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Safety assessment of the process 3R, based on NGR technology, used to recycle post‐consumer PET into food contact materials

on the Wiley Online Library


Panel members at the time of adoption

José Manuel Barat Baviera, Claudia Bolognesi, Andrew Chesson, Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, Riccardo Crebelli, David Michael Gott, Konrad Grob, Claude Lambré, Evgenia Lampi, Marcel Mengelers, Alicja Mortensen, Gilles Rivière, Vittorio Silano (until 21 December 2020†), Inger‐Lise Steffensen, Christina Tlustos, Henk Van Loveren, Laurence Vernis and Holger Zorn.


The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) assessed the safety of the recycling process 3R (EU register number RECYC237), which uses the NGR technology. The input is washed and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes mainly originating from collected post‐consumer PET containers, with no more than 5% PET from non‐food consumer applications. The flakes are dried (step 2), melted in an extruder (step 3) and decontaminated during a melt‐state polycondensation step under high temperature and vacuum (step 4). In step 5, the melt material is granulated. Having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the melt‐state polycondensation (step 4) is critical in determining the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control the performance of the critical steps are the pressure, the temperature, the residence time (depending on the mass and throughput of the melt) and the characteristics of the reactor. It was demonstrated that this recycling process is able to ensure that the level of migration of potential unknown contaminants into food is below the conservatively modelled migration of 0.1 μg/kg food. Therefore, the Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from this process is not of safety concern, when used at up to 100% for the manufacture of materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs, including drinking water, for long‐term storage at room temperature. The final 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.