Safety assessment of the process RE‐PET, based on EREMA Basic technology, used to recycle post‐consumer PET into food contact materials

EREMA Basic, RE‐PET Kunststoffrecycling GmbH, food contact materials, plastic, poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), recycling process, safety assessment
First published in the EFSA Journal
11 mars 2020
Adopted
5 février 2020
Type
Scientific Opinion

Note: The full opinion will be published in accordance with Article 10(6) of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 once the decision on confidentiality, in line with Article 20(3) of the Regulation, will be received from the European Commission. The text and table on the operational parameters (Appendix C) have been provided under confidentiality and they are redacted awaiting the decision of the Commission.

Abstract

The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) assessed the safety of the recycling process RE‐PET (EU register number RECYC178) which uses the EREMA Basic technology. The input material is hot caustic washed and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes originating from collected post‐consumer PET containers including no more than 5% PET from non‐food consumer applications. The flakes are heated in a continuous reactor under vacuum before being extruded. The Panel concluded that the continuous reactor (step 2, for which a challenge test was provided) is critical in determining the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control the performance of this step are temperature, pressure and residence time. It was demonstrated that this recycling process is able to ensure a level of migration of potential unknown contaminants into food below the conservatively modelled migration of 0.1 μg/kg food derived from the exposure scenario for infants when such recycled PET is used at up to 70% in mixtures with virgin PET and of 0.15 μg/kg food derived from the exposure scenario for toddlers when used at up to 100%. Therefore, the Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from this process is not of safety concern when used at up to 70% in mixtures with virgin PET for manufacturing bottles for drinking water and at up to 100% for the manufacture of other materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs, for long‐term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill. Articles made of this recycled PET are not intended to be used in microwave and conventional ovens and such uses are not covered by this evaluation.

Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids
Contact
fip [at] efsa.europa.eu
doi
10.2903/j.efsa.2020.6049
EFSA Journal 2020;18(3):6049
Question Number
On request from
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany