EU Enforcement Action Plan on bamboo additives in plastic FCMs

European Commission and EU Member States agree to launch an EU Enforcement Action Plan on bamboo powder-containing plastic food contact materials (FCMs) to ensure that bamboo and other illegal plant-based additives are not marketed in the EU

Benelux demand market withdrawal of bamboo plastics

Belgium, Luxembourg, and Netherlands (Benelux) publish joint letter calling for market withdrawal of ‘bamboo melamine plastics’; reminds readers that products do not comply with article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 10/2011; Benelux national authorities plan to reinforce market controls from second quarter of 2021, pursue violators

China publishes five draft FCM standards

National Health Commission (NHC) standards refine existing requirements for composites, printing inks, paper/paperboard, bamboo/wood, and detergents used in food contact; public comments being accepted until November 30, 2020

Migration from bamboo-containing plastic FCMs

Scientists detect dozens of volatile and non-volatile substances migrating from ‘bamboo’ food packaging; melamine migration exceeding specific migration limit; conclude bamboo-melamine articles ‘a risk to consumer’s health,’ their promotion as biodegradable ‘a fraud to consumers’

Bamboo in plastic FCMs not authorized in the EU

European Commission’s Working Group concludes that bamboo-based additives are not authorized per se for use in plastic food contact materials in the EU; business operators to explicitly demonstrate safety by migration testing; migration of melamine, formaldehyde of high concern; additional concerns about misleading labeling and advertising

BfR statement on bamboo cups and tableware

German institute for risk assessment publishes position statement on melamine-formaldehyde resins, including tableware made with bamboo fibers; warns consumers against using such tableware with hot liquids; recommends lowering specific migration limit of formaldehyde in EU regulation from 15 to 6 mg/kg

Re-useable bamboo cups tested and criticized

German consumer organization finds high levels of melamine and formaldehyde migration from re-useable bamboo-based cups, condemns misleading labeling advertising them as recyclable and eco-friendly

Discussion on FCMs containing bamboo

EU Commission Working Group identifies increasing number of plastic food contact materials containing natural additives such as bamboo or corn; cautions business operators regarding misleading advertising, requirement that only authorized substances should be used in plastic layers