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”

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Article
Acknowledgements

The European Food Safety Authority wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Recycling processes, Laurence Castle, Vincent Dudler, Nathalie Gontard, Eugenia Lampi, Maria Rosaria Milana, Cristina Nerin, Costas Papaspyrides and Karla Pfaff for their contribution to the draft opinion.

Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2012;10(8):2828 [17 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2828
Possible conflict of interest
One member of the Panel did not participate in the discussion because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests.
Panel members at the time of adoption
Ulla Beckman Sundh, Mona-Lise Binderup, Leon Brimer, Laurence Castle, Karl-Heinz Engel, Roland Franz, Nathalie Gontard, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Klaus-Dieter Jany, Catherine Leclercq, Jean-Claude Lhuguenot, Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, Maria de Fatima Pocas, Iona Pratt, Kettil Svensson, Fidel Toldrá and Detlef Wölfle.
Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira, Finland; Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittlesicherheit, Germany; Glowny Inspektor Sanitarny, Poland; Bundesministerium für Gesundheit, Austria; Food Standards Agency, United Kingdom
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2009-00899
EFSA-Q-2009-00960
EFSA-Q-2010-00868
EFSA-Q-2010-01173
EFSA-Q-2011-01238
Adopted
5 July 2012
Published
2 August 2012
Last Updated
5 September 2012. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Abstract

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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.

Keywords
Preformia; STF; MPTS; PET to PET; Eco Plastic; RECYC012; RECYC042; RECYC054; RECYC068; RECYC080; Starlinger IV+; Food contact materials; Plastic; Poly(ethylene terephthalate); PET; Recycling; Process; Safety evaluation
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Number of Pages
17