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

Starlinger IV+; Food contact materials; Plastic; Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET); Recycling; Process; Safety evaluation
First published in the EFSA Journal
24 July 2013
Adopted
3 July 2013
Type
Scientific Opinion

Abstract

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.

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, Jean-Claude Lhuguenot (until November 2012), Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, Maria de Fátima Tavares Poças, Iona Pratt, Kettil Svensson, Fidel Toldrá and Detlef Wölfle
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
Contact
cef [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2013.3309
EFSA Journal 2013;11(7):3309
On request from
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany; Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment ‘Bior’, Latvia
Competing interests
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.