Which foods could use less packaging?

Study by Package Heroes project investigates plastic material content in food product categories and greatest potential for plastic reduction; finds reduction would have strongest positive impact for candy, ready-to-eat meals; data helps to focus research on specific product groups

EC report on biodegradable plastics in open environment

European Commission’s (EC) Scientific Advice Mechanism publishes evidence report and scientific opinion, discusses potential benefits and limitations of biodegradable plastics; finds no silver bullet for inappropriate waste management or plastic littering, only for specific applications; appropriate formulation, coherent testing and certification standards needed to realize full potential

SusChem updates Sustainable Plastics Strategy Report

The European Technology Platform for Sustainable Chemistry (SusChem) publishes an updated version of sustainable plastics report; discuss challenges, scope, technical readiness, and impact; many projects still in the pilot or research stage

US EPA restricts PBT substance PIP (3:1)

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issues list prohibiting food contact chemical phenol isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA); EPA will ban processing, distribution and release in water of PIP (3:1); currently under assessment in EU for endocrine disrupting as well as persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic properties

Microplastics found in human placenta

Research study finds microplastic in placentas of four healthy women, detected both on the maternal and fetal sides of the placenta, membrane in-between; particles could enter the women’s body through oral or respiratory exposure, potential long-term effects for the fetus to be investigated

EU Commission plans EDC hazard classes within CLP

European Commission announces plan to create new hazard classes for endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) within the EU’s Classification, Labeling, and Packaging (CLP) Regulation; industry stakeholders criticize decision, call for addressing EDCs via REACH Regulation; civil society groups welcome change; further discussion planned for February 2021

New EU rules restrict export of plastic waste

European Commission adopts new regulation banning export of hazardous and hard to recycle plastic waste to non-OECD countries from January 1, 2021; clean and recyclable plastic exports to only be approved under strict conditions; prior informed consent required for all intra-EU shipments

OEHHA readds BPA as reproductive toxicant

Developmental endpoint added again to reproductive toxicity listing of bisphenol A (BPA) under California’s Proposition 65; ends eight-year long legal dispute between American Chemistry Council (ACC) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA)

ANEC proposes alternative FCM regulatory approach

European Association for the Coordination of Consumer Representation in Standardization (ANEC) position paper criticizes industry self-control in food contact material (FCM) legislation; recommends set of guiding principles; includes significantly reducing number of approved substances and materials, requiring pre-market authorization for all substances in final materials including non-intentionally added

Roadmap for EU FCM policy revision

EU Commission’s DG SANTE publishes Inception Impact Assessment as roadmap for revision of EU regulations on food contact materials; outlines eight main “issues” identified during ongoing evaluation, possible policy options to be considered by planned Impact Assessment; commenting period open until January 29, 2021