Safety assessment of the process ‘Coopbox’, based on Starlinger Decon technology, used to recycle post consumer PET into food contact materials

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Acknowledgements

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on Recycling plastics: Laurence Castle, Vincent Dudler, Nathalie Gontard, Eugenia Lampi, Maria Rosaria Milana, Cristina Nerin, Constantine Papaspyrides and Maria de Fátima Tavares Poças for the preparatory work on this scientific output and EFSA staff member Cristina Croera for the support provided to this scientific output. 

Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2016;14(3):4409 [13 pp.].
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4409
Possible conflict of interest
In line with EFSA’s policy on declarations of interest, Roland Franz did not participate in the development and adoption of this scientific output.
Panel members at the time of adoption
Claudia Bolognesi, Laurence Castle, Jean-Pierre Cravedi, Karl-Heinz Engel, Paul Fowler, Roland Franz, Konrad Grob, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Sirpa Kärenlampi, Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, André Penninks, Vittorio Silano, Andrew Smith, Maria de Fátima Tavares Poças, Christina Tlustos, Fidel Toldrá, Detlef Wölfle, Holger Zorn and Corina-Aurelia Zugravu
Contact
Type
Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany
Question Number
EFSA-Q-2015-00480
Adopted
10 February 2016
Published
2 March 2016
Affiliation
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy
Note
Abstract

This scientific opinion of the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) deals with the safety evaluation of the recycling process ‘Coopbox’ (EU register No RECYC129), which is based on the Starlinger Decon technology. The decontamination efficiency of the process was demonstrated by a challenge test. The input of this process is washed and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, mainly bottles, containing no more than 5% of PET from non-food consumer applications. In this technology washed and dried PET flakes are pre-heated before being Solid State Polycondensed in a continuous reactor (SSP) at high temperature under vacuum and gas flow. Having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the pre-heating (step 2) and the decontamination in the continuous SSP reactor (step 3) are the critical steps that determine the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters that control their performance are well defined and are temperature, pressure, residence time and gas flow for step 2 and 3. Under these conditions it was demonstrated that the recycling process under evaluation, using the Starlinger Decon technology, 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 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 PET are not intended to be used, and should not to be used in microwave and conventional ovens.

Keywords
Starlinger Decon, Coopbox, food contact materials, plastic, poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), recycling process, safety assessment
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Number of Pages
13