Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of the process “FOOD RePET FGI. H.”, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials
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.
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 FOOD RePET FGI. H., EU register No RECYC106. The input of the process is hot washed and dried PET flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET bottles containing no more than 5 % of PET from non-food consumer applications. In this process, washed and dried flakes are fed into a reactor at high temperature, crystallised, vacuum extruded, re-crystallised and dried under hot air flow. Having examined the results of the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the crystallisation, extrusion and recrystallisation steps are the critical steps that determine the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control the performance of these critical steps are temperature, air flow and residence time in step 2, temperature, vacuum and residence time in step 3, and temperature, air flow and residence time in step 4. Under these conditions, it was demonstrated that the recycling process 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. The Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from the process FOOD RePET FGI. H. when 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 is not considered of safety concern. Trays made of this recycled PET should not be used in microwave and conventional ovens.