On May 29, 2020, the non-governmental organization Zero Waste Europe (ZWE) published a policy brief exploring a transition towards safe food contact materials (FCMs) within a toxic-free circular economy. The report describes itself as looking into “the threat that FCMs pose both to human health and the environment, with a focus on food packaging, and highlights the opportunity for ambitious reform of the EU policy framework which would contribute to the transition towards safe, cost-efficient and reusable packaging that protects human health and guarantees a toxic-free circular economy.” The policy brief makes use of data extracted from the Food Packaging Forum’s research within its Hazardous Chemicals in Plastic Packaging (HCCP) project, which identified over 4,000 chemicals that can potentially be present across the entire landscape of plastic packaging (both food and non-food packaging). It argues that “the way we currently package and distribute food is not only wasteful and harmful to our environment, it also threatens our health.” A set of improvements to be made within EU legislation are outlined, including a harmonization of rules for all FCM types and approaches to address the inadequacy of the current risk assessments approach.

Together with CHEM Trust and the Health and Environmental Alliance (HEAL), ZWE has also launched a new newsletter titled ‘Food for Thought’ to offer subscribers “key updates on Food Contact Material policy, legislation and other useful resources.” The first edition of the newsletter was released in May 2020, and subscribing is free.

Read more

ZWE (May 2020). “Food Contact Materials.”


ZWE (May 19, 2020). “Towards safe food contact materials in a toxic-free circular economy.”