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Safety assessment of the process Poly Recycling, based on the VACUNITE (EREMA basic and Polymetrix SSP V‐leaN) technology, used to recycle post‐consumer PET into food contact materials

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The EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) assessed the safety of the recycling process Poly Recycling (EU register number RECYC262), which uses the VACUNITE (EREMA basic and Polymetrix SSP V‐leaN) technology. The input is ■■■■■ and dried poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) flakes mainly originating from collected post‐consumer PET containers, including no more than 5% PET from non‐food consumer applications. The flakes are pre‐decontaminated in a first ■■■■■ reactor at ■■■■■ under ■■■■■ before being extruded and pelletised. The pellets are crystallised, preheated and then submitted to solid‐state polycondensation (SSP) in a continuous reactor at ■■■■■ under ■■■■■ and ■■■■■. Having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the ■■■■■ reactor (step 2), preheater (step 4) and the SSP reactor (step 5) are critical in determining the decontamination efficiency of the process. The operating parameters to control the performance are temperature, pressure and residence time for steps 2, 4 and 5 as well as gas velocity for steps 4 and 5. 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, 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.