 2016). “Projekt ‘Barrieren für Innenbeutel’.(in German)