Scientific Opinion on the safety evaluation of the following processes based on VACUREMA Prime ® technology used to recycle post-consumer PET into food contact materials “Eco Plastics”, “Vogtland”, “Polowat” and “STF”

Food contact materials; Plastic; Poly(ethylene terephthalate) PET; Recycling; Process; VACUREMA Prime; Safety evaluation
First published in the EFSA Journal
18 ottobre 2012
25 settembre 2012
Last Updated
21 novembre 2013. This version replaces the previous one/s.
Scientific Opinion

Competing interests: One member of the Panel did not participate in the discussion because of potential conflicts of interest identified in accordance with the EFSA policy on declarations of interests.


This scientific opinion of EFSA deals with the safety evaluation of the recycling processes Eco PLastics, Vogtland, Polowat and STF (EC register numbers RECYC016, RECYC067, RECYC078 and RECYC079 respectively) which are all based on the same VACUREMA Prime ® technology. The decontamination efficiency of all these processes was demonstrated using the same challenge test. The input of the VACUREMA Prime ® technology is washed and dried PET flakes originating from collected post-consumer PET bottles containing no more than 5% of PET from non-food consumer applications. Through this technology, washed and dried PET flakes are heated in a batch reactor under vacuum and then heated in a continuous reactor under vacuum before being extruded into pellets. After having examined the challenge test provided, the Panel concluded that the two steps, the decontamination in batch reactors and the decontamination in continuous reactor are the critical steps that determine the decontamination efficiency of the processes. The operating parameters to control the performance of these critical steps are well defined and are the temperature, the pressure and the residence time. The operating parameters of these steps in the processes are at least as severe as those obtained from the challenge test. Under these conditions, it was demonstrated that the recycling processes are 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. Therefore the Panel concluded that the recycled PET obtained from these processes intended for the manufacture of materials and articles for contact with all types of foodstuffs for long term storage at room temperature, with or without hotfill is not considered of safety concern.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Ulla Beckman Sundh, Mona-Lise Binderup, Leon Brimer, Laurence Castle, Karl-Heinz Engel, Roland Franz, Nathalie Gontard, Rainer Gürtler, Trine Husøy, Klaus-Dieter Jany, Catherine Leclercq, Jean-Claude Lhuguenot, Wim Mennes, Maria Rosaria Milana, Maria de Fátima Poças, Iona Pratt, Kettil Svensson, Fidel Toldrá and Detlef Wölfle.
Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids
fip [at]
EFSA Journal 2012;10(10):2907
On request from
the Food Standards Agency, United Kingdom; Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany; Glówny Inspektor Sanitarny, Poland; Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit, Germany