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”
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.