EFSA turns down recycling process of post-consumer PET

Recycling of plastic packaging is a topical issue in circular economy. A recent rejection of a recycling process for reuse of PET for food contact proves that the requirements for approval are strict.

Applicants for recycling processes must demonstrate that the recycling process is able to reduce contamination of the recycled material and that the material does not pose a risk to human health. EFSA has turned down an application for recycling of post-consumer PET into food contact materials.

Technology and cleaning not demonstrated
PET flakes collected from post-consumer PET containers, mainly bottles and containing less than 5% of PET from non-food applications, were intended to be used for new food packaging materials and articles. EFSA concluded that the safety assessment did not adequately explain the recycling technology. Also, the challenge tests did not suitably demonstrate the cleaning efficiency of the process. Consequently, the application was not met.

In the EU, recycling processes must be evaluated and authorised before recycled plastic material or articles are placed on the market for food contact.

For more information on recycling and food packaging materials, please contact:

Helle Buchardt Boyd   
Tel +45 4516 9097