Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of the process "APPE Supercycle B" used to recycle PET for use in food contact materials


Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2014;12(2):3573 [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 (until July 2013), 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

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 and Constantine Papaspyrides for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion.

Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Direction Générale De la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes, France
Question Number
29 January 2014
Published in the EFSA Journal
12 February 2014
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 assessment of the recycling process APPE Supercycle B (EU register No RECYC065). The input of the process is hot caustic washed and dried PET flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, mainly bottles, containing no more than 5 % of PET from non-food consumer applications. Through this process, washed and dried PET flakes are further dried at high temperature, extruded under vacuum and pelletised. The pellets are crystallised and then solid state polymerised (SSP) in a reactor at high temperature under vacuum. Having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the two steps, the crystallisation (step 4) and the decontamination in the SSP reactor (step 5) are the critical steps for the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control their performance are the temperature, pressure and residence time. 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 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 to be used at 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.

APPE Supercycle B, food contact materials, plastic, poly(ethylene terephthalate)(PET), recycling, process, safety assessment
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