Safety assessment of the process ‘Märkische Faser’, based on NGR technology, used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials

NGR technology, Markische Faser, food contact materials, plastic, poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), recycling process, safety assessment
First published in the EFSA Journal
14 July 2017
13 June 2017
Scientific Opinion


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 Märkische Faser (EU register number RECYC0135), which is based on the Next Generation Group (NGR) 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 melted and degassed in an extruder under vacuum (step 2) and decontaminated during a melt-state polycondensation under high temperature and vacuum (step 3). In step 4, the melt material is homogenised, extruded under vacuum and subsequently pelletised. Having examined the results of the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the steps 2, 3 and 4, are the critical steps for the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters which control the performance of these steps are well defined and are the temperature and pressure in all steps and the exposed surface area of the melt and its residence time of step 3. It was demonstrated that 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. The Panel concluded that recycled PET obtained from the process Märkische Faser is not of safety concern 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. Thermoforming trays are not intended to be used and should not be used in microwave and conventional ovens.

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, Detlef Wölfle, Holger Zorn and Corina-Aurelia Zugravu.
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2017;15(7):4898
Question Number
On request from
Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany
Competing interests
In line with EFSA's policy on declarations of interest, Roland Franz did not participate in the development and adoption of this scientific output.