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