Safety assessment of the process ‘Alimpet’, based on EREMA MPR 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 (CEF Panel) deals with the safety assessment of the recycling process Alimpet (EU register number RECYC0136), which is based on the EREMA Multi-Purpose Reactor (MPR) technology. The input to this process is hot washed and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET containers, containing no more than 5% PET from non-food consumer applications. In this technology, post-consumer washed and dried PET flakes are heated in a continuous reactor under vacuum. Having examined the results of the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the continuous reactor step (step 2) is the critical step that determines the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters controlling its performance are well defined and are temperature, pressure and residence time. It was demonstrated that, depending on the operating conditions, 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 0.15 μg/kg food derived from the exposure scenario for toddlers. The Panel concluded that recycled PET obtained from the process is not of safety concern when used in extruded PET sheet for thermoforming trays and containers made with up to 100% recycled post-consumer PET, and used for contact with all types of foodstuff except packaged water, for long-term storage at room temperature. Thermoformed trays are not intended to be used and should not be used in microwave and conventional ovens.