Safety assessment of the process ‘EREMA Recycling (MPR, Basic and Advanced technologies)’, 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 EREMA recycling process (the EREMA Multi-Purpose Reactor (MPR), EREMA Basic and EREMA Advanced technologies), with EU register number RECYC0134. 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 the MPR technology, post-consumer washed and dried PET flakes are heated in a continuous reactor under vacuum. The EREMA MPR decontamination technology can be combined with an extrusion line for pellets or sheet (EREMA Basic) or with an additional reactor (EREMA Advanced). The decontamination efficiency of the main continuous reactor (EREMA MPR technology) was determined by the challenge test. The Panel noted that this reactor is the critical step that determines the decontamination efficiency of these three EREMA technologies. 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 0.1 μg/kg food, derived from the exposure scenario for infants, and 0.15 μg/kg food, derived from the exposure scenario for toddlers, when recycled PET is used at up to 100%. The Panel concluded that recycled PET obtained from the process is not of safety concern when used to manufacture articles intended for food contact applications if it is produced in compliance with the conditions and the percentage of recycled PET added to virgin PET specified in this opinion.