Scientific Opinion on the safety evaluation of the process “MOPET ®” used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials


Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2013;11(2):3094 [15 pp.].
Possible conflict of interest
One member of the Panel did not participate in the discussion on the subject referred to above 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, Claudia Bolognesi, Leon Brimer, Laurence Castle, Alessandro Di Domenico, Karl-Heinz Engel, Roland Franz, Nathalie Gontard, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Klaus-Dieter Jany, Martine Kolf-Clauw, Catherine Leclercq, Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, Fatima Pocas, Iona Pratt, Kettil Svensson, Fidel Toldrá and Detlef Wölfle.

The Panel 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, Constantine Papaspyrides and Karla Pfaff for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.

Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, The Netherlands
Question Number
29 January 2013
Published in the EFSA Journal
18 February 2013
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids deals with the safety evaluation of the recycling process MOPET ®, EC register number RECYC001. The input of the process is hot caustic washed and dried PET flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET articles mainly bottles containing no more than 5 % of PET from non-food consumer applications. Through this process, washed and dried PET flakes are extruded in a twin-screw extruder to amorphous pellets before being crystallised and solid state polymerised in a batch reactor. After having examined the challenge tests provided, the Panel concluded that, although the extrusion (step 2) contributes significantly to the overall decontamination efficiency, the decontamination in the batch SSP reactor (step 3) is the critical step that determine the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control its performance are well defined and are the temperature, the pressure, the residence time and the inert gas flow. The operating parameters of this step in the process are at least as severe as those obtained from the challenge test. Under these conditions, it was demonstrated that the recycling process is 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 this process 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.

MOPET ®; Food contact materials; Plastic; Poly(ethylene terephthalate) PET; Recycling; Process; Safety evaluation.
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