Scientific Opinion on the safety evaluation of the following processes based on EREMA Basic technology used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials ‘Coveris’ and ‘Envaplaster'
This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids deals with the safety assessment of the recycling processes Coveris and Envaplaster (RECYC0117 and RECYC0120, respectively), which are based on the same EREMA Basic technology. The input to these processes is washed and dried polyethylene terephthalate (PET) flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET bottles containing no more than 5 % PET from non-food consumer applications. In this technology, washed and dried PET flakes are heated in a continuous reactor under vacuum before being extruded into pellets. Having examined the results of the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the continuous reactor (step 2) is the critical step that determines the decontamination efficiency of the processes. The operating parameters to control the performance of this step are well defined and are temperature, pressure and residence time. It was demonstrated that the recycling processes under evaluation are able to ensure that the level of migration of potential unknown contaminants into food is below a conservatively modelled migration of 0.15 μg/kg food, derived from the exposure scenario for toddlers. The Panel concluded that recycled PET obtained from the processes is not of safety concern when the final thermoformed trays and containers manufactured with the recycled pellets and not used for packaging water contain up to 90 % recycled post-consumer PET for Envaplaster, and up to 100 % recycled post-consumer PET for Coveris.