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“Visy” and “SIA EkoPET
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 Visy and SIA EkoPET (EU register numbers RECYC101 and RECYC102 respectively) which are based on the same Starlinger IV+ ® technology. The decontamination efficiency of these processes was demonstrated using the same challenge test. The input of the processes is hot caustic washed and dried PET flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, containing no more than 5 % of PET from non-food consumer applications. Through this technology, washed and dried PET flakes are dried and crystallised in a reactor, then extruded into 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 their performance 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. Under these conditions, it was demonstrated that the recycling processes 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 the recycled PET obtained from these processes intended to be used up to 100 % 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.