Scientific Opinion on the safety evaluation of the following processes based on Starlinger IV+ ® technology used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials “Preformia, STF, MPTS, PET to PET and Eco Plastic”
This scientific opinion of EFSA deals with the safety evaluation of the recycling processes Preformia, STF, MPTS, PET to PET and Eco Plastic (EC register numbers RECYC012, RECYC042, RECYC054, RECYC068 and RECYC080 respectively) which are all based on the same STARLINGER IV+ ® technology. The decontamination efficiency of all these processes was demonstrated using the same challenge test. Through this technology, washed and dried post-consumer PET flakes are dried and crystallised in a reactor, then extruded under vacuum to provide pellets which are further crystallised in a second reactor. Crystallised pellets are then pre-heated in a third reactor and fed to the Solid State Polymerisation (SSP) reactor. After having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the three steps, drying and crystallisation, extrusion and crystallisation and SSP are the critical steps that determine the decontamination efficiency of the processes. The operating parameters to control the performance of these critical steps are the temperature, the gas flow and the residence time for the drying and crystallisation step, the temperature, the pressure and the residence time for extrusion and crystallisation and SSP steps. It was demonstrated by means of the challenge test that the recycling processes under evaluation using a Starlinger IV+ ® technology are able to ensure that the level of migration of potential unknown contaminants into food is below a conservatively modelled migration of 0.1 μg/kg food. Therefore the Panel considered that the recycling processes Preformia, STF, MPTS, PET to PET and Eco Plastic are able to reduce any foreseeable accidental contamination of the post-consumer food contact PET to a concentration that does not give rise to concern for a risk to human health if:
- they are operated under conditions that are at least as severe as those obtained from the challenge test used to measure the decontamination efficiency of the processes and
- the input is washed and dried post-consumer PET flakes originating from materials and articles that have been manufactured in accordance with the Community legislation on food contact materials containing no more than 5% of PET from non-food consumer applications.
The Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from the processes Preformia, STF, MPTS, PET to PET and Eco Plastic intended for the manufacture of materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill is not considered of safety concern.