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

VACUREMA Prime, Greenfiber, food contact materials, plastic, poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), recycling, process, safety assessment
First published in the EFSA Journal
5 June 2014
Adopted
20 May 2014
Type
Scientific Opinion

Abstract

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.

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 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.2014.3713
EFSA Journal 2014;12(6):3713
Question Number
On request from
Ministry of Health, Romania
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.