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 “BTB’’, “PRT’’, “Valplastic’’, “Fellinger B” and “BariQ”
This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing aids deals with the safety evaluation of the recycling processes BTB, PRT, Valplastic, Fellinger B and BariQ (EC register numbers RECYC010, RECYC011, RECYC043, RECYC060 and RECYC084 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. The operating parameters of these steps in the process are at least as severe as those obtained from the challenge test. Under these conditions, it was demonstrated 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 concluded that the recycled PET obtained from these processes 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.