Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of the process “Greenfiber” based on VACUREMA Prime ® technology used to recycle post-consumer PET into 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 Greenfiber (EU register No RECYC108) which is based on the VACUREMA Prime ® technology. The input of the process 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 heated in a batch reactor under vacuum and then heated in a continuous reactor under vacuum before being extruded into pellets. Having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the two steps, the decontamination in batch reactors and the decontamination in continuous reactor are the critical steps that determine the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control the performance of these critical steps are well defined and are temperature, pressure and residence time. It was demonstrated that the recycling process under evaluation 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 recycled PET obtained from this process, 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. Trays made of this recycled PET should not be used in microwave and conventional ovens.