New requirements for recycled plastics with food contact

October 26th, 2022

In September, the European Commission adopted new requirements for the use of recycled plastics in food packaging. The regulation on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food is intended to close existing regulatory gaps and overcome hurdles for the uptake of plastic recyclates.

One of these hurdles is that recycled plastics largely originate from household waste and, therefore, can be contaminated. When used in food packaging, this contamination may end up in the food and pose a risk to human health.

To prevent this, the new regulation sets requirements for the production of such materials. For example, only plastic recyclates that have been manufactured using certain recycling technologies are allowed to be placed on the market. In addition, the regulation supports the development of so-called novel recycling technologies that enable the recycling of plastics that currently cannot be safely transformed into food contact materials.

The new regulation was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 20th September 2022 and will enter into force on 10th October (20 days following publication). It will be directly applicable in all Member States.

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